Dr. Filipenko, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, retired in June after a 30-year career as an Anatomical Pathologist at St. Paul’s Hospital. Doug was born in Stettler, Alberta, grew up in Burnaby, BC, and attended Simon Fraser University where he obtained his B.Sc. in Biochemistry, followed by a MSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta. He graduated from UBC Medical School in 1982, did a rotating internship at Royal Columbian Hospital, and trained in Anatomical Pathology at UBC, obtaining Royal College certification in both Anatomical Pathology and General Pathology. Although he was offered a position in Toronto, Dr. Filipenko chose to remain in Vancouver and he joined the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at St. Paul’s Hospital in 1988.
Dr. Filipenko was the site director for Anatomical Pathology resident training for more than a decade and he was the Division Head at St. Paul’s from 2008 until his retirement, leading the department through Lean initiatives that have made the St. Paul’s laboratory one of the safest and most environmentally friendly anatomical pathology laboratories in the province.
Doug was a Royal College examiner for Anatomical Pathology from 2007-2011. He won many awards for teaching including a St. Paul’s Hospital Teacher of the Year award in 1997 and the Roberta Miller Memorial Award for Best Professional Role Model to Residents.
Doug was a superb pathologist with a pragmatic approach to challenging cases and an efficient work style; his sign-out motto was “never look at the same slide twice”. Perhaps his most embarrassing moment occurred while performed a frozen section (under the watchful eye of surgeon Dr. Bob Baird), when the tissue slipped out of his grasp and directly into the garburator! Doug was a wonderful, thoughtful colleague, an advisor and mentor to both junior and senior colleagues, and a foundation of the anatomical pathology service at St. Paul’s over the past three decades. Outside of work he enjoyed the outdoors, travel, movies, and astronomy - his computer screensaver at work was the “Astronomy Picture of the Day”. All of us at Providence Health Care wish Doug a long, healthy, and extremely enjoyable well-earned retirement.