Dr. Tahmeena Ali
Surrey, British Columbia

Image of 2019 Family Physician of the Year Dr. Tahmeena Ali

Dr. Tahmeena Ali’s story begins with a childhood deeply affected by the mental illness of a close family member. Having experienced the rippling effects this had on her family and her life, Dr. Ali is particularly passionate about mitigating the trauma illness inflicts on her patients and those around them.

From asthma to acquired brain injuries, maternity care to mental health, and rural to suburban settings—the multiplicity of opportunities to learn, grow, and heal is one of the things that Dr. Ali enjoys most about being a family physician. She loves being able to explore diverse practice settings and her varied interests while honouring her core professional tenet—providing longitudinal care to patients.

She obtained her medical degree from the University of Manitoba in her hometown of Winnipeg, completed her residency at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and has been practising family medicine for 18 years. Dr. Ali currently works as a full-service family physician in her practice in South Surrey, British Columbia, and at the Vine Youth Clinic in the Fraser Health Authority. Prior to this she spent 10 years working as a family physician in the emergency department of a hospital in a rural area of northern Alberta. Today, she continues to bring health care to underserved or vulnerable populations by working as a locum twice a year in remote communities on Cortes Island in British Columbia.

In addition to her clinical practice, which ranges from newborn care to palliative care, Dr. Ali is also a professor of family medicine at the University of British Columbia, the privacy officer of HealthVue South Surrey Medical Clinic, and a medical inspector for the Ministry of Health’s Billing Integrity Program.

An accomplished speaker and author on child and youth mental health, Dr. Ali has served as a commentator on CBC Radio and as a panelist at events focused on these topics. She also has a strong interest in narrative and has participated in conferences and writing groups to weave humanity into medicine.

Dr. Ali lives in Surrey with her husband and three children—a son who is passionate about airplanes and twin daughters who are equestrians.

Canada’s Family Physicians of the Year –
The Reg L. Perkin Award

Since 1972, the CFPC and the Foundation for Advancing Family Medicine have honoured family physician members who exemplify the guiding principles of family medicine. Initially, one award recipient was selected to receive the Family Physician of the Year (FPOY) Award each year. Since 2002, 10 family physicians have been recognized annually—one representing each CFPC Chapter.

Canada’s FPOYs are chosen by their peers, other health care colleagues, and community leaders for:

  • Providing exceptional care to their patients
  • Making meaningful contributions to the health and well-being of their communities
  • Dedicating themselves as researchers and educators of future generations of family doctors

FPOY recipients must exemplify the four principles of family medicine:

  • Be skilled clinicians
  • Be community based
  • Act as a resource to a practice population
  • Recognize the central importance of the doctor-patient relationship

CFPC Chapters review nominations and select the FPOY for their respective provinces. The provincial FPOYs are honoured at their respective Annual Scientific Assemblies or Annual General Meetings. The national FPOYs are honoured at the annual CFPC Family Medicine Forum.