Survey of Norwegian doctors` cultural activities

Nylenna M., Aasland OG, Falkum E. Lancet 1996; 348: 1692-4.

Article in English.

Abstract in PubMed:

BACKGROUND: During the past few decades the need for humanities in medical education has been increasingly emphasised. We sought to find out how doctors meet their cultural needs during their spare time, in comparison with other university graduates. We also aimed, in this Norwegian survey, to analyse differences between doctors according to various professional characteristics. METHODS: 1041 Norwegian doctors (71% of those approached) reported their cultural activities through a postal survey. Their replies were compared with those of 224 university graduates who had taken part in a similar survey by Statistics Norway in 1991. FINDINGS: The doctors spent less time than the other graduates on reading newspapers and watching television, though they were more musically active and 18% play at least one instrument regularly. No other differences were apparent. The more time doctors spent on medical reading, the more time they also devoted to non-medical reading. No systematic differences in cultural activity according to medical specialty were found, but women were more culturally active than men. INTERPRETATION: The high work-load and demands of medical practice do not limit doctors´ cultural life. Spare-time cultural activities among doctors seem to be determined more by personal than by professional characteristics.

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