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Pitt Meadows doctor honoured for his service

Dr. Ken Burns recognized for outstanding contributions to medicine
Dr. Ken Burns (Special to The News)

A longtime Pitt Meadows physician has been awarded the Silver Medal of Service.

The Doctors of BC awarded Dr. Ken Burns this honour, which is given to physicians who have made outstanding contributions to medicine, for the improvement of British Columbians’ welfare.

Having begun his full-service family practice in Maple Ridge in 1980, Burns’ storied career has seen him serve with many health-care groups. He was the inaugural chair of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, which has been instrumental in recruiting family doctors to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

He was also the president of both the Ridge Meadows Hospital Medical Staff Association and the Physician Engagement Society.

Burns has been a long-standing member of the UBC Faculty of Medicine, mentoring many medical students as well as family practice residents.

The award announcement recognized that his “welcoming and respectful nature earned him the respect of many colleagues throughout his impressive medical career.”

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Burns graduated from UBC Medical School in 1978. Then he took his postgraduate studies in New Zealand, which included extended training in anesthesia and obstetrics.

In 2014, he chaired the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice, recruiting new physicians. Burns spoke about the satisfaction he had from being a doctor – about how after 35 years in the city, he had delivered babies, then had them as patients through their lives, until they were becoming parents.

“I’ve delivered lots of babies of the babies I delivered,” is how he put it.

Burns was also selected as one of Pitt Meadows’ Citizens of the Century during centennial celebrations in 2014.

He retired in the spring of 2022, after 42 years in the Ridge Meadows community.

“It has been wonderful to see the joy and miracle of new life by delivering babies and having the privilege of holding people’s hands as they leave this life,” said Dr. Burns.

He said one of the reasons he dedicated his career to the Maple Ridge area was the supportive and cooperative medical community.

“All I ever experienced in Ridge Meadows area was harmony. There was always someone willing to say, ‘How can I help?’ The camaraderie was so rewarding and reassuring that it didn’t seem like there was anywhere else you’d want to practice,” said Dr. Burns.

Following his retirement, Burns said he planned to do more travelling, hiking, photography, family time, and reading books instead of reports.

Each year, the Doctors of BC aims to congratulate the contributions of physicians, residents, and medical students around the province through the Doctors of BC Awards. There will be an annual awards celebration on Jan. 28.

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