What are you most proud of in terms of your career?
What I am most proud of is probably the social pediatric project we started in the community I am in right now. In December of 2008, I was driving and listening to a story on Radio Canada. The person being interviewed said, “Is there anyone out there who cares about our children?” I'd been a pediatrician there for years and years. I felt really touched by that. And I had to stop my car and think, “What can we do? How can we improve what we're doing?” And this led, years later, to the development of this social pediatric project called Minnie’s Hope, which is thriving right now.
What is something about yourself that you’re working to improve?
I think it’s being in the moment, being more and more present with the person I am sitting with when I'm working or even outside of my work life. We are so busy and we always think in the future. I need to work on that because it's easy to be carried away and think, "Oh, what do I have to do next?"
How do you turn around a bad day?
A few things: paying attention to the small joys, the little things, whether it's the colour of the sky the light, the day, or the smile of a child. When it's really hard, I try to remember that we're all in this together. It’s the common humanity. It’s the human destiny. Nothing is ever easy. And when it gets hard, I try to pull myself away from the earth and watch it turn and roll in space. Then I realize that the concerns I have are maybe not that significant in the larger scheme of things.
What’s your secret indulgence?
I close the door and I put on old French songs and I dance and sing and have a good time. I have a terrible voice!
No pressure, but what’s next?
In fact, what’s next is I have no plan, because I find that life delivers the future. I did not plan to follow my friend up North 40 years ago, so I cannot say what’s next, because at that time, if you had asked me what's next, I would never have said coming up North. So, I don't plan. I just wait for life to bring whatever is next. I’m always open and receptive, which has served me very well, because I keep meeting people, and bringing all kinds of resources to Minnie’s Hope. If I meet someone who tells me about their wonderful nutrition project, I connect them with Minnie’s Hope, and now we have a nutrition project, and so on. I think there's no plan for me—just being receptive to what life has to offer.