DR NATASHA DOLE
I had the honor and privilege of joining Princess Cruises in mid June of 2015. My first contract was to Alaska and it was even better and more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. Alaska was always on my bucket list and I never ever thought that I would go there for a four month stint as a Ship Doctor. From day one, I was given the perfect opportunity to marry the two things that I love most – Emergency Medicine and traveling. Not only did I celebrate a milestone birthday amidst the most exquisite, breathtaking snow capped mountains and glaciers, but I also met people from all walks of life from different parts of the world. I have learnt numerous idiosyncrasies about various cultures and traditions, yet at the same time, I have made lifelong friends. Working as the doctor onboard is extremely hard work but I have yet to find a job as rewarding and mentally stimulating. I am deeply grateful that I get to treat the best ten minutes of every specialty in literally a few minutes. The adrenaline and the fast paced decision making is very difficult to describe in words but it is without a doubt, one of the best feelings. This process has carved me into a better doctor. My mind is stretched to new dimensions on a daily basis and each passing obstacle or challenge reminds me that there are endless possibilities, even in the middle of a turbulent ocean. In addition, this lifestyle has given me new insight into multiple aspects of my life. In just a few weeks, I will depart for the Bahamas and I cannot wait for what this new adventure will bring. I am literally counting down the days till I eagerly set sail on my dream job.
This quote by John Kennedy sums up my entire experience thus far:
“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”
“Words can hardly express just how amazing Dr Thomson (AMR) is. He helped me to get onto a cruise ship within 2 months, start to finish. His excellent guidance and advice was invaluable in the application process. He is always available, every step of the way, and I always knew what to expect. We all know time is of paramount importance and Dr Thomson is so efficient and friendly that you feel as though you have an advisor guiding you at all times. I would recommend him and AMR to anyone looking to become a cruise ship doctor!”