A Port Coquitlam doctor is celebrating her retirement after 40 years in the Tri-Cities with an award honouring her for her dedication to family practice.
Dr. Elizabeth Payne is being recognized by the BC College of Family Physicians with a My Family Doctor Award for her 40 years of work with Tri-City residents, both through her practice at Burke Mountain Medical Centre and as a hospitalist at Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody.
“It’s humbling, it’s absolutely lovely,” said Payne, who lives in Anmore after many years in Coquitlam.
The veteran doctor recently retired from the practice where she has been seeing patients since 1979 but continues to occasionally fill in for the doctors there.
For Payne, who started out as a nurse but realized she wanted more and applied for medical school, becoming an MD was a dream come true. Payne said she enjoyed working as a family doctor because she was able to delve into her patients’ concerns over the spectrum of life, from birth to death.
It was her attention to her patients that resulted in Payne being nominated for the My Family Doctor Award for the Fraser Health region. She will be feted at an upcoming dinner during the college’s AGM, along with other award-winning doctors.
Over the years, Payne has seen medicine change and watched the Tri-Cities grow from a small town to a large, urban community.
“When I started in PoCo, it truly was a small town, and the growth has been absolutely unbelievable,” Payne said.
When Eagle Ridge Hospital needed more doctors in the early 2000s, Payne said she agreed to be a hospitalist there.
Now that she’s retired, Payne gets to spend more time skiing and kayaking but still sees patients at Burke Mountain Medical Centre when other doctors are away.