Dr. Handysides was born in the United Kingdom of a pastor’s family in the 1940s, and was educated at Cape Town and Edinburgh Universities, graduating as a medical doctor.
He then specialized in Pediatrics in Toronto, Canada and obtained the FRCPC degree, an academic teaching degree.
A couple of years later he specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology, also at the University of Toronto; the qualification process had changed and he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Obstetrics and Gynecology (a specialty certification, not a degree).
He practiced in Toronto, teaching at the University Children's Hospital in Pediatrics, and then later in OB/GYN. He worked at the Branson Adventist Hospital.
Dr. Handysides served nearly 8 years in Africa, as Medical Director at Maluti Adventist Hospital, and thereafter as the Director of Health ministry of the Trans-Africa Division, then the Eastern Africa Division, before returning to practice at Branson, where he was head of OB/GYN From that posting, he came to the General Conference as the Director of Health Ministry in 1998 and retired in 2013.
He has a wonderful wife, Janet, who is a registered nurse. His eldest son is Robert, an endodontist, who is head of Endodontics at the Loma Linda School of Dentistry. His daughter Elizabeth is an Anesthesiologist practicing in Denver, Colorado. His youngest son, Daniel, recently graduated from Loma Linda University with his DrPH.
All of Dr. Handysides’ children are married with great spouses; he has 5 grandchildren.