Four weeks as “skärgårdsdoktorn” have come to an end. Just drove on to the ferry that will take me to the mainland. Spent an interesting, and sometimes frustrating time as the only doctor on Lurøy, the island where Signar grew up. And funny enough, the island that I paddled around about 11 years ago during a two week paddle vacation, long before we met.

“Skärgårdsdoktorn”, i.e. the island doctor, is an old television series from Sweden that was really popular many years ago. But island life still remains the same...

There is a big difference working as a doctor in the city/urban areas, and as a (lonely) doctor on an island far out on the coast of Helgeland in Northern Norway.

  • The distance - minimum driving time with the ambulance boat is 45 min to get here, and 50 min to get to the hospital. That is driving time on the sea alone, harbor to harbor. Neither the patients nor the hospital is in the harbor… There is no regular ambulance on the island, just a taxi…

  • The weather - the coast of Helgeland has experienced the worst weather during my four weeks that Signar’s aunt, that is 70+ years old and has lived here her whole life, can remember. There has been storm winds, hail and rain, more or less been continuously. Luckily, the ambulance boat is a steel fortress that can drive in seas that most other boats can not.

  • The population – compared to urban areas, the population in general out here is much tougher and don’t go to the doctor for nothing...

This all together make it a different and challenging job to be a doctor. But I like challenges :)

Lurøy kommune (municipality) consists of many islands, so some days a week I took the boat out to other islands, to “open up” the doctors office out there for the day. Private boat transfer door to door added an extra twist to the workday :)

I have learned a lot, pulled my hair many times, and smiled a lot with the great doctor secretaries & nurses that work here. And I have really gotten to know Signars family, staying with his mom the whole time, having a really nice time. Thank you Anny!

Now I’m driving north to Signar, the car full of climbing and skiing gear. We are on to new adventures… :)

Lurøyfjellet in winter gown - didn't last too long...

Alone, or lonely? Or solitude?

The life line to the mainland approaching the harbor

Big storm approaching from the Nordic Sea

Beautiful in between all the storms

Free time when not on call - mountain tour with Anny and Toya

Commuting to work...

The calm before one of the many storms...

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