Yes, I enjoy radiology. But, a whole world of other pursuits awaits me when I finish work. I may write for this website, learn two different languages (Spanish and Hebrew), play guitar, prepare for the next gig, read about finance, or cook. These are just some of the long-term projects and hobbies that I always seem to fall back on. Yet, I understand that not everyone has the time or inclination for my daily rituals. But, maintaining at least one toe outside the field of medicine is necessary nowadays. And, it is not just about making a paper trail for applications to medical school, residency slots, and radiology jobs.
So, what is it about hobbies and long-term projects that enhance my radiology career? Well, there are a whole host of benefits that come with other endeavors that I enjoy. These include looking at radiology with a fresh eye, reminding me that there is more to life than medicine, finding new friends with differing interests, keeping my brain active/enhancing my energy, and enabling me to transition to a post radiology world. And, these passions may also apply to you as well. Let’s explore some of these reasons to establish a hobby now!
Looking At Your Daily Work With A Different Perspective
Hobbies can allow you to look at the world from a different perspective. For example, instead of dreading waiting for a translator to help translate a Spanish-speaking patient, as a time sink, I look forward to interacting with patients who speak Spanish. It is a way for me to get to learn their culture and get more Spanish practice. Or, as if I am working at home, having a guitar on hand as I’m reading some film enables me to play a little bit while I take a short break. All these different hobbies allow me to look at work from a different perspective.
Hobbies Remind You There Is More To Life Than Medicine
As much as I enjoy radiology and medicine, most of us need time apart from the field so that we can go back to it with a fresh eye. Working on outside projects enables you to accomplish just that. It could be a musical ensemble or a trip to a third-world country. Whatever the case may be, you enhance your enthusiasm for your career when you return to work.
Enlarging Your Familiar Circle
Pursuing hobbies outside the field of medicine can allow the added benefit of meeting other people that think and operate differently from yourself. It is a way to expand your inner circle and make new friends. It’s effortless to stagnate and drift inward as a radiologist, especially for those radiologists that tend not to see as many patients. Hobbies can keep you socially active and engaged.
Keeping Your Brain Active
Radiology can indeed be an intellectual pursuit. But, focusing on anything too much can cause a lack of stimulation. When you branch outside of radiology and medicine, it can keep you more excited about learning and reading. And, this is not just about your hobby, but rather anything else that you pursue, including radiology!
Allows You To Eventually Transition To A Semi-Retirement Or Retirement That You Enjoy
This concept may seem a long way off. But, hobbies you establish today will allow you to do other things the day you decide to partially or entirely retire. Few radiologists can work forever (although I do know a few!) Nevertheless, starting some hobby that you love today is more than a fling. It can become a lifelong mission that you can look forward to in your later days.
Hobbies- More Than Just A Fling!
You may think that hobbies should be the last item on your mind when your days are so busy as a trainee. But, starting a hobby now or continuing with projects from your past should become mission-critical. The best radiologists are happy outside the field the medicine as well. So, don’t forget to pursue other hobbies and projects that you enjoy. It will enhance your career and make you more excited about the day-to-day work!