R. Nevill Gates, M.D.
Physician, Boater & Builder
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September 1, 2002
My greatest challenge in life is to successfully negotiate my interests. I chose to become a doctor because I had a fairly natural affinity for science and love working with people. I felt like I could do something rewarding and not worry as much as my parents did about money. When we were little, we struggled a lot with money. Medicine has been really rewarding. The money in primary care isn't what it is for other specialties, but it has been immensely rich in much the same way that it is rewarding for a minister. I guess I really appreciate an individual's ability to thrive to their fullest and I'm thrilled about helping people achieve that for themselves.
The medals belonged to my grandfather who I have always admired more for his personality than his accomplishments, which were great. The medals were awarded for his contributions toward chemical warfare during W.W.II. He and a few other English chemists developed Napalm for dropping on German Submarine bases because it would burn on water. Once I asked my grandfather what he thought about developing such a destructive substance and he replied, "what we were up against was far more destructive than Napalm and England was on fire." He was a great musician, chemist and geologist, but principally was my strongest male influence during my childhood and inspired me to believe that life was meant to be meaningful and enjoyed.
I really like to work, physically, as long as I get a little sleep. I appreciate constructive physical work. Staying in shape while making things, I hate treadmills. I like to make things that improve the quality of my families daily life, there's always a construction project at home.
A business card is included from an internist/ psychiatrist/ mentor who very carefully over seven to eight years helped me find an emotionally healthy life. A financial disaster but an emotional coup. What's more important? The card resides in my wallet to this day, not used, just looked at occasionally.
The turnbuckles signifies larger boat sailing and the block signifies small boat sailing that has been more available to me in the last few years. I sail to relax, not to compete and never feel as if I'm missing something as I sail by regattas.
Though I spend more time at work than is good for me, I'm always accelerating home, I can't get home fast enough.