Three Reasons Medical Students Need Hobbies

September 8, 2019


Considering medical school? If so, you may already have resigned yourself to the notion you’ll have to leave your hobbies behind in favor of hitting the books 24/7. That’s a bad idea. In fact, success in your studies may well depend, in part, on how passionately you also pursue outside interests.  Here’s why:

  1. Your passions are revealing: Ideally, by the time you arrive for your admissions interview, medical school admissions interviewers have read your personal statements and essays and given your CV a thorough going over. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. So, when asked about your interests outside medical school (be assured you will) you’ve got a prime opportunity to show your interviewers the real you. That’s important because the passions you choose and the way you pursue them can tell a lot about your character, personality and work ethic. Plus you’ve got a chance to demonstrate your communications skills in describing something your interviewers may be unfamiliar with, particularly if your hobby is an unusual one.
  2. Balance is key: Make no mistake – medical school is tough and the practice of medicine is no cakewalk either. Throughout your studies and your medical career, finding a work-life balance will prove critical to your own health and, ultimately, to that of your patients. That’s why balance and the ability to effectively manage stress is becoming increasingly important in the medical and medical education communities. Because they provide a mental, emotional and physical break from the day-to-day grind, hobbies are a top form of stress management and a great way to avoid burnout.
  3. Hobbies help you choose: If you have the luxury of choosing where you’ll attend medical school, commitment to a particular passion may help you make the right choice. Love surfing? A school near the coast will be ideal. Snow skiing? Look to the north for a school near the slopes.

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