SUCCESSFUL OLD BOYS
It being a Saturday, it's time for a rugby story !
SUCCESSFUL OLD BOYS
A feature of www.cwrugby.com has been a series of blogs we have run on the club’s Unsung Heroes. We would like to expand this idea by seeking to learn about some of the club’s successful old boys and the relationship between their rugby experience and their successful professional lives. One of the goals behind this initiative is to “expand” the culture of our club and enthuse our players about a connection between their current playing days and their future careers. The first candidate in the series is Dr. David Spicer.
CW: Dave, as depicted by this blog’s photo, we thank you for agreeing to this interview by again, “giving back”. Just what is your career and how did you arrive at your goal to pursue it?
DS: You have a very generous definition of the word successful. After completing my rugby career and undergrad degree at UVIC, I entered UBC medical school in 2011, finishing in 2015. I completed my residency doing Internal Medicine and am practising in Vernon as of early 2020. It’s hard to come up with a simple answer as to how I arrived where I am at today. Having a strong support network of family and friends always supporting me was key, and certainly I had a lot of great mentors growing up; Ian Hyde-Lay, Doug Tate, to name a few.
CW: Straight to the point, is there any correlation between your past “rugby life” and your career?
DS: 100 percent!! As I mentioned above, some of my rugby mentors, Hydes and Dougie specifically, really shaped a lot of the work ethic I have used moving forward in my professional career. Without having played rugby growing up there is not a chance I would have gotten to where I am today.
CW: David, you played pro rugby in France and your career must have spanned many highlights. What were a few high points from your rugby days?
DS: There were a lot of highlights, too many to list. Beating Italy at the U-23 World Cup, my first cap at Twickenham in 2004, the 2007 World Cup, were for sure some of the ones that come to mind. Each time I was selected to represent Canada was a high point. For me nothing beat getting your jersey presented to you the night before a test match.
CW: What was your connection with CW?
DS: My connection with CW is deep. My old man played there and is a Past President. I grew up watching my older bro play Premier with the “Ebony Knights”, Troy, and the rest of the team from the glory years. I also played juniors for six years at CW before playing at UVIC. Although I never got a chance to play senior rugby at CW it has always been my home club, and I hope to see my little, big-man Paxton, play for CW in the future.
CW: During your playing days, you must have made many sacrifices in pursuing your rugby and life goals. Would you mind sharing a few of those sacrifices?
DS: There were a lot of hard decisions along the way. The hardest was the decision to step away from rugby and pursue medical school. In the summer of 2011 right before the world cup I gained entrance to UBC medical school. I also just captained UVIC to the Premier Provincial Championship and was selected to the summer test series. I made the decision at this juncture to step away from rugby, and pursue medical school. I honestly felt, and still feel very fortunate to have had the experiences I had playing for Canada. It would have been awesome to get another one or two World Cups under my belt, but I felt the time was right for me to pursue another avenue. I am grateful to have played for Canada, and the lessons I learnt on the rugby pitch made my dream of pursuing a medical degree possible. I guess it could be called a sacrifice, but I think a transition would be a more appropriate way of labelling that decision.
CW: Now to your professional career, probably the real love of your life behind your lovely wife Robin, son, Pax and daughter Quinn. What are the highlights of being an MD?
DS: Being an MD has allowed me to continue working within a team environment. The medical community is extremely diverse and I have a lot of fun working within a team atmosphere every day. It is also very rewarding working with patients and their families, during periods of heightened stress. Developing the skills to help people navigate their medical encounters is a great privilege.
CW: Finally Dave, seeing as you have the opportunity to offer words of wisdom to our players, what would you say?
DS: Take advantage every opportunity you are given. This extends from the rugby field, to the classroom, to your professional life.
Dave; Thank you so much for taking time from your extremely busy professional and personal life to share some of yourself with our readers and fans. We wish you all the best with your career and personal life in the years ahead.