Provision of equitable and effective publicly-funded health care is a pressing challenge of our time. Carol Herbert, MD was a pioneer in addressing social determinants of health by developing services for victims of sexual assault, both adults and children, and delivering community-based health care. Vancouver’s Sexual Assault Service, in continuous operation since 1981, was the first dedicated service of its kind in Canada. A passionate advocate for social justice, her integrated interdisciplinary research and practice embrace family violence and sexual assault; clinical health promotion and patient-physician decision-making; participatory research on ecosystem health issues in aboriginal communities, and health care and health professional education as complex adaptive systems. She is internationally known and honoured for her leadership in primary care research and for her innovations in health care education, notably as Dean of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. Mentor to a multitude of individuals, recipient of numerous awards, author of important guidelines for participatory research in health promotion, member and fellow of many boards and institutes, Dr. Herbert has championed physician advocacy, citizen participation in health care and improved access for underserved and marginalized populations.
2023 INDUCTEE Carol Herbert, MD Patient Care, Women in Medicine, Leadership in Organizational Development
July 14, 1946
(Vancouver, British Columbia)
MD, University of British Columbia
2020: Order of Canada - Member
2018: Honorary Doctor of Science, Western UniversitySee All Awards
Awards & Honours:
2020: Order of Canada - Member
2018: Honorary Doctor of Science, Western University
2016: College of Family Physicians of Canada Lifetime Membership Award
2015: Top 20 Pioneers of Family Medicine Research in Canada, College of Family Physicians of Canada
2013: Ontario Medical Association Lifetime Membership Award
2012: Lifetime Achievement Award in Family Medicine Research, College of Family Physicians of Canada
2012: Canadian Medical Association Honorary Life Membership
2010: Partners in Research Biomedical Science Ambassador Award
2009 - present: International member, National Academy of Medicine (NAM), US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine)
2009: Royal College Visiting Professorship in Medical Research, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
2009: AAMC, Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (SELAM) Award for Excellence
2007 - present: Honorary Fellow, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
2007: YMCA London Woman of Excellence in Health and Social Sciences
2007: Maurice Wood Award for Lifetime Contribution to Primary Care Research – North American Primary Care Research Group
2005 - present: Founding Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences
2005: Ian McWhinney Family Medicine Education Award for outstanding contribution as a teacher of family medicine – College of Family Physicians of Canada
2004: Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions Editorial Award for Excellence in Research for “Intention/Commitment-to-change Statements: Do they predict actual change in practice?”
2002 - present: Fellow, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow)
2002-03, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 University Students’ Council Teaching Honour Roll Certificate
2002: Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
2000: UBC Faculty of Medicine Fiftieth Anniversary Medal
1998: Award from BC College of Family Physicians for sustained support of and contribution to Family Practice Research in British Columbia
1998: University of British Columbia Alumni Association Faculty Citation Award for Community Service
1997: William Victor Johnston Oration and Medal of Honour Award, College of Family Physicians of Canada for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Family Medicine
1993: N'Shei Chabad Lubavitch Women's Organization Award for Community Service 1993
1987: C.M. Hincks Scholarship in Psychiatry - $1,000 (CFPC)
1985 – present: Fellow, College of Family Physicians of Canada (Life Member)
1985: YWCA Vancouver "Woman of Distinction” in Health and Social Sciences
1982: CFPC Sustaining Fund Award - $1500
1982: CFPC Travelling Fellowship - $1000
1967: Canadian Association of Medical Students and Interns, Summer School in Frontier Medicine, Inuvik, NWT
1966: World University Service of Canada (WUS) International Scholar (Turkey)
1965: World University Service of Canada (WUS) Canadian Travel and Education Seminar (Ontario and Quebec)
1962-69: UBC-Government of BC Scholarships: Third Year Medicine Book Prize, Fourth Year Medicine Prize in Paediatrics
1962: Magee Secondary School – Government of BC Scholarship
1962: Kiwanis Gold Medal for Academic Achievement
Innovative health care educator and mentor promoting equitable and accessible health care for all.
Cofounded Vancouver Sexual Assault Assessment Service as a response to identified community need, initially for medical assessment of children with suspected sexual abuse and then a 24/7 emergency service for adults who reported sexual assault.
Pioneered Family Medicine and primary care research in Canada and internationally.
Led building of distributed regional family practice network in BC and distributed medical education network in Southwestern Ontario (SWOMEN), including Windsor campus of Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
Mentored academic development and fostered leadership opportunities, especially for women in medicine.
Co-authored Guidelines for Participatory Action Research in Health Promotion.
Introduced community-engaged participatory research to international primary care research community.
Impact on lives today
Community-based healthcare addressing social determinants of health has delivered effective care to populations often underserved by centralized healthcare institutions. Dr. Herbert’s ongoing Vancouver Sexual Assault Service provided an early model for community-oriented care. Community-engaged participatory research, promoting evidence-informed, patient-centred care, has become central to primary care research internationally. A new generation of primary care researchers mentored by Dr. Herbert now provides ongoing leadership in medical education and research.
Carol Herbert inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Member, Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University
Chair of the Board of Trustees of AUC (American University of the Caribbean), Board member since 2012
Retired from Western University and appointed Professor Emerita
Senior Associate, In-Source Research Consulting, a research partnership that applied complex adaptive systems thinking to health care issues
Member of CIHR Gender and Health Scientific Advisory Board
Co-author of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences major assessment report: “Transforming Care for Canadians with Chronic Health Conditions: Put People First, Expect the Best, Manage for Results”.Patient Care, Women in Medicine
(Nasmith L., Ballem P., Baxter R., Bergman H., Colin-Thorme D., Herbert C., Keating N., Lessard R.,,Lyons R., McMurchy D., Ratner P., Rosenbaum P., Tamblyn R., Wagner E., & Zimmerman B. (2010)
Dr. Herberts chairs the National Expert Committee, Health Canada Interprofessional Education (IPE) for Patient-Centred Collaborative Care which funded many innovative IPE projects.Leadership in Organizational Development, Women in Medicine
One of many committees and Task Forces she chaired or served on over decades
Visiting Overseas Scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge University
Board Chair - CMHF
Co-editor of Patient Education & Counseling, the international journal. Continued to serve on Editorial Board until 2018.
Co-developed Guidelines for Participatory Action Research in Health PromotionPublic Health, Health Promotion & Advocacy, Women in Medicine
Review and Recommendations for the Development of Participatory Research in Health Promotion in Canada. UBC and the B.C. Consortium for Health Promotion Research, for the Royal Society of Canada (Green, L.W., George, M.A., Daniel, M., Frankish, C.J., Herbert, C.P., O'Neill, M.)
Royal Canadian Legion Professor and Head of Family Practice, UBC
Dr. Herbert was a pioneer in community-based primary care research, with research questions arising from practice and grounded in patient and community care needs.Patient Care, Women in Medicine
Established and ran autogenic training groups for stress management. (Herbert, C.P., and Gutman, G., Practical Group Autogenic Training for Management of Stress-Related Disorders in Family Practice in Clinical Hypnosis in Medicine, Yearbook Medical Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, 1980;109-117)
Worked as full-service family physician at REACH Centre, one of the first community health centres in Canada, which was established in 1969 and is still operating in 2023. REACH was established as a community teaching site for medical students and residen
Obtained MD degree from UBC and completed rotating internship at St Paul's Hospital in Vancouver. Completed UBC Pediatrics resident (Jan-July 1971)
Obtained Honours BSc in Biochemistry concurrently with completing first year Medicine at UBC
An ideal role model for all, particularly for aspiring female scholars considering careers in academic leadership in higher education