Dr. Gene Filanovsky
Family Physician with Cutaneous Surgery and Skin Cancer Focus

I came to Canada with my family as a refugee from the Soviet Union in the late 1970’s. I completed my BSc and MD at the University of Alberta, followed by a residency in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. Afterwards I returned to the U of A for training in Emergency Medicine. I worked as an Emergency Physician and Trauma Team Leader in Edmonton, then Thunder Bay, and finally in Nanaimo. I served as Director of Medical Education for the Emergency Departments in Thunder Bay and Nanaimo, previously held an academic position at Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and I’m currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Family Medicine.

Due to a backlog of skin cancer cases, I began providing surgical services at Skin Care West in early 2015. At first, it was just a way to cut back on the occasional acute care shift at the hospital. Very quickly though, I found myself drawn into the work. I loved the procedures and I was fascinated by the complex interaction between our skin and sun exposure. The following year I started a master’s degree in Skin Cancer Medicine through the University of Queensland (Australia), which I completed in 2019.

My medical practice is now focused entirely on skin cancer. I’ve also gone back to teaching, which has always been a passion. I work with trainees at Skin Care West. I’ve spoken on the topic of skin cancer at the national conference of the Primary Care Dermatology Society of Canada. I served as Medical Director for Healthcert International’s first Canadian ‘Advanced Skin Cancer Procedural Skills’ workshop. I also participated in the development of online training courses for health care providers sponsored by the Melanoma Network.

Outside of the clinic I love spending time with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy cycling, mountaineering, windsurfing and skiing. I also have an interest in Wilderness Medicine, have completed a Diploma in Mountain Medicine, and volunteered as a ski doctor at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort. As an avid outdoor athlete, I have a keen interest in the importance of sun protection while maintaining an active lifestyle. My mantra is ‘keep doing the things you love but protect your skin and make it last’.