We caught up with physician, watch-collector, and whiskey aficionado, @rjkama (a.k.a. SuperDoc), to gain an even further appreciation of the finer things in life.
How do you balance work and personal time? What activities keep you grounded?
It’s been said that when you have a job you love, you never work a day in your life. I'm a family physician and internist with a subspecialty in metabolic medicine and weight loss, but I'm also running an urgent care clinic, so while I'm very fortunate to have a true passion for medicine, it does get intense and it can be all-consuming.
One look at your Instagram says a lot - stunning watches, single malt whiskeys - the finer things in life. What does an appreciation of the finer things mean to you, and is there a central "theme" uniting all of your interests?
There are common factors in all the things that excite me most; medicine, bodybuilding, watches, whiskey, art. It's that there is no finish line for any of them. They all represent an infinite opportunity to acquire knowledge, which is really what I'm most passionate about.
The more you learn about certain things, the more you get excited, and the more you appreciate them on greater levels than what you had experienced before. It is a self-perpetuating engine, where the more the enjoyment grows, the more you invest in the hobby.
I also like to consider it a metaphorical way to manipulate time. You can experience the same whiskey or watch in a completely different way, just by having some added information, or further education on the process. The object hasn’t changed, the setting hasn’t changed, but something within you has changed, and now the way it affects your senses is completely different.
I find that when you put in some effort, and focus on all of the details, all of the intricacies of a stunning single malt, or a well-made timepiece, or any other work of art – it forces time to slow down. You have to think about what you are seeing, what you are feeling, how it was accomplished, what flavours you are tasting, or aromas you are smelling. You take moments to think about what memories it brings back. That mind-body connection is something that becomes a cherished ritual for me. It’s like a form of meditation… with an open bar.
What's something you're excited for or looking forward to in the watch-world?
What I'm most looking forward to is for the watch-collecting community to be able to meet up again. Social media is amazing in the way that it has been able to unite like-minded individuals from across the globe, but the payoff is to be able to connect in real life. The people who care about watches are a very small minority, but I find that the common qualities of an individual that would make him interested in watch collecting are often the qualities that instantly bond us together as instant friends and family. No matter how different the backgrounds or the cultures, or the tastes in watches, there is an undeniable thread that weaves us all together.
And of course, I am in constant anticipation for the next Grand Seiko Special Edition Dial to come out of nowhere and completely blow me away.
What does 'modern masculinity' mean to you?
This is such an important question right now, as there is a somewhat concerning trend in the world. The term “toxic masculinity” seems to be a buzzword that may have many guys questioning if they are inherently toxic, or damaging, or wrong in some way for doing things that are biologically intrinsic for males.
I always come back to something one of my mentors told me when I was struggling with the idea of masculinity, and I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to act, or what was acceptable. He said, “None of that means anything. What it really means to be a ‘man’, is to be responsible for your actions. Nothing more, nothing less."
I think that idea of responsibility is often forgotten. You are a man when you stop blaming others for things that have not gone as well as you would have hoped. You are a man when you own up to your mistakes, and try your best to reconcile them. You are a man when you stop waiting for other people to fight your battles. And you are a man when you stop feeling entitled to anything that you didn’t earn for yourself.
I would love it if the era of ‘modern masculinity’ became synonymous with ‘responsible masculinity’. It’s our responsibility to be teaching this to the next generation.
Your bio reads: “The greatness of a man is not in his wealth, but his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” What’s one way you work to affect positive change everyday?
I like to think that my life and career are both completely focused on affecting positive change. I can’t think of a more rewarding job, where lives are changed and saved, sometimes figuratively, but often quite literally.
However, I think the most important thing that can be done is to listen to what people are saying to you, and I mean really, truly, listen. The irony is that it seems like something passive, but actually requires more effort and discipline than you would expect, which is probably why it is done so infrequently. As a student of human nature, I find it remarkable how rarely we actually listen to each other. If you stop to take notice, you’ll find that so often, people are not really listening to the people they are speaking with. Most often I find that they are just thinking about what they are going to say next. There is this sea of egocentric individuals oblivious to the world around them.
But just by doing something as simple as really listening to what someone has to tell you, you can not only make someone else’s day, week, or life that much better, but you will also enrich yourself. The more you learn about people, and the more you open yourself up to what they can teach you, the better they will feel, and the more you will get out of every experience. And that's really all we have.