- Story and photography by Lia Crowe
After 13 years working as an emergency room doctor, Dr. Christopher Tetley is following a pull towards a more balanced life and being more present with his three children. So, over the past three years, he has transitioned to running his own medical aesthetics practice.
I meet Chris, 43, at his gorgeous Saanich Peninsula home and in-house aesthetics clinic to chat about life, style and what fires him up about being a doctor.
“As an emergency room doctor, it’s the novelty,” he says. “It’s not knowing what’s coming in, but also knowing that no matter what it is, I have the skills and the knowledge to handle it. There’s something kind of intoxicating about that. People who work in the emergency room are just amazing — weird, bizarre, peculiar people, all of us — so that’s a lot of fun. But it’s hugely stressful and it takes its toll: shift work, being constantly 100 per cent on and you can’t make mistakes. Before I had kids it didn’t matter as much, but now they need me to be present and that is where I want my focus to be — not tired and stressed out.”
As we chat in his calm clinic, I’m struck by the huge difference between his new work environment and the emergency room, and wonder what it is he loves most about his new line of work.
“I inherited an entrepreneurial gene from my dad, so I’ve always been working on something on the side. With this practice, I’m creating something that is my own and I can shape it into whatever I want it to be. I really enjoy people. In the emergency room there is so much time pressure and you can’t always have the interactions you want to have with people. Here, I can really get to know people and enjoy the connection.”
Outside of work, family is number one for Chris and beyond that he spends his time riding a tractor on his property and volunteering for the Central Saanich Fire Department.
Asked what is the best life lesson he’s learned since 40, he laughs and says, “Get help with shit you don’t know how to do yourself. That’s a big one and a tough one for me because I’m type-A and I want to do everything myself and my way. But I’m increasingly realizing that leveraging the skills and abilities of other people who have specialized knowledge is the way to get ahead and progress faster rather than trying to do it all yourself.”
And if he could pass one quality on to his children?
“I want them to strive to be happy no matter what they do or what they become. I think we lose sight of that in our society a lot. I want them to realize that they have control over their lives, they are not controlled by circumstances. At the end of the day, they have the choice.”
Best advice for younger looking skin?
“My advice is to take care of your health generally for your whole health. Beyond that — sun protection. Sun damage is the number one thing that ages our skin. And then go from there. Depending on a particular person and age, I have a bunch of fun tools in the tool kit to use.”
Uniform: Dark denim and a V-neck T-shirt.
Favourite Denim, brand and cut: AG Jeans “The Matchbox” slim, straight leg, dark wash.
Current go-to clothing Item: Eton Shirts.
Best new purchase: Blue Strellson slim-fit suit.
Currently Coveting: Breitling Transocean Chronograph.
Favourite grooming tool: Braun Series 9 Shaver.
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer.
Favourite skincare: ZO Skin Health medical-grade skincare.
Secret to healthy looking skin: Sciton BroadBand Light (BBL) treatments 3x/year.
Piece of art: “Breaking Wave” by Ron Parker. “The original is above my fireplace.”
Favourite local restaurant: Il Terrazzo.
Favourite Cocktail: “Caesar — the kind that’s more like a meal!”
Favourite city to visit: San Diego.
Favourite Hotel: Fairmont Kea Lani.
Favourite App: Headspace (for meditation).
Favourite place in the whole world: Maui.
Favourite sport: “Anything involving a board or boards strapped to my feet.”
Favourite Print magazine: Car and Driver Magazine.
Favourite style Blog: Effortless Gent.
Last great read: “Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl — with my kids!”
Book currently reading: The Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Favourite book of all time: Dune by Frank Herbert.