ABOUT ... DUIKDOKTER.com
Medical Examiner of Divers
I am Franka Appelman and in 2017 I found a new passion in diving. This started with an introductory dive during a holiday on Bonaire; I was immediately caught by the diving virus! After obtaining my Open Water certificate on Bonaire, I started to orientate myself on diving in the Netherlands. I joined a group of diving friends who frequently dive in the Netherlands. At the moment I dive almost weekly in various Dutch fresh waters or in the Grevelingen/Oosterschelde, both summer and winter. In addition, I have been able to dive in beautiful tropical places, including the Caribbean, Maldives and the Red Sea.
Diving is a huge relaxation for me. Floating underwater gives a very free feeling. In addition, you are focused on your own breathing; you don't hear any other sounds underwater. It's a kind of meditation for me! And if you also see beautiful things underwater, the picture is complete for me!
After obtaining my Advanced Open Water and Rescue certifications, I began to consider my further diving career. Diving medicine really appealed to me. In my daily life I work as a doctor. I work as a geriatric specialist in a nursing home. During this work I don't have to deal with diving, but it is of course nice to be able to combine my profession and my passion!
That is why I started the training for 'Medical Examiner of Divers', which I completed in 2019. So at the moment I am internationally registered as 'Medical Examiner of Divers' (in the Netherlands called duikerarts) and I have started an independent company called Duikdokter.com.
What does a Medical Examiner of Divers do?
Under water, the body has to endure a lot. The body receives completely different stimuli than above water, and must be able to compensate for this properly. For example, due to changes in pressure on the body, the lungs have to perform more work than above water.
As a diver doctor I have knowledge about the effects of the hyperbaric conditions of diving on the body. For example, I can use a diving test to assess whether the health of a diver is sufficient to be able to dive safely. If necessary, I can give advice to adjust the dive profile so that diving is safe. In addition, treatment by a medical specialist may be necessary before being able to determine whether diving is safe.
- Preventive diving medical examination according to the applicable guidelines of the Dutch Association for Diving Medicine (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Duikgeneeskunde - NVD), where I assess whether someone's health is suitable for diving and can give advice on this.
- Answering general diving medical questions, for example when a medical situation changes. Depending on the question, I can answer it directly, or give the advice to personally visit a (diver) doctor.
- Lecture on a diving medical topic on request (for example by a diving association).
Contact details of DUIKDOKTER.com