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(More) Candid Interview with Dr. Zoe, Resident Doctor of Survivor Philippines (Part 2)
comment 7 Comments November 27, 2008 – 7:35 am

As the Finale for the breakout hit Survivor Philippines draws to a close, the true battle begins for the last five remaining castaways.

Perhaps everyone are heaving a sigh of relief that Marlon Carmen aka “the waiter,” the most disliked cutthroat and aggressive person (?) in the competition is already eliminated; and agreeably has now come down to the ‘brainy’ Charisse, the ‘driver’ Cris, the ‘hunky’ athlete, JC, the self-proclaimed ‘loverboy,’ Rob, and the endearing laundry woman, ‘nanay’  Zita, vying for that 3 million peso prize and the title FIRST “Sole Survivor.”

If this show does not excite Filipino TV viewers, I don’t know what does?!

Here’s Part two of the exclusive interview with Survivor Philippines’ only resident doctor. The ever cheery, at times self-effacing, definitely sharp and multi-talented, Dr. Zoe. Read on:


Mae: In the islands, what kind of medical tools do you have? How did you prepare yourselves for possible animal (crocodile, snake, mosquito) attacks and or diseases you, the crew or the half-naked contestants might have encountered?

Dr. Zoe: Fortunately, our Thai production team has also provided us with the necessary equipment to put up our own clinic in the base camp. We have basic surgical tools, a set of splints, oxygen tanks, emergency meds, & other emergency and rescue equipment, etc.

As for the animal attacks, we have rangers and snake handlers surrounding us at all times since it is a national park. Basically, it’s still better to administer first aid to the victim along with the ranger, then conduct them immediately to Langu Hospital where they can do proper tests; to assess whether it would be beneficial to give the anti-venom or not; and to admit and monitor. Luckily, we didn’t have a single incident of such.

The mosquito bites – the Thai and Filipino production teams have a lot of synthetic mosquito repellents in creams and sprays. Prevention is always better than a cure, right? The half-naked contestants would just have to survive the insect bites. However, I do get to examine them periodically, and if they need to be treated, then they will be treated accordingly. The rule that I follow is: Keep them healthy, but not necesarily comfortable. I got this from Dr Adrian Cohen, former medical director for Survivor CBS. This means that if they need sutures or antibiotics, then they will get that. But if they complain of pain or sunburn, they would have to survive that.

Survivor Philippines Vital Statistics


Surviving the Islands

M: What “bugs” the contestants the most? What were the most common medical maladies among the crew and the Survivor contestants? Bites and skin diseases?

Dr. Z: The number 1 cause for all of us – production staff or castaways – was mosquito bites and sand mites!! Second was musculo-skeletal complaints, most of them, I guess, due to riding those dump trucks! Just a handful of allergic reaction cases. But surprisingly, I did not have any cough nor diarrhea cases which was what I anticipated the most before arriving on the island.

M: What luxury in the real world did you miss most? Did you have your cellphones, computers with you in the islands?

Dr. Z: We had cellphones, computers and internet on the island. We even had videoke almost every night! We didn’t have cable TV, but, surprisingly, we didn’t miss it. I honestly don’t know what I miss most about the real world, but I can tell you this much: I only realized I miss civilization when I had the chance to go to a mall sometime during our our stay in Thailand. We remembered we were deprived of movies, so we wanted to watch The Dark Knight orThe Mummy because it was shown I think just right after we left Manila.

Unfortunately, the movies in Hat Yai City were all dubbed in Thai! It was so frustrating not being able to watch at a time when we wanted to so badly! But what was delightful was that despite having the chance to taste some fine dining, surprisingly, we still all went straight to Mc Donald’s! Hahaha!

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