Proust questionnaire: Allan Seckel, BA(Hon), LLB, LLM

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 54, No. 1, January February 2012, Page 54 Proust for Physicians

Proust portrait Allan Seckel

Mr Seckel is CEO of the BC Medical Association. See the feature interview beginning on page 19.

What profession might you have pursued, if not law?
A historian, particularly a biographer of historical figures.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To play the piano.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Together with my wife, raising three engaged, creative children.

Who are your heroes?
I have never been one for hero worship. I tend to admire people with great courage, but often the greatest courage escapes mass attention.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Spending time in the sun, often on a beach, with my wife, kids, and a book.

What is your greatest fear?

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I deplore nothing about myself. I have a great many faults that I would like to improve, but nothing that I have such an extreme view about that I would deplore it.

What characteristic do your favorite people share?
A sense of direction—a mission—and the courage to achieve it.

Which living person do you most admire?
Nelson Mandela.

What is your favorite activity?
A three-way tie: reading, cooking, and running.

On what occasion do you lie?
Rarely, but only on occasions where the absolute truth might be hurtful.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
It goes in cycles. But I don’t like jargon.

Where would you most like to live?
Vancouver. Alternating between London, England and southern France would be second.

What is your most marked characteristic?
At 6'4" I consider myself normal sized. I am also organized.

What do you most value in your colleagues?
Frank dialogue that stimulates better thinking.

Who are your favorite writers?
Ian McEwan; Michael Ondaatje; Peter Carey.

What is your greatest regret?
While there are things I would do differently if I could live life over, I don’t regret anything as every experience led me to where I am today, which overall is living a life that is very happy and fortunate.

What is your motto?
Live, love, learn, and leave a legacy.

How would you like to die?
With my boots on!

Allan Seckel, BA(Hon), LLB, LLM,. Proust questionnaire: Allan Seckel, BA(Hon), LLB, LLM. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 1, January, February, 2012, Page(s) 54 - Proust for Physicians.

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