Jarrod McNaughton is vice president of San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield; he also sings and performs in musical theater. Before participating in a panel on how Bakersfield can recruit—and keep—doctors, he revealed in the Zócalo green room that while he’s already played his dream role—Beast in Beauty and the Beast—he’d jump at the chance to reprise it.
What was the most important year of your life?
My first year in healthcare was a very important year for me because I knew what I didn’t want to be. I had a really difficult boss, and I was right out of college, and she was pretty tough on the staff. I knew that I wanted to not treat people the way that I was treated back then.
What’s your dream musical role?
I’ve actually been the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, which I loved, but I would do that again in a New York minute.
What’s your favorite plant or flower?
I love the look of the Stargazer lily.
When did you last get a traffic ticket?
About seven years ago—knock on wood. It was when I was living in Northern California, driving the 101 all the time, and there has to be more California Highway Patrol up there per capita than anywhere else. It feels like they’re all over the place. I got a ticket for speeding because I was teaching part-time at a university up there and working full-time at a hospital up there, and I was late to class.
Whose talent would you like to have?
I would love to have the talent of somebody like a Warren Buffett—somebody who understands finance, economics—I would love to have that hard-wired into my brain somehow.
What’s the biggest myth about Bakersfield?
That it’s a dust-filled place and that there’s not a lot going on. We have more economic activity right now as far as growth than most places in the United States. A lot of people have this myth that it’s just a pass-through town on the way to somewhere, but it’s not that way at all.
What’s the last great dessert you ate?
Probably the chocolate lava cake at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
It’s filled with magazines about foreign policy, of all things. I just find that interesting, so I’ve got several different magazines on foreign policy right now.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Compassionate, innovative, marketer, engaged, and probably thoughtful.
Where do you go to be alone?
I’m a big driver. I’ll just jump in the car and take drives. That’s kind of my sanctuary if you will—my car.