“There’s wind today. We haven’t had such wind since November! It’s time to go kite surfing.”
The family doctor I am shadowing casually comments on the weather as she browses the weather report for kite surfers. She showed me a live feed of the Mediterranean Sea with solid waves crashing along the shore and kite surfers popping in and out of the screen.
“It’s not optimal wind but it’ll do. It’s too strong so it’ll be more difficult. My kite is too big for this wind, if I had a smaller one…”
A patient walks in. She’s a young basketball player whose recent blood test showed microcytic anemia. They talk in Hebrew as I try to pick out words and phrases I can understand, something about feeling weak and having a headache. The doctor briefly explains that her period is regular but heavy. She is already on iron supplements because she had low hemoglobin in her previous blood test. The doctor says that she wants another blood test for ferritin and further evaluation of anemia. The patient leaves with a doctor’s note.
“I have to go lecture at 4 but I think I can switch with the physiotherapist who’s lecturing after me at 6. Wait here.”
She comes back with a big smile.
“Great, I’m off to the sea. I’ll see you guys in the morning?”
She used to be an athlete, almost made it to the Olympics but suffered a back injury. Since the injury, she’s turned her life to medicine but hasn’t abandoned her love for sports. She is a family physician with a focus on sports medicine. She works part time in a clinic near her town and part time at the national sport institute. When she’s not working, she pursues her hobbies that include kite surfing, horseback riding, orienteering, and hiking. Family medicine seems to allow the flexibility to accommodate her active lifestyle. She can shuffle her schedule around the weather so that she can go kite surfing. Tomorrow she’ll probably ask the nurse for an extra half hour in the morning to go on a mini-hike for fresh air.