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Healthgrades for Professionals10 Great Hobbies for Doctors

More Than Just Leisure, a Prescription for Well-Being

Physicians often find themselves engrossed in their professional responsibilities, leaving little time for hobbies. However, engaging in leisure activities can not only offer a much-needed break but also enhance various skills that are beneficial in medical practice. From gourmet cooking to golfing, hobbies can improve physical, emotional, and mental well-being, making you a better doctor and a happier person.

HCN Medical Memo
Hobbies are not just a way to unwind but also a means to enhance various skills that can be beneficial in medical practice. Whether it’s the creativity invoked by gourmet cooking or the fine motor skills honed by knitting, these activities offer a holistic approach to self-care. So, the next time you think you’re too busy for a hobby, remember that it could be just the prescription you need for a balanced life and a more empathetic approach to patient care.

Key Points:
  • Gourmet Cooking: It allows for creativity and offers a chance for important social interactions.
  • Knitting or Crocheting: Australian surgeon Rhea Liang found that crocheting helped her concentrate better. Needlework crafts can improve mood, enhance creativity, and even help prevent arthritis.
  • Stand-up or Improv Comedy: Improv comedy courses for clinicians aim to improve communication skills and patient interactions.
  • Making Art: Creative work reduces stress hormones and can improve fine motor skills.
  • Physical Activities: Activities like surfing, sailing, and jogging offer both physical and mental health benefits. According to a 2014 AMA survey, 36% of doctors engage in jogging.

A 2014 AMA Insurance survey found that 46% of physicians cited gourmet cooking as an outside-work activity they enjoyed.

Additional Points:
  • Playing an Instrument: Music-making enhances cognitive abilities and improves hand-eye coordination.
  • Writing: Narrative medicine courses in medical schools highlight the therapeutic benefits of writing.
  • Reading: A Yale University study found that people who read had a 20% lower risk of dying compared to non-readers.
  • Golfing: Surgeons have been found to be the best golfers among all physician specialties, possibly due to the sport’s demands on eye-hand coordination and precision.

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