My Journal



Episode 6: Dr. Marijn Houwert: ‘The Trauma Surgeon’

Dr. Marijn Houwert raised over $10 million to help his colleagues in times of COVID. We talk about his rollercoaster life as a Trauma Surgeon and the publication of his latest book ‘Zorg Voor Je Mensen’ (Take Care of Your People).
The story of my next guest is as incredible as it is urgent. To me personally it is a story about hard work, skill, resilience, tact and strategic thinking in unprecedented times – but if you were to ask my guest, he would say, it is just about being lucky.
Dr. Marijn Houwert is a Trauma Surgeon at the Utrecht Medical Centre, a Research Hospital located in the middle of the Netherlands – in (as its name reveals) the city of Utrecht.
Trauma Surgery is all about Critical Care and requires extensive knowledge of surgical procedures and how to manage different types of injuries. A trauma surgeon can help you pull through a critical injury or an acute illness. Being a Surgeon at A&E is not for the weak of heart  – it is a job that comes with long, unpredictable hours as well as with a proper gut to accept that the death of your patients can be imminent.
Marijn comes across as someone who is devoted to his profession, patients and colleagues and has taken it upon himself to write about them in his recently published book  ‘Zorg Voor Je Mensen’ or ‘Take Care of Your People’ an excellent read on what goes on in the daily life of a Trauma Surgeon. The book has been quite a success in the Netherlands which shows that Marijn is not only skilled with a scalpel but also with a pen.
And if writing and very long hours at the hospital were not enough, Marijn also took the initiative to start the Foundation, Zorg na Werk in Corona Tijd – freely translated ‘Care for those who care for you in times of Corona’ which seeks to support healthcare workers and their families should something happen to them.
Marijn shared his concerns around the lack of protection for healthcare workers in his country and made an appeal for his initiative in a recurring column that he writes for ‘Medisch Contact’ the biggest Professional Medical Website in the Netherlands. And to say that his readers responded, would be a bit of understatement.
Dr. Marijn Houwert’s idea led his foundation to raise over Euro 9 million (I repeat Euro 9 million) to help his colleagues all over the Netherlands. Quite an amount, quite a book, quite a job and what a guy!