Medical Student Elective – Dr Erik Madsen

Medical Student Rotation at the Surfing Doctors clinic in G-land

I’m a medical student from the US in my fourth year going into Emergency Medicine. I’m very interested in global health and stumbled across the Surfing Doctors after a random google search. I got a hold of the founder Dr. Phil Chapman and he was super helpful in getting me set up to do a rotation. After getting everything approved by my school for me and a friend who is also going into emergency medicine, we made our way out to the Surfing Doctors Clinic in G-land this past October. My first day, I was able to catch the tail end of the annual conference and I got to meet medical professionals from all over the world, and even ran into a couple of docs that did residency back in Tampa. It was awesome getting to integrate into such a like-minded group.

On the first day, we were given the tour of the facility and shown the clinic. The clinic is small, but is well supplied and equipped to handle most complaints. During our time on the island we saw a few lacerations from those who ventured out on the low tide and had plenty of consults for other various infections, wound care, etc. Luckily we didn’t see any major traumas during our time out there, but heard plenty of stories of more serious accidents. It was cool just to talk to through some of the potential situations that could arise and discuss resource utilization and protocol for evacuating someone off the island either by sea or air.

No need to mention the waves. G-land speaks for itself. I’ll just say that we happened to catch the tail end of a swell, which was epic, but even after the place never dropped below head high.

I’m so glad I stumbled across this group and can’t wait to get more involved in the future.

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