From Burnout to Transformational Hero

With thirty-eight years of family and geriatric medicine and more than 800,000 patient visits you’d think I’d be tired. I’m not. I’m angry about burnout and it’s grasp on the lives I care for and coach.

For me, Dr. Don Kennedy, practicing medicine is not about handing out pills, it’s about healing and insuring every person, no matter their profession, has a chance to discover and live a bliss-filled meaningful life.

I’ve always been the surfer-doctor who never gives up hope that in one moment something I teach will motivate someone like you to take that single action to make their life healthier and happier. It works. I’m not tired. You don’t have to be.

What drives you and I is that ever evasive search for the one purpose that lights our days and fills the nights with sweet dreams of possibility. Not of what we can own, but of what we can be.

I am a healer, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, motivator, and I never give up on helping you find and ride your perfect wave of life.

As I wrote in The Surfer’s Journey, this is not a how to coaching program, it’s a what if program.  How to is someone else’s path, in this program you have to cut your own. It’s not easy, but I will give you the machete and teach you to use it.  

You need to know that you’re being called and you’ve ignored that inner voice for too long. It’s time to leave what I call the Island of Same and paddle out. It is time to grab your surfboard and live.




The Surfer’s Journey program is a research based multi-modular curriculum and immersion that follows the theme and ten research-based principles of The Surfer’s Journey to develop cause-driven transformational leaders and heroes with the skills, capacity, and intelligence. The program uses the tenets of surfing, transformational leadership, and mythology to challenge and teach the individual to step beyond the confines of his or her present context of burnout to re-discover their natural nature and true calling.

Unlike most transformational leadership programs focused first on the outcome behavior of the individual, this course targets the individual’s journey with the transformation outcome behavior and subsequent personal action a natural result of self-discovery through new beliefs as a result of challenge based experiences.

Physician and leadership professor Dr. Don Kennedy wrote the original text as a doctoral dissertation in the convention of the fables of mythological heroes. As required in phenomenological research, Dr. Kennedy, who left his medical practice as a result of burnout, traveled and surfed and became the character in the story which was published as The Surfer’s Journey: The Path to Transformational Heroship.

That one tenet of immersion in a different culture, such as Costa Rica, coupled with the ten principle-based activities, remain the core intent of the program which is to allow each individual the freedom to experience their own unique transformation then take that rebirth back to share and help others.

Although subject to change, the Surfer’s Journey Costa Rica program as presented meets the criteria for an accredited university and professional program encompassing burnout, leadership, and wellness. Please contact for more information.