When they’re not hard at work, or enjoying coffee and a muffin, you can find them in the water with any one of their various surf crafts. Although they are self-proclaimed ‘kooks on longboards’, when we caught up with them for an evening of kitesurfing we were seriously impressed.
Go to coffee order:
Depending on our mood either a double shot flat white or a cold brew.
What makes Noosa feel like home?
It has the perfect balance. It feels like having the best of both worlds. We find it very special to have stunning nature around us and the sea at our doorstep. We love the warm, straightforward and open-minded spirit of so many people we have met here.
What does community feel like to you?
Kind and welcoming, friendly yet not superficial, positive yet not naïve. Here in Noosa most people seem to be perfectly aware of how special this place is, authentically expressing their gratitude to be living here.
How have your careers as doctors evolved over the years?
We are both MDs, having studied and worked in Europe and Africa. We specialised in emergency, sports and family medicine. After years in practices and hospitals we partnered with a Swiss company that has been working to perfect telemedicine for 20 years. Telemedicine in short can be imagined like a virtual doctors visit. Telemedicine can be one way to deliver good health care to more people at more times and in more places. Having moved to Noosa, we now take care of night shifts for European based clients during Australian daytime hours.
Tell us a bit about the non-profit you're involved in, Surfing Medicine International.
For the past 10 years, we have volunteered in the global non-profit Surfing Medicine International. It’s a project in which we can combine our passion for medicine and our love for the ocean. Its focuses on conducting research as well as shedding light onto a lot of (sometimes false) surfers’ health and treatment myths, educating the surf community, bringing surf health professionals together to exchange their knowledge and experience, and ultimately actively training health professional in relevant water sport rescue techniques and treatments.
We were inspired to get involved after having seen how many well intended yet often false treatments are shared, mostly out of unknowingness. So if the fix can be as simple as sharing knowledge, why wouldn't we?
What’s been the most important lesson for you as you develop Surfing Medicine International?
Growing a team of volunteers and keeping everyone motivated and thriving over 10 years in a non-profit organisation has emphasised what deep-down we all already know: it’s about a good culture within an organisation, how openly you share thoughts ideas, desires and fears alike. Giving each other safety, daring to show vulnerability, and giving our doing a purpose. Being straightforward while also being empathetic and understanding. When people work together as unpaid volunteers these values become highly important. And aren’t those just as important for every day encounters?
What is a typical day in your life like?
Getting up before sunrise, taking a few steps down to the beach for a surf, a run or just indulging in watching and listening to the ocean. Then grabbing a coffee, preparing breakfast and starting the work day. After work, we either go surfing or kiteboarding, depending on the winds.
Any words of wisdom for us?
Give, and it will be given to you.
How do you celebrate success?
More often than not we celebrate with great food, taking a trip and just enjoying moments with loved ones.
What’s next on the agenda for you?
Right now we’re focused on shaping Lan’s latest health related project together. It’s in the start-up phase and will be an online educational and community hub for intuitive health.
Connect with Mischa and Lan:
Instagram: @ml_stern / @anamurlan