Old Guard Medical Wisdom? Rest

From Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less:

Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield, for example, warned medical students that unless they cultivated other interests, “your specializing will expose you to an insidious disease that can shut you away from all but your occupational associates” and “imprison you in lonely solitude.” Penfield’s mentor, William Osler, warned that without care, “good men are ruined by success in practice,” and that “ever-increasing demands” can leave even the most curious person “worn out, yet not able to rest.” It was essential to develop “some intellectual pastime which may serve to keep you in touch with the world of art, of science, or of letters.”

These statements came from an era when residents literally lived in the hospital and Osler’s famous surgical colleague William Halstead’s work ethic was fueled by cocaine.

And even they thought it was important for doctors to be well-rounded, have hobbies, and get a life.

Honestly, I’m more interested in what you do for you than what boxes you’re just checking to impress me.

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