One-on-One with Ravi Sidhu

Dr. Ravi Sidhu

Growing up in a small town in the Yukon, Dr. Ravi Sidhu’s earliest connection to BC came in the form of sports — he was an avid fan of the Vancouver Canucks and played hockey himself from an early age.

Following medical school and a general surgery residency at Queen’s University, Dr. Sidhu completed a vascular surgery residency and a master’s degree in education from the University of Toronto.

In 2004, a faculty position in the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery brought Dr. Sidhu to Vancouver, where he went on to hold numerous leadership positions including the Surgical Foundations and Vascular Surgery Program Director, the Director of Postgraduate Education for the Department of Surgery, the Chair of the Education Committee for the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery, and the Chair of the Research Committee of the Association for Surgical Education.

Now as the Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME), he uses his passion for education to drive innovation and engage learners throughout the Faculty of Medicine’s distributed training model.

Who inspires you and why?

I am always in awe of the sacrifice my parents made: Coming from India and moving to rural Yukon — where they spent more than 30 years — in order to provide better opportunities for our family.

For you, what makes UBC different?

I am continuously impressed by the reach, breadth and depth of medical education that UBC provides. Learning occurs in every corner of the province and our programs are rooted in communities. Everyone is focused on educating caregivers that meet the needs of British Columbians.

Best piece of advice:

My parents have raised me with a strong moral conscience. I have always used my mom’s advice to help make decisions: Do what you feel is the right/just thing to do, even if this means questioning a policy or disrupting an organization. In the end, you will have no regrets.

First job:

In Grade 7, I started worked in our town’s only grocery store: Stocking shelves, bagging groceries, cleaning vegetables and mopping floors. I kept this job for two evenings a week during the school year and full-time in the summers for two years in order to have some spending money.

Secret talent:

I wouldn’t really call these talents, but two things I do enjoy doing are juggling and playing hockey — I have been a hockey goalie since I was seven years old.

What are your main goals or aspirations?

I am passionate about education. I want to continue to ensure that I bring innovation rooted in evidence to engage learners in new ways. There are many initiatives underway to support this innovation, including a continued focus on resident well-being and occupational safety, as well as continuous quality improvement of our programs.

The PGME team is also focused on bringing innovation by shifting focus to social justice. As such, a significant portion of PGME activities are being directed towards anti-racism and equity, diversity and inclusion. And although there is still much more work to be done, some initial activities that we have implemented include the hiring of two faculty leads, the creation of PGME workshops in collaboration with Faculty Development, and requiring implicit bias training for all residency selection committees. I look forward to continuing this work.

How do you like to recharge?

Most importantly, I spend time with my family and we like to exercise, hike, and explore together. Through RVing, hiking, and camping, we enjoy many of the beautiful places in our province.

Favourite spot in BC?

We love Kootenay Lake — especially camping around Crawford Bay.

Published: February 2023