real doctors, real people - Ian Udell

Dr. Ian Udell, a resident in urologic surgery at UNC Hospitals, is also a highly accomplished wakeboarder who is sponsored by O'Brien Watersports.

real doctors, real people - Ian Udell click to enlarge Ian Udell, urology resident and wakeboarder, grabs a trick before the sun sets. Photo by Ty Udell.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nathan Clendenin wrote this …

With the sizzling hot weather we're experiencing in North Carolina, most people  like to cool off with a swim at the beach or a nice ride in a boat.  But not Ian Udell, a urologic surgery resident, who would rather be behind that boat strapped into a wakeboard, performing amazing aerial tricks at 20+ miles per hour.

In fact, Udell's been spending his time strapped to a board since before wakeboarding even existed. Shredding and slashing on their snowboards during the winter months out in Big Fork, Montana led Ian and his brother Ty to figure out how to keep riding in the summer. 

As the sport of wakeboarding developed, the duo quickly caught on, and soon started teaching others. The teaching lessons spiraled into a business in high school and continued through college and medical school, which helped to fund both of their educations. The ambitious young duo quickly grabbed the attention of sponsors. Ian and Ty are both members of the national team sponsored by O'Brien Watersports

Little did he know, wakeboarding would propel Udell into his current life in medicine.  While teaching wakeboarding one summer Ian made contact with a physician who offered him a research internship in Texas which led to medical school.  Then as he sought out other wakeboarders to ride with, he met another physician who introduced him to the specialty of urology.  Moving to North Carolina didn’t mean giving up his passion.  Ian balances his life as a UNC Hospitals resident by spending what little time he has outside of the hospital with a group of friends who all met through wakeboarding.  Ian will be the first to tell you he loves meeting new people, especially when a boat is involved. And even though he and Ty sold their business, he still loves teaching new riders. Enjoy our exciting July episode of real doctors, real people. I hope that all the windy and watery images will keep you cool this hot, hot summer. 

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