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Unqualified doctor available
Septic tank
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 11:59 AM
Joined: 02/11/2009
Posts: 79

Yachting enables people like me to peruse their dreams and secure professional level jobs without professional qualifications and I’ve always wanted to be a doctor. An opportunity to work as an unqualified doctor on a yacht excites me, because I am a good leaner and think I’d make a great doctor someday. All I need is a break and experience. Education takes too long, is expensive and it looks pretty easy to be a doctor. What do you think? Can I give myself a snappy job title and become an unqualified doctor on a yacht, or do you think I should go for a more conventional yachting job that does not require proper qualifications (captain, engineer, mate or chef). As a final note, I will work for free the first month and fly myself to the boat if you employ me.
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 2:12 PM
Joined: 12/05/2008
Posts: 8

"Education takes too long, is expensive and it looks pretty easy to be a doctor."

Is this a joke?

If not, you need a serious reality check! After you've made it as Doctor, Captain and Engineer, why not try and persue a career as an Astronaut while your at it... that looks pretty easy too.

G. Threepwood
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 2:29 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 28

Slim chances my friend! Entry level for doctorhood in the yachting world nowadays seems to be STCW basic safety at sea course. With 5 days of training you have increased your chances of obtaining a junior physicians post on board. If you want to be a "proper" doctor in yachting, you most take some UK/red ensign accredited course consisting of week modules to qualify. Of course your license will not give you the opportunity to treat/operate on civilians, but charter guests (max 12 in one go) is fair game, if you have a commercially endorsed yachting doctors ticket. Of course you need sea time to reach yacht doctor. First hurdle is to get the 200 mg ticket approved by PYDA (Professional Yacht Doctors Association, doctor 200mg of vicodin limitation), then with a week or so of training you will be up for 500mg ticket. The pinnacle of yacht doctor licenses is the 3000 mg ticket endorsed by the MCA (Medical Conartists Association). Now you are ready to perform open heart surgery (still only on max 12 charter guests in one go). But I recommend a bit of hawsepiping. Do your sore throats, head aches and athletes foot before stepping up. Experience speaks volumes. Nobody likes a young upstart doc with a 3000mg license with minimal experience of threating charter guests. The white boat clientelle is very different from civilians and therefore a different ball game. If you are an MD from the commercial world, forget it. You wouldn't have the faintest idea of what makes a yachting hospital click! Good luck with med school (yacht)!
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 2:36 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

Seppo, I share your passion. I have found that sleeping crew make willing surgical subjects if you drop a couple of Ruffies in their beer. It does require some education, but you can buy used copies of Grey's Anatomy and other medical school texts for less than $200. I'm working on neurosurgery right now, it's class 5 of my mail order doctors diploma course. I'm still waiting on my deckhand to wake up, it's been 5 days now, but Dr Zimbuto, my professor from the University of Lagos Medical School says that is normal after removing a cerebral cortex. Last class was better though, it was abdominal surgery and you get to sell organs on the black market during that class. You are right, this stuff is really easy and it's fun. All you needis a bunch of plastic sheeting to keep the blood off the carpet, a sharp knife, a Makita 3 tool kit with the flashlight, drill and reciprocating saw, and you're good to go. Oh yeah, I found a propane torch handy to stop the bleeding, and a shop vac helps you be able to see.

G. Threepwood
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 3:07 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 28

Why won't the MCA recognize my Aussie yacht doctors license? I have treated patients in Australian coastal waters for 7 years. I hardly think that any UK yacht doctor has ever been up to their a.... es in croc mauled guests! The aussie yachtdoctor 200mg is much harder to train for, a much better license. When I came to the Med looking for a physicians position the crew agents told me to get a UK license. When I applied for a CeC, they said that AMSA (Aussie Medical Shams Agency) doctor license is not on the "brown list" even though it is STCW accredited. They told me to get a commercial MD or start all over with yacht doctor 200 mg. What a waste of money and time (in total 7 weeks).
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 5:32 PM
The hypocrisy of "Professional Yachting" and counter intuitive outcomes achieved by the MCA are hilarious indeed. A real doctor can’t be a doctor on a MCA yacht, but a few short courses can enable a greenhorn to be the vessels medical officer. Yachting’s evolving paradigm should achieve equilibrium by 2020 when the connection between education, training, experience and accountability are synchronized and the intent of the STCW95 is aligned with reality. Today the benchmark standards are fickle and fail miserably when correctly certified people fall outside the narrow bandwidth that the MCA have calibrated the recognition of prior learning system (RPL) and don’t incorporate a valid system of allowable adjustments that enable people confirm their competence. Don’t you think its ridiculous absolutely unqualified people can operate "PRIVATE YACHTS", yet everyone on a "COMMERCIAL YACHT" needs a MCA CoC or COE even if zero audits are done to confirm that the crew list and the manning document are in alignment. Any wonder greenhorns come in their droves to work on yachts, because it’s the wild west with a governing body that is trying to justify its existence, steering away from the IMO’s STCW95 directives (standards of training and watch keeping 1995 as revised from 1978). If we need qualifications make them truly international, make an effort to recognize qualified professionals from other nations and ENFORCE the bloody MANNING TABLE so we can at least achieve the minimum competency standards. English is not the only language in the world and my fellow yachtsmen you’d better start learning Cantonese, Mandarin and Indian if you wish to remain gainfully employed in yachting when the next boom time arrives. Vested interests, bureaucracy and a shear lack of accountability prevent yachting achieving its full potential.
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2010 8:20 AM
I'm a young SA. I have done my STCW in Durban. Got about 6000 rands to spend job hunting. I'm looking to get into the yacht doctor business. Although I have very little to show for in the medical field as far as formal qualifications go, I grew up among sick people, and have been attending old decrepit family members since I was 6. Should I go to Antibes or perhaps Palma? I'm willing to daywork and boat calls!
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2010 8:37 AM
The ILO is cracking down on the YI, and by 2012 all new yachts with more than 18 crew members needs to have a dedicated ships hospital, or sick bay if you like. Seems like you picked the right career choice, young man! The most important thing is to remember that it is not a life in luxury, but hard work. A "can do/can treat" attitude will offset lack of formal training.
Posted: Friday, May 7, 2010 8:40 AM
I would recommend going to FL in sept. Cheaper crew houses and a lot more charter guests with heart conditions!
Posted: Saturday, May 8, 2010 12:23 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96

Yes, yes, yes, those with a piece of paper want to slag of those that don't & vice versa, personally I'd rather have a good vet on board, they don't have to worry about being sued if they don't order the Capt. to return to port when somebody gets seasick. Lets face it you can be an excellent Mariner/navigator/meteorologist/manager (=Capt.) with or without a licence just as you can be totally useless with one.

Posted: Saturday, May 8, 2010 3:24 PM
Joined: 17/06/2008
Posts: 70

The qualification issue always draws attention. I think people miss the fundamental purpose of education, training and the true benefits of real life experience. Before I completed my apprenticeship I thought I knew everything, when I’d actually completed my apprenticeship I very quickly discovered what I needed to know and precisely how difficult a job can get if your ego exceeds ability. The uncomfortable lessons of life mature newbie’s very fast and the sink or swim world we live in does not suffer fools for very long. You can either do the job or you can’t, qualified or not!!! Education is really just a formalized version of experience that guides you towards a specific outcome. Attaining a qualification gives a person the right to perfect their craft and build expertise. A qualification is a starting point and the minimum standard of knowledge and skills required to perform a specific job. A qualification does not guarantee a person is competent. If you naturally good at a job, go get qualified and become even better, if your qualified but terrible on the job I’d recommend a new career. At the end of the day it all boils down to accountability, insurance and money. I am qualified and never struggled to find work, can unqualified people say the same???????
Posted: Saturday, May 8, 2010 7:02 PM
It is quite possible that someone with a license is useless. However, without one you are by default and definition useless. Without one you can't run a boat legally nor morally, now matter how salty/yachtie you are. The MCA runs two separate schemes, merchant and yacht, where the latter is the low fat, margarine, erzats, nutrasweet version. The yacht industry is flooded with the margarine captains and maritime hacks. In any other business and academic field there would be an outrage.
Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 8:19 PM
"Yachting enables people like me to peruse their dreams and secure professional level jobs without professional qualifications"

This attidude sums up the industry today and why a large sector is completely lacking in proffesionalism.

The super yacht industry provides the worlds richest people with the highest level of service possible. It is not a place for a bunch of Cowboys to make a quick buck. As a result of this ethos and dreamy aspirations, it is unfortunately becoming more common to see:
  • inexeperienced and/or under qualified crew in roles they shouldn't be in
  • accidents occuring, which shouldn't
  • crew getting pissed on aft decks and in jacuzzis, and using the yacht as if they own it!!!
  • inexperienced crew demanding huge wages and benefits
Please remember that none of us would be employed if it weren't for the Owners! And I seem to think that a lot of crew don't realise that Owners and Guests have the same access to the media as we (crew) do! It's also not uncommon for Owners and Guests to walk along the dock and witness crew taking advantage of the asset which they are getting paid large amounts of money to look after!!! 

As for a trainee Doctor on a Super Yacht... I have often experienced guests bringing their own fully trained Doctors onboar, usually with a lifetimes experience - they (and their insurance companies) don't want your grubby, unqualified hands touching them!

Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 3:53 AM
In reply to: Anonymous Post: 10 May 2010 20:19 Thank you for your understanding of some of the issues that plague some owners. Most of the subjects you brought up in your post have bothered me for some time. And it is because of these that I’m dropping down from 40 meters to something between 25-30 meters. A lot of the fun of cruising has turned into to many headaches. Sorry for posting anonymous, I hope you understand. PS: The theme of this thread was, I feel was meant in jest and as a pun. It was an entertaining read, as are others. I didn't mean to hijack it for some whining. I'm here because I want to know some of the issues that bother crew so that maybe I can help and or not be a cause.
Septic tank
Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 6:34 AM
Joined: 02/11/2009
Posts: 79

Our season has kicked off and it's full speed ahead for the next four months. The season for other yachts is still to come and a regular conversation point is what other crew do during slow times??? They smoke out on deck, amble around chatting and playing loud music and allow the boat to look grubby and unsecured. In the evening taxis arrive, drinking begins and the party continues till your unable to walk straight. Our owner loves watching drunk crew stagger back to the boat and fumble around all day, I guess that's why he calls everyday and asks what we are doing when he is not inboard.
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