Amber Burridge

40 under 40: Amber Burridge

The Kelowna Chamber partners with BDO on the Top 40 Under 40

Amber Burridge finished her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 2014 and worked for six months in Calgary before taking a position at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) as an obstetrician gynecologist in January 2015.

As an Ob/Gyne,she provides specialist care for patients with disorders of the female reproductive organs and care for high risk, complicated pregnancies. KGH is a tertiary referral centre, taking extremely high risk and preterm patients from all over the interior and much of B.C.

Amber’s career has centred around the safe delivery of high-risk babies, often under catastrophic circumstances where minutes can mean the difference between life and death for both a mother and her unborn child.

Amber became department head for obstetrics and gynecology at KGH in January 2020, which has provided her with a platform to act as a passionate advocate for women’s health and the resources needed to make it a priority in our community.

Taking on her first serious medical leadership role at the start of the pandemic was daunting, but she was fortunate to work with an extraordinary group of women. Amber is proud to lead her incredible team of passionate, supportive, badass female physicians. She attended courses and conferences to better herself as a medical leader, including courses dedicated to tackling gender bias in medicine. Although her formal leadership role ends with the day to day management of a department at their busy tertiary hospital, there is no formally funded leadership role for women’s health in interior BC, and as such, she is determined to advocate for women’s health in the Okanagan.

So far, Amber has successfully piloted a sub-specialty program for high risk pregnancies, increased resources for Caesarean sections, improved care for patients suffering pregnancy loss, established inter-disciplinary medical education opportunities, and is working towards establishing cancer care for women with gynecological cancers in the Okanagan. And she’s only getting started!

She is a tireless advocate for women’s health in the Okanagan. In addition to her clinical work, managing complicated pregnancies, caring for women’s reproductive health, and delivering high risk pregnancies, Amber spends countless hours advocating to make women’s health a priority in our community.

She has secured funding for a dedicated recovery room nurse for moms undergoing Caesarean section, so that moms and babies are not separated in their first hours of life, and is campaigning for increased access to Caesarean sections at KGH.

Amber spearheaded the Maternal Fetal Medicine Outreach Program, to bring sub-specialty care for our highest risk pregnancies to KGH, and is working with the BC Cancer Agency to bring gynecology oncology (specialists in female reproductive tract cancers) to Kelowna, so these women no longer need to travel to Vancouver for care. In addition, Amber is working to expand the Early Pregnancy Loss Clinic, to increase timely access to compassionate care for women experiencing the tragedy of pregnancy loss.

In her spare time, Amber volunteers at a local animal shelter.

Amber’s received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC) and Bachelors of Science in Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology (BSc)

Amber was featured in the KGH Foundation “Humans of KGH” campaign, which recognized ‘unseen, unsung heroes of KGH,’ but for her the most meaningful recognition is less formal.

The highest honour she receives is when nurses and fellow physicians select her as their doctor.

The greatest recognition is being thanked by her patients or colleagues. There is so much negativity in medicine – especially for leaders and particularly for women – but when she hears that she’s changed someone’s life, or even just made their day, it makes it all worth it.

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Kelowna