Whoopee-do! You're a radiation oncology trainee! But what sort of a person are you?

Do you read books?

Do you walk in the bush, beach or mountains?

Do you have a hobby?

Why would I ask these foolish questions? Well, training for consultancy is like mountain climbing. You have to be focused, driven and well-trained, in fact the training can take up most of your life. But let's face it, once you are trained, it's a lot easier to keep to that level than to get there. So you work hard for your consultancy, pass ….. and then what?

If you regard your consultancy qualification as the pinnacle of your life, then I am sorry to say, but the next 30-50 years of practice is going to pass very slowly and you'll be bitter and twisted by the end. So we have to get you a life! You need to develop a hobby and during your training years we need to nurture and protect the hobby but deliberately assigning a little time to keep familiar, so that when you finish you can indulge more.

Its a reasonable question - what are my hobbies? Well, until I stepped out of clinical practice for 6 months, I didn't have one. I realised very quickly though that kids lunches, cooking and cleaning and walking to and from school won't fill a whole day. So I started to look around. I have two outflows for my creative juices - firstly writing as evidenced here, and elsewhere. During my earlier, all too busy practice, I found that writing 500 word stories helped me keep perspective on issues and remain over-productive. So I wrote and filed them in a blog. Whether writing is your thing or not, I encourage you to contribute to a literary log of your clinical adventure. If you are an extrovert, publish it on paper or on-line. If you are an introvert, keep it hidden like I did for 5-6 years.


Secondly, I deliberately fed a fascination with computers by getting involved in some PC building and Open Source software. Older PCs are very cheap to buy and cut your teeth on. My youngest daughter runs a pink computer - a dual Pentium 2 with 256+256+128MB RAM and a nVidia graphics card. It cost $20 and it has only the motherboard, power supply and processors from the original machine. All the rest was scavenged and the card was the most expensive at $50. It runs Ubuntu Linux 7.10 (a.k.a the Gutsy Gibbon), which is a Free and Open Source operating system which is FREE. Free of cost and free of EULA restrictions, …

… and I own the software, unlike other operating systems who maintain the belief that you are just borrowing it from them until they want more money. There are over 18,000 free software packages for you to use, read, alter, improve. Give it a try! My wife calls it "the girlfriend", but she agrees that this girlfriend is a lot less cost that the red Ferrari, and lot less trouble than a blonde, and keeps me more at home than a cold Fosters!

And then there is the family!

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