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Physician-Led Bluegrass Band Lifts Spirits

Hobbies can help physicians avoid burnout. Dr. Parker and the Druid Hills Billys play crowd favorites.

For an afternoon in August 2016, the joyful sounds of a bluegrass trio filled the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital lobby. Paul Parker, MD, a Pediatric Surgeon at Children's, strummed and plucked his banjo as he led his band, The Druid Hills Billys, through a program of crowd favorites, such as “She’ll Be Coming ’Round the Mountain,” “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and other classic country tunes.

More than 200 patients, families, employees and physicians from all corners of the hospital came to watch, dance and enjoy the concert. The festivities also included healthy snacks, including farm fresh veggies with dip and popcorn, and activities such as a country-themed coloring station and a photo booth.

For Dr. Parker, playing the banjo is a beloved hobby and a prime example of how he actively works to avoid physician burnout. Not only does sharing his musical talents with patients and families lift spirits and enliven the hospital—it helps him maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Studies have shown that there is a positive association between leisure activity and cognitive ability. What do you do in your leisure time? Tell us about your favorite hobbies and how they help you avoid burnout.

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