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

I grew up in Edmonton, where my family arrived as refugees from the Soviet Union in the late 1970’s. I completed a BSc and MD at the University of Alberta, followed by a residency in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. I then returned to the U of A for additional training in Emergency Medicine. Afterwards, I spent over a decade working as an ER Physician and Trauma Team Leader in Edmonton, Thunder Bay, and Nanaimo. In Thunder Bay, I served as the Emergency Department’s Medical Education Director, and held an academic position at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. I did the same in Nanaimo and was appointed a Clinical Assistant Professor in the UBC Department of Family Medicine.

In 2015, I started doing surgical procedures at Skin Care West. It allowed me to cut back a bit on hospital-based work, while also providing a much-needed service, due to a backlog of skin cancer cases in the community. I enjoyed the work, and I was comfortable with the technical aspects of basic skin surgery, but I recognized that I had a knowledge deficit about skin cancer itself. The following year I started a master’s degree in Skin Cancer Medicine through the University of Queensland (Australia), which I completed in 2019.

I now focus exclusively on providing comprehensive skin cancer care. That includes high level diagnosis using handheld microscopy and imaging, along with both surgical and non-surgical treatments. Since many of my patients are high risk, I work closely with local specialists and providers at the BC Cancer Agency. I continue to teach through my position at UBC and in supervising medical trainees at Skin Care West. I’ve also been an invited speaker at the national conference of the Primary Care Dermatology Society of Canada, served as Medical Director for Healthcert International’s first Canadian ‘Advanced Skin Cancer Procedural Skills’ workshop, and assisted with 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 for many years 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’.