No, I am not the first surf doctor. And I am certainly not the best surf doctor. But there are not that many who are “working” as a surf doctor full-time right now that is why I have this blog…
If you are interested in surfing medicine first of all you should read the surfers health handbook SURF SURVIVAL by three legends of the field. Andrew Nathanson, Clayton Everlyne and Mark Renneker. It is good for medical professionals or interested surfers either like. The association of Sufing Medicine International (SMI) organizes regular courses to prepare doctors on how to give the best medical care possible on the beach. I can recommend these ASLS (Advanced Surfing Life Support) courses. I did the 2015 edition in Portugal and it was definitely worth the money and time. This is for doctors and other healthcare professionals. They are working on a program for interested surfers without a medical background. I will keep you updated on that.
There are a few organizations of surfing doctors and surfing medicine. Actually, it gets pretty confusing once you start to google. I guess, wherever there is surf people will start talking about surfing medicine. And surfers are no careless degafs and drug addicts. Surfers get involved everywhere around the globe. I got into surfing medicine through Surfing Medicine International (SMI). The SMI originated in Europe and just changed its name from Surfing Doctors Europe to SMI.
The Surfer’s Medical Association has been around for many years. They have regular conferences on Tavarua and the journal on surfing medicine is part of their work. The three authors of the book mentioned above are part of it.
When we spent two weeks in G-Land I was really happy that the Surfing Doctors have done amazing work there for many years. Their motto “in the right place at the right time” is very true. Just as G-Land delivers perfect barrels it also delivers work for traveling doctors in a reliable frequency.