Why you should get new friends

When picking friends, it’s human nature to gravitate to those who have similar interests. This can be particularly true in the medical field.

Because of the intensity of studying and working in the healthcare field, medical professionals sometimes only make friends with other medical professionals — which can be bad for a number of reasons. While it’s great to befriend your coworkers and people who get what healthcare is like, it’s important to have friends from all walks of life.

Here are a few reasons why you should get new friends.

1. They will help you avoid burnout.

If the only people you know all work in the same field, or even do the same job, chances are you’ll just “talk shop” all the time.

Having new friends outside of the medical field can push you to have more variety in your life, leading to a healthier balance of work and life. The medical field can be as intense as it is rewarding. Having a variety of friends with other interests can provide a much-needed outside perspective.

2. They are less likely to compete with you.

Healthy competition can be a positive thing among friends, but competitiveness can also lead to unhealthy atmospheres of trying to one-up each other.

If your circle of friends consists only of people who work in fields related to yours, the temptation to try to outdo one another can be irresistible for some. This can lead to negativity and isolation within a group. Friends outside of your work sphere can not only provide you a new perspective, but positive support without the threat of competition.

3. They will make you more interesting.

For medical professionals, it can be easy to think only about your career and put on blinders to everything else. ,This probably has some benefits to your work life, but it might also make you one-dimensional.

New friends can add variety to your life and provide you with a wider range of things to do, discuss and think about. Having interests outside of your career is healthy, and in addition to helping you avoid burning out, it also gives you a more well-rounded life in general.

So while you should definitely keep up with your work friends, it’s also important that you put yourself out there and make friends with someone who is in a different field — and has a different perspective — than you. You’ll be a better professional and person for it.