Physician Health

How physicians spend their time outside the exam room

Amy Farouk , Past News Editor

Free time isn’t something most doctors have in abundance. But when they’re not working, physicians of all ages engage in a variety of extra-curricular activities. A recent survey captures how most physicians spend their free time. How do you compare?


Physicians report being physically active at all ages, according to the 2014 Work/Life Profiles of Today’s Physician recently released by AMA Insurance. Top activities include:

  • About one-half of physicians under age 40 indicate they run or jog, the most-enjoyed activity for that age group.
  • Physicians aged 40 to 59 report enjoying running or jogging (36 percent), bicycling (35 percent) and camping or hiking (24 percent) most.
  • For physicians older than 60, about 50 percent said they walk to stay healthy.

Other top interests among physicians include golf, aerobics and cardio, skiing, tennis and fishing.

As for hobbies, a large percentage of physicians describe themselves as avid book readers:

  • More than one-half of physicians under age 40 say they read regularly.
  • Among physicians aged 40 to 59, 58 percent report avid reading as a hobby.
  • Regular reading is enjoyed by more than 64 percent of physicians in the 60 and above age group.

Other top hobbies reported include gardening, “DIY” home improvement and decorating, and playing musical instruments. Nearly 50 percent of physicians across all ages are interested in gourmet cooking.

Physicians are no strangers to the latest technology. More than one-quarter of physicians are interested in new technology, and a similar percentage own a Kindle e-book reader. Physicians younger than 40 are the most likely to use iTunes, but one-quarter of physicians over 60 use the application to download digital audio and video files as well.

Tell us: How do you spend your free time? Share your hobbies in a comment below or on the AMA Facebook page.