Proust questionnaire: Vishal Varshney, MD

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 58, No. 9, November 2016, Page 538 Proust for Physicians
Dr Vishal Varshney
Dr Vishal Varshney

What profession might you have pursued, if not medicine?
Something in marketing or political science. I am fascinated by both.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I had artistic talents, like drawing or painting. I am in awe of those who so easily create beautiful imagery.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m hoping that my greatest achievement is yet to come. For now, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to pursue a career in medicine, which started when I was accepted into medical school at the University of Calgary.

Who are your heroes?
Without a doubt my heroes are my parents, Pratap and Kamlesh Varshney. They are compassionate, courageous, and immensely hardworking. Each day I strive to reflect their values and teachings in my life.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness for me starts with waking up to sunshine and the smell of waffles, being surrounded by family and friends, drinking tea and eating excellent Indian food, with some amazing music playing in the background.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Deplore might be a strong word, but I am always seeking to improve my time management skills.

Which living physician do you most admire?
My sister, Dr Nishi Varshney, and brother-in-law, Dr Vineet Bhan, are both practising physicians in BC (geriatrician and cardiologist, respectively). I admire them most for their ability to excel in their profession while maintaining such strong family values, as cherished by both me and their sons (a.k.a. my nephews!).

What is your favorite activity?
Anything social where I get an opportunity to learn from or spend time with other interesting people.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I’ve recently started to realize that I say “and whatnot” far more than I should, and whatnot.

What characteristic do your favorite patients share?
An optimistic outlook on life—they refuse to be defined by illness, and persevere to enjoy what is important to them.

Where would you most like to practise?
I am blessed to be able to live and work in Canada. Anywhere in this amazing country would be a true privilege.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I only engage in activities that I have true passion, energy, and enthusiasm for. Without that, it simply becomes tedious.

What do you most value in your colleagues?
Honesty and passion.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing those who are closest to me.

Who are your favorite writers?
There is something about William Shakespeare for me that is always memorable and everlasting.

What is your motto?
“You CAN do this.” Reaching outside of my comfort zone has led to some of my most cherished moments in life.


Dr Varshney is a fourth-year anesthesiology resident at UBC, the immediate past president of Resident Doctors of BC, and board chair of Resident Doctors of Canada. Born and raised in Calgary, he completed medical school at the University of Calgary. While his professional interests include pain management and medical administration, his personal interests include music and learning to play the ukulele.

. Proust questionnaire: Vishal Varshney, MD. BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 9, November, 2016, Page(s) 538 - Proust for Physicians.

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