Proust questionnaire: Erik T. Paterson, MD

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 52, No. 9, November 2010, Page 490 Proust for Physicians

Cartoon portrait of Erik T. Patterson

What profession might you have pursued, if not for medicine?
Aerospace engineering.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Playing bagpipes.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Initiating and bringing the public campaign against BC Hydro’s Kootenay Diversion Project to a successful conclusion.

Who are your heroes?
Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Steven Hawking, and Abram Hoffer.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Now that’s way too personal.

What is your greatest fear?
Human extinction.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
“Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”

What characteristic do your favorite patients share?
They are open with their problems.

Which living physician do you most admire?
Dr John O’Brien-Bell.

On what occasion do you lie?
When truth would do more harm.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Tell me about it.”

What medical advance do you most anticipate?
Acceptance of the efficacy of nutrients.

What is your most marked characteristic?

What do you most value in your colleagues?
Acceptance of my idiosyncrasies.

Who are your favorite writers?
John Buchan, Arthur Conan Doyle, Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Rankin.

What is your greatest regret?
Selling our first house when we did. If we had kept it, I could have retired upon its proceeds years later.

How would you like to die?
Like Alfred Nobel, laughing.

What is your motto?
Never give up.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Please complete and submit a Proust Questionnaire—your colleagues will appreciate it.

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The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an indivi­dual reveals his or her true nature. To submit a Proust Questionnaire visit

Erik T. Paterson, MD. Proust questionnaire: Erik T. Paterson, MD. BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 9, November, 2010, Page(s) 490 - Proust for Physicians.

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