Dr. Shimi Kang B.Sc., MD, FRCPC
Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning, Harvard-trained doctor, researcher, media expert, writer, and keynote speaker. She is the author of The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids (Penguin Randomhouse 2014) and The Self Motivated Kid (Penguin Tarcher 2015). The Dolphin Parent is a #1 National Bestseller, won the 2015 US News International Book Award in Parenting and Family Category, has been translated and released in Germany, Russia, and China. Dr Kang’s articles and appearances on topics such as mental health, motivation, and optimal performance can be found in major media outlets including the Huffington Post, CBC, Washington Post, Psychology Today, South China Morning Post and TIME Magazine. She is the current Medical Director for Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver community, a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, and the founder of the Provincial Youth Concurrent Disorders Program at BC Children’s Hospital. Dr Kang has helped thousands of children, adolescents, and adults move toward positive behaviors and better health. In 2012, Dr Kang received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her years of outstanding community service. She is the proud mother of three amazing and exhausting children.
Specialist in Psychiatry
Fellow in the Division of Medicine
Licensed in Psychiatry and General Practice
Dr. Kang is driven to promote essential health and wellness information relevant to our daily personal and professional lives in an accessible way. Among her widespread activities, Dr. Kang has spent much of her time bringing awareness and reducing the stigma of mental health and addictive disorders through countless conferences, public forums, and media events. She has published numerous blogs, articles, book chapters, manuals, and monographs in the area of youth and women’s mental health, parenting, motivation, and cross cultural perspectives.
As a result of her endeavors and outstanding community service, Dr. Kang was honored with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and the Sikh Centennial Foundation National Award in 2015. She has received five national awards in the field of addictions and mental health including the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry Research Award and an American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Award. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.
Dr. Kang is a recognized media specialist known for discussing both common and complex conditions such as health, lifestyle, motivation, leadership, healthy workplaces, 21st century skills, Gen Y, and cross cultural issues. She has contributed as an invited expert to numerous international newspapers, online news, radio shows, and television programs such as NPR, UK Daily Mail, Der Speigel, Al Jazeera, and SETV, Shanghai and Times of India. She is currently a contracted expert contributor to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Dr Kang is represented as a national celebrity speaker with the Speaker’s Spotlight Bureau and a TEDx Speaker. She has shared the stage with cutting edge scientists, movie stars, professional athletes, national politicians, best-selling authors, top CEOs and even a Miss Universe! As one of North America’s few physicians trained in Motivational Interviewing, Dr. Kang teaches extensively in the area of motivation, adaptability, facilitating positive change, dealing with resistance, apathy, and ambivalence, and promoting healthy behaviors.
Currently, Dr. Kang is the Medical Director of Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver Community. She is a consulting psychiatrist to the Provincial Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Program. In these programs, she treats youth and pregnant women/new mothers with complex mental health and addiction issues respectively. She also has a small private practice at False Creek Urgent Care.
Dr. Kang is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia where she conducts research and teaching. She has been involved in studying assessment and treatment issues for those with serious alcohol and drug dependencies. She was the principal investigator for the BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital Site of the Methamphetamine Psychosis Research Study. She was a sub- Investigator for an FDA Phase III Study for alcohol treatment (depot naltrexone) and participated in the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Validity Study (National Institute of Drug Abuse). Dr. Kang was a certified medical therapist and instructor for the COMBINE (National Institute of Alcohol and Alcoholism) National Study (the largest study on alcohol dependence to date).
Dr. Kang completed Medical School at the University of Alberta (Canada) where she graduated with Distinction and Honors in Research. She gained frontline experience as a primary care physician while working in Vancouver and at a charitable hospital in rural India. Her Psychiatry training was at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and she completed a Clinical Research Fellowship at the Addiction Research Program- Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard University in Boston, USA. Dr. Kang also attended Rutgers University School of Drug and Alcohol Studies in New Jersey, USA and examined global health issues at the World Health Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland. She is a Michael Smith Foundation postdoctoral fellow in Health Services Research (University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University – Canada).
In 2003, Dr. Kang founded the Provincial Youth Concurrent Disorders Program at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. This is now Canada’s largest program for youth with mental health and addiction issues and Dr. Kang is noted for the innovative and progressive design of the program, including the concurrent focus on treating both mental health and addiction issues, extending the age limit to include transitional age youth (up to age 24), and using engagement and motivation as key strategies to work with at risk youth.
In 2006, Dr. Kang joined the publicly traded Biotech Company Alkermes as a Consulting Medical Director. There, she conducted research on alcohol dependence treatment and communicated with professional and regulatory organizations raising awareness of the highly stigmatized topic of alcohol and drug addiction treatment across North America.
In 2010, Dr. Kang co-founded the Youth, Culture, and Mental Health Fund for the BC Mental Health Foundation. Recognizing the high degrees of stigma and the profound need for mental health education among youth, Dr. Kang turned her efforts towards early identification and intervention for youth and young adults. She joined the Board of the BC Mental Health Foundation as a Director in August 2011 to further enhance this mission.
In 2010, Dr. Kang was invited to join the David Suzuki Foundation as a member of the Climate Change Counsel. Her work there includes using known strategies to elicit and enhance intrinsic motivation towards change for climate control and environmental issues.
In 2012, when her youngest child was 2 years old, Dr Kang felt she “needed to do something” about the state of stress in people’s lives. Finding everyone she knew, including herself, in a storm of overscheduling, overindulging, and perfectionism, Dr Kang found the angst and inspiration to develop the concept of the dolphin way. She knew, whether as a parent, educator, colleague, or manager; pushing/hovering “tigers” and directionless/permissive “jellyfish” hinder internal drive and adaptability. Dr Kang thus proposed a powerful new model: the intelligent, strong, joyful, and highly social dolphin. By drawing on the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, Dr Kang shows how this authoritative style with a balanced lifestyle encourages self-motivation and the key 21st century skills she calls “CQ” – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and contribution. This concept lead her to be one of the first novice authors to sign a US/ Canada book deal with Penguin Random house. The Dolphin Parent combines irrefutable science, unforgettable true stories, and Dr. Kang’s own life experiences as a mom of three and the fifth child of immigrant parents who was enrolled in a single extra-curricular activity. The book became a #1 National Bestseller, won the 2015 US News International Book Award in Parenting and Family Category, and has been translated and released in Germany, Russia, and China. Dr Kang has now ventured into the world of international social entrepreneurship and will be opening the first Dolphin Kids Center in Delhi, India in 2017.
Currently residing in Vancouver with her 3 children and husband, Dr. Kang enjoys hobbies of yoga, skiing, writing, and going to the beach with her family.