Monday 29 January, 2007

Develop your “outside” interests

Posted in Advice, Emergency Dept., General Practice, Michael Tam, Wards at 21:15 by Michael Tam

Original article by: Michael Tam :: Printer friendly

Cycling is fun!

As a junior medical officer, your time is often not your own. Between work, study, medicine related projects (e.g., research papers, presentations), family, meals and sleep there is often precious little time left!

Do not sacrifice your interests and hobbies for medicine as a junior medical officer. These “outside” interests makes you a holistic rounded person and in doing so, gives you a better understanding of humanity. This can only make you a better doctor.

One of the fantastic things about medicine is that it selects an intelligent section of the community. You and your colleagues have the ability and drive to achieve great accomplishments. What is often holding people back is a fatalistic nihilism that one is “too busy” with medicine.

There are Australian doctors who are accomplished novelists (e.g., Peter Goldsworthy), actors (e.g., Jason Chan [pg 13/20]), who have started travel companies, and more than a few wineries were started by medicos (e.g., Angoves and The Margaret River wine region). For those of us with more humble goals, keep up with the regular music, or dancing or jogging or cycling. If you enjoy reading fiction, or listening to music, don’t give it up!

In the greater scheme of things, your happiness should be important to you.


  • keep up your current hobbies;
  • participate in social events;
  • take holidays;
  • travel;
  • partake in regular exercise;
  • schedule daily and weekly “me-time” that you can look forward to.


  • put yourself into the position where work must take precedence of planned family and leasure time;
  • accept 24/7 on call for any more than a short defined period;
  • sacrifice personal interests for “ideological” reasons (though we much all bend and accept some practicalities).

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