About Us

Our Story

surfing medicine

The Surfer’s Medical Association is an international non-profit organization made up of healthcare professionals who are also avid surfers. Our mission is to promote research, education, and training on the trauma and disease factors that affect surfers and to help all surfers stay healthy. We are also committed to community service, particularly in underdeveloped regions where surfing has a significant impact, and work to test and implement models of healthcare delivery.

The concept of surfing medicine was first coined in the mid-1980s by a group of doctors who were also passionate surfers. These pioneering individuals not only explored and surfed some of the most beautiful and challenging breaks in the South Pacific but also provided healthcare services to the local communities. Over the years, this idea grew and eventually led to the creation of the Surfer’s Medical Association. Our founding members, including some mentioned in the New York Times best seller Barbarian Days, have worked to give back to communities around the world, from Fiji and Mexico to Indonesia and the Caribbean.

Join us in our commitment to promoting surfer health and wellbeing by becoming a member of the SMA today.

SMA Board Members

The amazing team of surfers that make it all happen.

SMA Executives

  • Deric Weiss MD

    Deric Weiss, MD, FACP, is an internist and palliative medicine physician practicing in Wilmington, NC. He was afflicted with the surfing curse while living on Oahu in the 1980s. He is passionate about the SMA and proud to be the Executive Director since 2022. When not seeing patients you can find him happily wallowing in East Coast slop.


    Honorary Medical Director

    Academic Emergency Medicine, EMS/Austere Medicine doc at the University of Florida found all over Florida in various roles and around the globe. Long history of disaster and rescue response along with international culturally sensitive system and education development. Also published venomologist and medical director of Venom One and Venom 2 Venom Response Units and one of only four instructors in official Wilderness EMS Medical Directors Course.

Tribal Elder Kahuna Consultants


    Charter SMA member, Newly elected President of the AOA (American Osteopathic Association). Currently in CA.


    Founding member of SMA.
    Owned and operated the “Painless Partridge” dental clinic in Santa Cruz.
    SMA’s Surfing Ambassador and in the water enforcer.
    Surfed Big Mavericks close to his 70th birthday.
    Intimate knowledge of Fiji, the customs and how to run the village clinics.
    Google Rym Partridge for more info.


    Co-Founded Waves of Health and continues to run its Hawaii Sports medicine arm in conjunction with Straub Bone and Joint Center. Coordinates December Straub/SMA/Waves of Health Conference, Veteran of Tavarua, G-land, Galapagos, Doctor on site for (in)famous $1M NYC Pro, 7 Triple Crowns and coauthor of Surf Survival handbook, WSL consulting sports physician for Hawaii and Tahiti WCT events and has lectured for EASD in Portugal, Ireland and France.

Board Of Kahunas

  • Kat Chang

    Social Media Director

    Kat is keeping the Social Media hopping!

  • Alexandra Meyers, DO


    Alexandra Myers, DO, MSHS, FAOASM practices Family Medicine and Sports Medicine in San Diego, California. She is passionate about the outdoors and loves to surf, SUP, and ski.

  • Danielle Vinn

    Membership Director

    Danielle Vinn is a committed surfer from Southern California. While her career vocation is teaching Pre-school student with special needs, her personal vocation is her love of surfing. Danielle spends most weekends at the beaches of San Clemente, and on surf trips, surfing with her father, who has been a lifelong member and Big Kahuna of the SMA. Besides her work on SMA membership development, Danielle has helped coordinate the educational sessions at the SMA Mag Bay conference, and provides ongoing support to the SMA Executive Director and Board of Kahunas.


    Professor of Emergency at Brown Medical School. Co-author of Surf Survival: The Surfer’s Health Handbook, Editor of Surfing Medicine, the journal of the SMA. Great presenter and speaker about his travels and experiences.


    Board Member

    MPH, MD, Board certified physiatrist, Long Branch, NJ. Margie Donlon moved to the coast of New Jersey during medical residency to feed her wave addiction. She is a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, a year- round surfer and stand up paddleboarder, and mother to 5 year old Amalia (who shares her mother’s love of the ocean). She also completed the 25 mile S.E.A. paddle around Manhattan to raise money for autism, environmental groups, and Best Day Foundation.

SMA Liaisons

  • Melissa Oliver

    SMA Siargao Liaison

    Cardiovascular Perfusionist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. She received a degree in Circulation Technology from The Ohio State University before moving to the west coast. A volunteer for various medical missions since 2008, with a new passion to improve healthcare in Siargao Island, Philippines. Melissa is also the owner of Reel Medical Consulting in Santa Monica, which is her home break. She is originally from Maineville, Ohio and always planned to move back, but now the love of longboarding is preventing that from happening anytime soon.