I briefly touched on this a couple days ago but wanted to pass along my sincere thanks for allowing me to be involved in this program. The hardest thing for me throughout my medical education has the feeling that I am being pulled away from the surfing lifestyle and community that I love so much. I have defined myself as a surfer since before I can remember but in the last year I felt aspects of that lifestyle drift away and found myself surrounded by an unfamiliar group of people with very different interests and goals. Being included in your program has not only given me the confidence that I will be able to maintain my life as a surfer throughout and after medical school but it has provided my with a insurmountable amount of pride to become a doctor. The feeling of providing care to surfers from all over the world was by far the most fulfilling thing I have done in the medical field to this point and it helped me bridge my passion and pride I carried from my career as a lifeguard toward my career as a doctor, a connection that had not previously been made. Although our interactions have been brief and limited, I feel like I finally found a group of people in medicine that I can completely relate to. After feeling alone in the medical field since the beginning of my education, I can’t tell you how inspiring it has been to be involved with a group of surfers who share both my love for the ocean and medicine. Everyone of you will serve as motivation for me in the coming years, probably more than you even know.
I realize that I am just getting started with my career in medicine and have some demanding years ahead but I would love nothing more than to remain involved in this group. I have a passion for medicine but that passion has been hugely amplified by combining it with my passion of surfing and the ocean. I know being involved with you guys in the years to come will serve as a constant motivation and reminder that these two lifestyles can be analogous and complimentary not exclusive, a notion that got me into medicine in the first place.
I was really taken aback by the need for the service we provide out at G-land and I would like to do all that I can to help the program out. For the last 8 years I was an officer of a non-profit group here in Santa Cruz that put on a local triathlon to raise funds in order to promote ocean safety and education. Each year they make financial and equipment donations to groups who promote a similar cause and I have written a letter to all of my friends on the board to see if they will support Surfing Doctors this year and hopefully in years to come. Not sure how much they can provide this year but they should be good for a few hundred and some solid equipment at the very least. I will keep you posted on how it turns out.
Thank you again for everything, it truly was one of the best trips of my life. I haven’t been this stoked on surfing in a long time and am more stoked on medicine than ever before. It makes me feel like a grom again! Please stay in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do for you guys or a way to stay involved even from the states. Take care and let me know if you guys find yourself on my side of the world anytime soon, I will show you guys some empty point breaks up in Oregon (bring your 5/4 gloves and booties though).