5 great vacations for physicians

By Liz Meszaros, MDLinx
Published October 11, 2018

Key Takeaways

Considering a well-deserved vacation? Whether you're an adventure addict, animal lover, foodie, or have another love, MDLinx has some suggestions from both warm and cold climes to make the most of your valuable time off.

For the adventure addict

If you're a modern explorer, consider a remote wilderness adventure. The 13-day Antarctic Peninsula Adventure Cruise offered by Ice Axe Expeditions next November journeys to the Antarctic Peninsula on a ship with just two decks, enough cabins for only 132 guests. Snowshoe with penguins, kayak with whales, and trek, ski, or snowboard on the backcountry peaks. Certified guides are available, as well as a Zodiac boat for daily travel back and forth from the shores.

The captain will navigate your ship past Cape Horn, across the Drake Passage, and along the Antarctic Peninsula. Daily shore landings, lectures, and Zodiac excursions will be provided for the active engagement of the biology, geology, history, and politics of this southernmost continent. Cruises run from $10,995 per person.

Animal lovers take heed

For nature lovers, National Geographic Expeditions offers its "Kenya: Up Close with Elephants, Rhinos, and Big Cats" trip, starting late March through mid-October 2019. Inspired by National Geographic-sponsored efforts to save Kenya's wildlife, this voyage includes safaris to three African wildlife conservancies: Amboseli National Park, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and Masai Mara National Reserve.

The expedition begins in Nairobi, followed by a first stop at the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, home of the longest study of wild elephants in the world. Travelers will also visit a Samburu village, to learn about the culture and conservation efforts in the area. Accommodations will consist of tented camps, and all meals will be provided.

On the Masai Mara, home of the largest concentrations of predators in Africa, drink in the sights of large pods of hippos and crocodiles in the Mara River, as well as herds of zebras and wildebeests scattered across the rolling grasslands. Then try your hand at tracking white and black rhinos and African wild dogs through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Travelers will also have chances to interact with researchers, biologists, and conservationists who deal with poaching and habitat loss in East Africa.

An outdoor CME vacation?

For multitasking physicians, combining CME opportunities with your time off may sound like the perfect vacation, and Wild Med Adventures has two upcoming trips that could fit the bill. The first is a NY Fishing CME Adventure, October 21-25, 2018. The expedition will entail a 4-night salmon fishing CME course in upstate NY, geared around providing education on the medical treatment/prevention for outdoorsmen, and exploring the possible injuries and accidents that may occur while hunting and fishing.

Participants will complete their core curriculum for this certification course while fishing on the Salmon River. The expedition will include 2 days of drift boat fishing, optional fly fishing, and 13 hours of CME lectures/workshops.

The second trip is the South Dakota Pheasant Hunt CME, November 5-9. The course will be held at Rooster Ridge, SD, and is also based on medical care for hunters and possible injuries and accidents encountered while hunting. The trip will entail 3 days of hunting, sporting clays, and 11.5 hours of CME lectures/workshops.

These expeditions may fit the bill for travel enthusiasts, climbers, hikers, EMTs, nurses, and doctors desiring to learn more about medical treatment in austere environments.

Participants of both expeditions will earn credits toward a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) through the Wilderness Medicine Society.

For the health and wellness buff

The health and wellness resort at Canyon Ranch in the Santa Catalina Mountains of Tucson, AZ, offers the ultimate spa vacation for stressed physicians, and others. Focused on exercise, healthy eating, thinking, and relaxing, the Ranch offers a selection of wellness programs that can be geared to what you want from a vacation—to relax, be active, become more mentally focused and aware, or all of the above.

The ranch has experts in medicine, exercise physiology, nutrition, life management, spirituality, and other wellness specialties. Fitness programs include aquatic experiences, exercise and movement, and outdoor sports. Wellness programs include medical, life management, nutrition and food, and spiritual wellness courses. Spa care includes skin, salon, and massage and bodywork.

Offerings include the Life Enhancement Program and the Weight Loss Program. Both 7-day programs are focused on creating your best life, with a concentration on achieving optimal health through transformative wellness or an individualized weight-loss plan.

Canyon Ranch is all-inclusive and has over 35 daily activities, from yoga to high-intensity interval training. Creative arts classes and wellness presentations are also available.

Calling all food lovers

For those who long for picturesque locales, relaxation, and good food, Sifnos, Greece, may be the perfect vacation spot for the health—and healthy diet—conscious. At only 9x5 miles long, this tiny Greek island is part of The Cyclades, and only a short 3-hour ride via high-speed ferry (5 hours on a regular ferry) from Athens.

Long known for its cuisine, which is cooked in its famous ceramic pots, Sifnos is the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and indulge in, perhaps, some of the best food in the world. Greece is one of the homes to the world-famous Mediterranean diet. High in monounsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamin C, and polyphenols, as well as other vitamins and minerals, the typical Greek diet's fat content is around 40%.

Sifnos is set against the backdrop of the cerulean, shimmering waters of the Aegean Sea. The white buildings, rocky hillsides, 62 miles of hiking trails, sandy beaches, and coves make it stunning in its simplicity.

But maybe it's the cuisine that sets Sifnos apart? Known as the cradle of Greek cooking, Sifnos has graced the world with many famous chefs, including Nikólaos Tselementés. Local specialties include revithada (chickpea soup), cooked overnight over charcoal, and mastello (slow-cooked goat). Delicious desserts to sample include bourekia—delicious almond, cinnamon, and honey pastries—loukoumia (Turkish delight), and spanakopita, a Greek staple.

And of course, on a Greek island, healthy fish dishes are plentiful. Octopus and grilled fish are guaranteed to be fresh and delicious, right from the sea.

For those inspired to take healthy cooking home, Verina Hotels offers culinary classes twice daily, where you will collect the fresh produce you will use to cook an authentic Sifnos meal over a glass of local dry white wine or sweet sun-dried red wine.

So however you decided to spend your hard-earned time off, make it an amazing trip that matches your own, personal idea of fun and relaxation. The options are endless!

MDLinx neither promotes nor receives payment from any organizations, hotels, resorts, or cruise lines mentioned. Please confirm with them directly for trip availability, costs, and details.

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