Here’s what Dr. Colbourne’s nominators said about her:
As members in good standing of the BC Pediatric Society, we are very pleased to nominate Dr. Margaret Colbourne for the 2018 Dr. Singh Award. This award recognizes the valuable contribution of a BC Children’s Hospital- based pediatrician with specialty expertise in providing consultation and support to community pediatricians. Dr. Colbourne embodies the spirit of this award. She has been an invaluable resource to pediatricians across the province through her work in the field of child maltreatment over the past 20 + years. As the medical director of the BC Children’s Hospital Child Protection Service Unit (CPSU) for the past 5 years, she has played a crucial role in educating trainees, supporting general and specialist pediatricians, mentoring and training physicians who work in this field and in providing much needed advice and guidance at all times of day and night when on call for the CPSU. She has been a role model and mentor for those of us who work in child maltreatment throughout the province.
As many physicians feel uncomfortable when dealing with cases of possible child abuse, a confident and reassuring expert, such as Dr. Colbourne, on the other end of the phone is priceless. She walks the physician needing guidance through the investigations that are necessary and provides advice about communication with family members, police and the justice system. Not only that, but her guidance about preparation for court testimony and interactions with the legal system is invaluable. She has also played a pivotal role in the development and inclusion of the topic of child abuse in the new revised UBC medical school curriculum, and is a dedicated teacher.
Child abuse cases often involve complex medical assessments necessitating close working relationships with community family physicians and pediatricians, as well as with pediatric subspecialists in many different medical and surgical areas. As part of her clinic work and on-call commitment to the Child Protection Services Unit, Dr. Colbourne provides advice to community physicians and facilitates assessments for children as needed. She further consults with pediatric subspecialists to help form a clear picture of whether child abuse has occurred or not. Dr. Colbourne has fostered strong relationships with our most commonly consulted subspecialty services at BC Children’s Hospital and has organized a series of joint rounds to discuss cases and to review relevant updates in the child abuse literature. These rounds provide an opportunity for us to learn from each other and to provide the best care for our shared patients. Dr. Colbourne has also been instrumental in setting up a peer review system for child abuse pediatricians around the province so that we can support each other when managing challenging cases in their home communities.
In addition to her contribution to child abuse pediatrics locally, Dr. Colbourne has also been a key contributor to the development of the standards of practice in this field in BC and in Canada. She developed the BC Children’s Hospital guideline on the management of acute sexual abuse in the pediatric patient and she is a key contributor to the development of provincial guidelines for the medical response to sexual assault. In 2015, she was also the guest editor of two issues of the BC Medical Journal dedicated to child maltreatment. On a national level, she has published a practice point for the Canadian Pediatric Society on the medical assessment of fractures in suspected abuse and has authored chapters on child maltreatment for textbooks of Pediatric emergency medicine and of Adolescent medicine.
The field of child maltreatment is a new one in North America and Dr. Colbourne has played a critical role in molding and developing the training, practice and education in the field at a national level. Her passion for her clinical work is apparent, her communication with colleagues around the province is exceptional and her enthusiasm for teaching is infectious. Her support for both community and subspecialty pediatricians with her knowledge, mentoring, and expertise has undoubtedly resulted in improved health outcomes for children and youth in BC. She is a great role model for all physicians and we strongly recommend her as an ideal recipient for the Dr. Parminder Singh Award.
Congratulations again Dr. Colbourne!