2005 – British Columbia
Dr Romayne Gallagher was born in Vancouver and is a confirmed lifelong resident of the city. She decided to become a physician while in her fourth year of an honours science degree at the University of British Columbia, majoring in zoology.
After obtaining her medical degree from UBC in 1984, Romayne did a one year rotating internship followed by a year of residency in radiation oncology. She was fortunate to assume the practice of a retiring physician in 1987 and loved the experience. Her practice had many older patients and with her interest in palliative care, many patients were referred to her by the BC Cancer Agency.
Romayne learned palliative care through hands-on experience, eventually becoming the palliative care physician at UBC Hospital. She was the founding director of the Division of Palliative Care at UBC’s Department of Family Practice in 1997, becoming so involved in palliative care that in 1999 she left her comprehensive family practice to focus on it full time. As the head of the Division of Palliative Care, Romayne has enjoyed the opportunity to participate in many local and national initiatives that are contributing to improved palliative care for all Canadians.
Romayne is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at UBC. Her early interests in research have continued, and she has published papers on topics ranging from public education in palliative care to new therapies for pain management.
Romayne states that she could not have done any of this without the encouragement, support and understanding of her husband Michael and their two children, now young adults. She appreciates the honour of being involved with people at crucial times in their lives, and finds her work in palliative care spiritually enriching.