Proust questionnaire: Cindy Verchere, MD

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 53, No. 8, October 2011, Page 446 Proust for Physicians

Proust portrait of Cynthia Verchere

Dr Verchere is a pediatric plastic surgeon at BC Children’s Hospital, a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia, and a member of the consultative staff at Vancouver General Hospital (UBC). She has been a member of the BCMJ Editorial Board since 2009.

What profession might you have pursued, if not for medicine?
High school teacher or clothing design­er. I do have occasional rock star fantasies, though.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to sing in public without seeing people cringe.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
To have helped create our family—marrying a great husband and raising three interesting, creative kids.

Who are your heroes?
People who just get on with doing the right thing, despite politics, press, or pressure.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Reading a good book on a quiet warm day in my garden while nursing a glass of Kettle Valley pinot gris and not feeling guilty about it. 

What is your greatest fear?
That I will have early dementia.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Lots—impatience, stubbornness, and procrastination probably lead the list.

What characteristic do your favorite patients share?
Easy smiles and openness.

On what occasion do you lie?
When telling the whole truth will be too hurtful and lying won’t have major implications.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Airway schmairway.

What is your most marked characteristic?

What medical advance do you most anticipate?
Off-the-shelf, permanent, full-thickness skin substitute for treatment of burns.

What do you most value in your colleagues?
Honesty, communication, sense of humor, and teamwork.

Who are your favorite writers?
Too many books, too little time. I have had hundreds of favorites in different genres in different phases of my life from Madeleine L’Engle, Bryce Cour­tenay, Harper Lee, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King to Emily Bronte, Stuart McLean, Arthur Hailey, Maya Angelou, Jodie Picoult, and Douglas Coupland. 

What is your greatest regret?
Sweating the small stuff.

How would you like to die?
In my sleep in my eighties with no fuss.

What is your motto?
Make happiness and honesty true priorities.

Cynthia Verchere, MD. Proust questionnaire: Cindy Verchere, MD. BCMJ, Vol. 53, No. 8, October, 2011, Page(s) 446 - Proust for Physicians.

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