5 November 2007

Hobbies - The Ocker Doc

Have you got any? I don't really have one. I've dabbled in a number but none have stuck with me through the years. Black & white photography, pottery, screen printing, the list goes on.

What happened? I went to medical school! Until that point I had the time to devote to hobby. Up to that point I had a life!

Medical school is very similar to other university courses, except for one thing. The breadth of work to be covered is much greater. The corollary is lack of time - it takes a lot and most of that is spent reading.

So you spend 5 years (didn't do my medical degree in NZ!) reading Anatomy, reading Pathology, reading Physiology, and just when you decide to do something for a change - you read Pharmacology or Oncology or Psychiatry or Surgery or Obstetrics or Clinical Endocrinology …. get the picture? As my old Dad used to say, there are more subjects than you can poke a forked stick at! And each topic has its own remnant of the Latin language and characteristic names to be learnt. You pick up useful titbits of information such as the fact that Hansen's disease is tuberculosis and is caused by a nasty bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculi - great for a trivia contest??!!

This is a pleasant walk down memory lane, but what does this have to do with hobbies? Medical school is the start of a lifestyle. Internship, residency and specialist training all require lots of reading. And then one day you are finished and have successfully passed your examinations. What most of us fail to realise is that by this stage we have a hobby. A major hobby.

Its called reading medical literature. And it gets in the way of life and other hobbies. This is one of the problems with a doctor's view and experience of the world.

After exiting from the training situation, I have made a conscious effort to find some hobbies for myself that will carry me to and through retirement. I haven't been very successful yet.

I have been thinking about some hobbies. When younger, I derived a lot of enjoyment from motorcycle riding. Thoughts about finding a similar machine to restore have been creeping in. I can just imagine what my wife will say when she finds out. I know what my boys will say!