Session 34 – Where to Practice: Hobbies and Interests – Podcast

Session 34 – Where to Practice: Hobbies and Interests

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Show Notes

Podcast 34 – What You Care About Matters – Hobbies and Interests in Selection of Sites for Practice

Hello, this is Scott McDonald and welcome to the Perfect Place to Put a Practice Podcast.

In the last session, we discussed how your family and social situation will influence where you should consider practicing.  In this session, we are doing to deal with hobbies and interest and how they can help determine acceptable and unacceptable places to practice in ANY Profession.  Once again, based upon our years of experience in helping people find a desirable place to practice, we have found that if the doctor is happy with their entire experience, they will be inclined to stay committed to the practice area.  This is actually more important than many professionals think.  If we assume that a doctor take the long-view of staying in a given area, he or she is far more likely to do those other activities that will make them a true part of the community.  However, there is a danger that many doctors get the idea that their real purpose in being in a location is to eat-out, go to the theater, enjoy skiing, or hiking to the exclusion of getting to know other people in the area.  Sure, we want them to love the area in which they live but their hobbies and interests SHOULD be a conduit to meeting people and making them a part of their lives.  They should not be an escape from them.  There may be three great country clubs in the vicinity of the practice (assuming the doctor is a golf-enthusiast) but this should be seen as a way to meet like-minded individuals rather than spending every free moment on the links.

Yes, yes, I am fully aware that most of you have not considered the impact of your hobbies and interests are in where you put a practice as a way to build your patient-base.  The truth is, the difference between loving and hating a practice location is often summed up by whether a practice area (or region in which you practice) will have a strong impact upon your quality of life.

If you feel strongly about theater, a professional sports team, university teaching opportunities, hiking, skiing, hunting, surfing or horses, or ANY hobby you believe is important, location will have an impact upon your happiness. It is assumed that this will be shared by your spouse or significant other.  Must your practice be located on “restaurant row” or on the slopes? Of course not! But having restaurants, slopes or stables accessible to you MAY matter a great deal.  It may not be so important the first year or two in practice but we have seen a large number of doctors who become unhappy with their location and come to us asking for help to “find something they have lost.”

But be warned, when a family is at cross purposes in the type of community in which they want to live and to practice, either the situation will result in an unhappy partnership or there will be pressure to change.  As mentioned above, one of the best aspects of choosing a type of place that will appeal to everyone upon whom the decision is made is longevity in the site.  This is a good thing for the practice.  Moving from community to community is definitely a bad thing. 

We will deal a little with this in the next session (entitled social structure and experience) but let me preview it now.  We live in complex times in which to build a family.  Therefore, accessibility to one’s children who could be living with a former spouse will tend to trump the “hobbies and interest” as a goal of locating the ideal practice situation.  As I mentioned, we will discuss this in more detail in the next session.

Back to the point regarding hobbies and interests, I want to reiterate that these are just one of the factors in choosing where to go.  They are not necessarily the most important.  But as we consult with young professionals, we want them to think for a while about what kind of area will make them happy.

While it may not sound like it is a part of one’s hobbies, the weather often has a profound influence upon what makes a good place to locate.  It will, in fact, influence what you CAN do.  We hear a great deal from professionals who work in the “snow belt” of the United States that if they have to go through another winter, they are going to take a hostage.  Many others loathe the humidity found in some parts of the country.  Still others cannot stand the nearly constant rain found in the northwest. 

We are not saying that there is one weather situation that is good while another is bad.  More often than not, what you are looking for is something that you are accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. 

This is Scott McDonald.  Thank you for listening to the Perfect Place to Put a Practice Podcast.  Look us up at And don’t forget to like us on Facebook.