Carol Schaffer

Berkeley, CA, United States

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  • Last login 6 months ago

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  • Doctor
  • MD
  • From New York
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About Me


cultural exchange and all the wonderful things that accompany it :)


I'm originally from New York City, minus the accent. I've lived in Cambridge, MA, Washington, DC, and Rochester, NY, before moving to San Francisco for my residency training. I've been in the Bay Area for 20 years now (first SF, then in the Oakland/Berkeley area for the last 14). I work as a hospitalist.


I enjoy helping people, and my anthropology background filters into my profession. In my off time, I want to do and see as much as possible because I know very well that no one is guaranteed a certain number of years on this earth.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


I have surfed and hosted and attended and gone to CS parties, get-togethers and foodie events, and it's all been great!


I had some really fun experiences travelling around the US when I was interviewing for residency programs, and staying with various friends-of-friends in Australia. :) This was before the actual CS project, which I am enjoying immensely :) There's nothing like seeing a place through the eyes of a local!

People I have stayed with:
Giuseppe, in Padova, Italy: October 2007
Rakesh, in Amsterdam: October 2007
Andy, in Greenwich, CT: October 2007
Mabel, in Lima, Peru: December 2007
Alp and Serap, in Istanbul: October 2008
Muzo, in Istanbul: September 2008
Isaac and Valerie, in Vientiane, Laos: February 2009
Debi, in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia: October 2009 and November 2011
Wim and Phillip, in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia: October 2009
Andi (and Thiaz), in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia: October 2009
Ken, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: October 2009
Siew Cheng, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: October 2009, Nov 2011 and Nov 2014
Elsha and Phil, in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: October 2009
Robin and Diana, in Queretaro, Mexico: February 2010
Juan Carlos, in Queretaro, Mexico: February 2010
Eduardo and Aliza, in Kfar Saba, Israel: April 2010
Iseec and Leah, in Netanya, Israel: April 2010
Noa, in Jerusalem: May 2010
Gideon and Rina, in Kibbutz Sasa, Israel: May 2010
Dyanne and Yossi, in Ramat Yochanan, Israel: May 2010
Judy, in Tel Aviv: May 2010
Elizabeth, in Guadalajara, Mexico: November 2010
Horia, in Solo, Indonesia: November 2011
Magda, in Ubud, Indonesia: December 2011
Lionel and Melissa, in Singapore: December 2011
Judy, in La Jolla, CA: May 2013
Bernie, in Cambridge, MA: June 2014
Joy, in Surin, Thailand: November 2014
Peter M., in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: December 2014
Peter K., in Chiang Mai, Thailand: December 2014
Poom, in Bangkok: December 2014

People I have hosted:
Paul, from India by way of Australia: December 2008
Jens, from Bremen, Germany: July 2008
Sebbastion, from the US: October 2008
Louise and Calum, from England: April 2009
Susan, Richard, and Gemma, from Christchurch, NZ: May 2009
Elaine, from Calgary, Canada: March 2010 and July 2012
Hailley, from the US by way of the world: October 2010
Hans, from Sweden: December 2010 and March 2013
Emily, from KL, Malaysia, by way of Maine: January 2011
Dyanne, from Ramat Yochanan, Israel: March 2011
Danni and Kate from England: April 2011
Ben from Singapore/US, by way of the world: April 2011
Bill from the US, by way of Nicaragua/Mexico/Haiti: April 2011
Merav from Tel Aviv, Israel: June 2011
Siew Cheng and Siew Mei from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: July 2011
Celine, from France: September 2011
Vic and Val from Gales Ferry, CT: April 2012
Brenda from Wisconsin, September 2012
Chanyang from Seoul, Korea, September 2012
Orange from Hong Kong, October 2012
Elena from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, October 2012
Libby from Maine, June 2013
Zeke from the US by way of Rosarito Beach, Mexico, July 2013
Josh and Martha from Portland, OR on the way to Asia! September 2013
Susan, Richard, and Gemma, from Christchurch, NZ, Sept 2013
Ashleigh from Australia, September 2013
Jim from Miami, Florida, October 2013
Nathan from Rugby, England, June 2014
Olcay from Turkey and Alan from Nashville, Nov 2014


While I am a hospitalist at work, the rest of the time I really enjoy travel, travel, travel, cooking and restaurants, gardening, photography, walking, independent films and anthropology. I also love reading fiction and listening to music. Oh, and elephants :)

Music, Movies, and Books

Movies: I especially like foreign (to the US ;) and independent films, such as: Amelie, Best in Show, Spellbound, Super Size Me, Mad Hot Ballroom, Desperado Square, Love for Share, Wordplay, Slumdog Millionaire, and Circumstance. And The Social Network!!

Music: I like No Doubt, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, Lila Downs, Pink Martini, KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae, Balkan Beat Box, and many others.

Some books I've really enjoyed: Running with Scissors, Waiting, Nickel and Dimed, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Griffin and Sabine, A Cook's Tour, The Namesake, the Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, and Footprint Guidebooks, Tales of a Female Nomad, Malaria Dreams, Away from My Desk, Three Cups of Tea, Catfish and Mandala, and perhaps my most recent total favorite: Cutting for Stone.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

I got to go to the Amazon as a doctor on a riverboat. It was totally wonderful!

And then it was eclipsed by attending an elephant mahout training course :)

Teach, Learn, Share

I can certainly share a lot about the area I live in.
And I'm happy to teach a little Thai cooking.
And then there are the medical skills...

What I Can Share with Hosts

I'd be happy to share some of your local cuisine and any adventure you would like! I am interested in what regular life is in in a given country/culture and not just the touristy stuff. I would be happy to talk about your culture and travel experiences as well as my own.

My medical expertise is very transportable and I'm more than happy to give advice or an opinion on something but would never force it upon anyone!

Countries I’ve Visited

Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Viet Nam

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

Old School Badges

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