It was William Osler who advised doctors to come out of their shells and do something different than what they do in their professions. This may mean even reading the railway almanac!. This great physician gave this advice more than a century ago and this holds good even to day. I find my doctor friends immersed in work that they find it hard to find time to do anything else. But are they all really that busy? and then why must they do anything else? Is doctoring not enough fulfillment?
Valid questions. To answer these, firstly, one can always find time if one knows how to manage it. Most GPs I know work hours till late in the night and have their afternoon hours free when they either do personal work or sleep. Many also wake up late in the morning. Most don't exercise. Lack of other activities leaves them fairly ignorant of the world around them and as most illnesses have some socio psychological relationship, their lack of knowledge leaves them often unprepared to face patients and their problems. This also makes them that much less interesting as people.
Reading as advised by Osler is an excellent way to spend one's time. Judicious selection of what you read also makes you [if you are inclined to be one] a better human being. There is also a great variety to choose from. There is biography, travelogue. fiction, detective stories, crime, history, philosophy, short stories and the like to suit all tastes.
I began reading Robertson Davies's works five years back thanks to one of my friend's recommendation.His world is principally urban Canada set in the middle and later 20th century. He wrote several novels and presently I am reading ' The lyre of Orpheus' the last book in a triology. The others are Rebel Angels and What is Bred in the Bone. Another book of his I liked is called the Cunning man. It tells the story of an unusual physician whose methods at arriving at a diagnosis were unconventional. It is an interesting read