Proust questionnaire: Dr Trina Larsen Soles

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 5, June 2017, page(s) 286 Proust for Physicians
Trina Larsen Soles, MD

Dr Trina Larsen Soles
What profession might you have pursued, if not medicine?
Genetics. I was in graduate school at UBC when I was accepted to medical school. I loved the challenge of the work but wanted to do something more directly involved with people. My dad urged me to consider engineering, but genetic engineering was as close as I ever got to that particular career path.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Outside of work-related things, remaining married for 30-plus years and still liking each other, and producing three children who are decent human beings most of the time.

Who are your heroes?
Sir William Osler. How can all the words he used to describe our great profession still resonate through the decades? Martin Luther King. Nelson Mandela.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting with a new book and a really good cup of coffee, with the cat purring in my lap. Happiness is seizing the small moments.

What is your greatest fear?
Dementia. As a genuine control freak, the thought of being unable to make basic decisions for myself is terrifying.

On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t. I will do my best to avoid answering a question if the answer would be unnecessarily hurtful, but if pressed, I will respond honestly.

What characteristic do your favorite patients share?
Grace under pressure—ordinary people dealing with difficult circumstances and just doing their best to cope.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Excessive worrying, especially in regard to my children.

What is your favorite activity?
Reading for fun, particularly escapist fiction, mysteries, fantasy, and suspense.

Where would you most like to practise?
Right where I am—doing a little bit of everything in Golden, BC.

What is your most marked characteristic?
Persistence and hard work.

Who are your favorite writers?
Lois McMaster Bujold—her older Barrayar novels. Georgette Heyer. Dorothy Sayers. Anything with a twisty plot.

What is your greatest regret?
Not traveling more when I was younger. I was always too focused on achieving all my academic goals as quickly as possible.

How would you like to die?
Quickly. No matter what the mechanism, I do not want to linger.

Dr Larsen Soles is the new president of Doctors of BC. Though she now lives in Golden and is known as a rural physician, her path there is far from direct: born in Vancouver, she grew up in Quebec and California, studied in California and BC, did electives in Osoyoos and Revelstoke, and interned in Edmonton before finally settling in Golden.