My elective at G-Land started in the early season when the trade winds had not fully kicked in. This meant the camp wasn’t heaving but there was still some solid swell around and so we scored plenty of fun sessions out front to ourselves – especially the morning and evening glass offs.
The resident doctor I was with was Dr. Dennis Millard. On the medicine side of things, we didn’t go through as much betadine and sutures compared to when it’s pumping. Common presentations included: urchin spine removal, infected reef cuts and reef rash, otitis externa and a new diagnosis of surfer’s ear. An interesting case was a local man who woke up with reduced vision and redness in one eye, a unilateral headache as well as knee and back pain. The headache and joint pain subsided but his vision was worsening. Worried about the possibility of a glaucoma, he was referred to the local hospital. As the first Surf Docs of the season, we also completed an inventory of the stock in the clinic so that a track can be kept of what needs replenishing.
I couldn’t have asked for a better elective and cannot recommend it highly enough. Being able to help people out who otherwise would have to leave G-Land – and possibly Java – to receive medical care, felt very rewarding. Staying in the jungle, surfing with just a few mates (and occasional turtles and white tip sharks), fending off monkeys at meal times, great food, inventive gecko attachment and games of Sambal Pong made the whole experience awesome from start to finish.
Big thanks to Dr. Frother for showing me the ropes and for keeping the froth going! Thanks to Dr. Chapman as well for organising the placement and to Ray, Alim, Eben and all the guys at G-Land Surf Camp for an epic stay. I’ll definitely be back for the conference in the future.
I also plan to get as much ED experience as possible and come back to work as the resident doctor when I can. They rest of my trip includes Sumbawa, Nias and the Mentawis so after some more waves I’m looking forward to hitting G-Land again in the peak season.
Signing off from the jungle,