Interviewee Name: Roger Dacre, Medical Doctor
Company Name: Dr. Roger I Dacre
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Dr. Roger Dacre: I was born in London, England and when I was about six years old my parents moved to Barbados. A year or so later they sent me back to attend boarding school in the UK. I attended medical school in the UK, in London, England and then I emigrated to Canada and did residency or specialty training in family medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. After that I worked for 10 years in my own family practice in Cambridge, Ontario and moved to Toronto about 16 years ago. I opened the practice that I am practicing in now and was practicing there initially alone, and subsequently over the last 10 years with Dr. Lise Paquette.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I have a good group of friends and a supportive partner. That partner recognizes that my medical practice is important to my life, but the time is also important. I’m fortunate in that my partner, my friends and in many ways my patients seem to recognize that there are more parts to my life than just dealing with them.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
Dr. Roger Dacre:
- Be true to myself.
- Find meaning for your life.
- Find and work to support yourself.
- Look for and cherish friends.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I’m a very avid theatre goer. I love movies. I like going to restaurants and I love going for walks, and I do a lot of traveling.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I think this is one of the things that Ruth Bowden taught me, she said, “You can allow yourself to just sit and think, relaxing.” I usually listen to music when I’m doing this, but there are other ways to allow yourself to process and to generate ideas that will allow you to see things in a different way. You see something working the opposite way than we do here in Canada or they do it in the UK and it works, so often it’s having a fresh way of looking at things that helps me to generate great ideas.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Dr. Roger Dacre: “You have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” which as you know comes from the American Constitution. I like this because it summarizes what is a right and what is something you need to go out and earn for yourself even though you should be free to do it. It’s not saying you have the right to happiness, it’s saying you have the right to try and find happiness. That summarizes how I look at life. I expect to be given the right to live my life and to be free, but I don’t expect more than that from the world. I expect to have to earn the rest from the world.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success?
Dr. Roger Dacre: Living a life that actualizes your full potential. That would be success to me, so you could be successful in any job. It just depends on your skills and other things.
Avil Beckford: In your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Dr. Roger Dacre: It’s not a secret. I think that integrity and hard work are the formula for success in any part of the world where you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Dr. Roger Dacre: Attending all the lectures and going to all the things at university was an important part. I find that I learn a lot from practicing physicians, as well as books. And for my own practice of medicine, running into a problem is often a learning experience for be and can end up being a very enriching experience for me and hopefully the patient.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Dr. Roger Dacre: Start out how you mean to continue. I think you should use the same ethics and the same work practice, right from the beginning of your career and not feel that these are some things you graduate to later. When I started my practice in Cambridge, Ontario the seventh and eighth patient that came to me were drug addicts and I refused to take them on as patients. When I was telling my parents about it, they said, “Why do you have to turn anyone down at this time can’t you wait until later?” And I said, “When do you suddenly get ethics, how many patients?” And of course they couldn’t give me a number, because you either have ethics from the start or you don’t.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet (dad or alive), who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I decided I was only going to choose living people.
The Queen of England: I would like to find out from her how she’s managed to work so hard and for so long and to reconcile that with her sense of self. She’s been the victim of criticism and various other things and she seems to have done this with a peacefulness that I find very admirable.
Margaret Thatcher: She is a person who has a huge conviction and she fought against much larger forces than herself and remained true to her convictions. That’s something that you can’t say about many politicians.
Nelson Mandela: When he came to power he could have been filled of hatred, anger and negativity and he showed us how living a positive life and forgiving people is beneficial to the victims and perpetrators.
Bill Bryson: He is a writer. He manages to inject such a fascination into so many facets of life
Richard Dawkins: He is a scientist who has written many books for people who are non-scientists. I admire him for looking for simplicity in complex situations because I think in the end it’s the simplicity that impresses me rather than the complexity.
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Dr. Roger Dacre: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand was probably the most profound book that I read and I think it’s about believing in yourself and your work, and that this is a legitimate way to live your life.
Avil Beckford: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you and why? Summarize the book in two sentences.
Dr. Roger Dacre:
- The first of the books would be The Fountainhead for the reason I’ve just given.
- I’d also like to have Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand which is all about not allowing yourself to be used by other people for ends rather than your own. I think that’s a useful idea to have.
- There is another book, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson which I really enjoyed.
Avil Beckford: What one music CD and movie would you like to have with you (on the deserted island) and why?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I’d like to have Elton John’s Greatest Hits because they have always spoken to me. He was starting his fame when I was a teenager and he has continued to produce music all through my life so far and I have enjoyed almost all of his music.
I didn’t bring as many books because I wanted to bring more movies. I like the movie Brief Encounter, which is a movie about an unconsummated love affair, the longing of love that’s not consummated. It’s just one of those things that always spoke to me. I love the movie A Man for all Seasons which is about a principled man who loses his life because he wouldn’t become corrupt. I would also take Lion in Winter, which is another movie about someone who is brave in the face of almost certain defeat. And I would take two gay-themed movies. One is called Beautiful Thing which is about a young boy who discovers he is gay and how his mother does not reject him, and the final one is The Wedding Banquet which is actually a Chinese movie and again it’s about parents who are accepting of their gay son even though he didn’t have the courage to tell them about it. It’s an amusing yet telling story.
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Dr. Roger Dacre: New experiences shared with friends. New experiences in new countries. New experiences in the theatre. New experiences in a restaurant, that sort of thing excites me about life.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I like music, I love beautiful places, and I enjoy the love of my partner and friends.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Dr. Roger Dacre: I’d wish for great personal, physical and mental health.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Dr. Roger Dacre: In the company of friends and family enjoying a shared experience. I’m happiest at work when I’m efficacious.
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