The Surf Doc

June 2017
Written By: 
Harold Rohrback

Promoting water safety is a mission for Dr. Peter Chambers

It is hard to determine whether Dr. Peter Chambers, aka SurfDoc, is a surfer who practices medicine for a living or a doctor who loves to surf. Either way, he embodies the spirit of the movie that inspired him as a young boy growing up in Southern California.

Endless Summer promotes the idea that with enough time and money a person can follow the summer and their passion around the world, making it endless. Chambers continues to do all that and more while keeping his home base on the Grand Strand.

It is impossible to narrow his passion down to a single area, but all of his endeavors involve helping people. As a physician, he has worked as a trauma/ER surgeon around the country. When he took a job with Little River Medical Center in November of 2012, he fell in love with the Cherry Grove community and refers to it as “one of the best beaches in the country.”

This is coming from a person who grew up in Santa Monica, California, and never lived more than a few miles from the ocean. In addition, he has served four deployments as an Air Force flight surgeon in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Africa.

Chambers also managed to travel the globe serving as team physician for the U.S. Olympic National Swim Team, all the while promoting beach/water safety and getting in some surfing when he could.

PHOTO: Dr. Peter Chambers has been instrumental in establishing the North Myrtle Beach Lifeguard Foundation and in February he was honored by the City of North Myrtle Beach for his support of the city’s ocean lifeguard program.

Locally, he now works closely with the North Myrtle Beach Ocean Rescue, sharing his expertise as a lifelong lifeguard and physician. That is, when he’s not seeing patients at his office on Main Street.

In February he was recognized by the City of North Myrtle Beach for his support of the city’s ocean lifeguard program. His laid-back demeanor and ever-present smile lets you know he is equally comfortable in a Hawaiian shirt as he is in scrubs. He has a special place in his heart for making drowning preventable and has spearheaded several ventures locally to help make this a reality.

He was instrumental in establishing the North Myrtle Beach Lifeguard Foundation, a non-profit promoting swim lessons and water safety. Grand Strand lifeguards perform more than 400 water rescues a year, with children often the victims. To address the issue, he is working on a children’s book written at the grade school level to educate and promote child water safety, which he intends to title Your Friend the Lifeguard.

Even though he is board-certified in family medicine with ER specialty, his passion for open water safety and helping people is drawing him to spend more time on the beach and less in the ER.