Doctor combines love of work, family with surfing

John Andrews’ personal history - a La Jolla surf kid grows up to become a doctor and a medical director for infectious disease and HIV research at Pfizer - leaves one to wonder how such a unique story could unfold.

Andrews is lean and tan with a twinkle in his eyes - it’s as if he has a secret he’s not willing to tell.

Music is the heartbeat for his passions, and his enthusiasm for surfing bridges work and family. It’s all part of the same thing - his zest for life.

Andrews and his company develop and market drugs that can potentially save millions of lives by treating bacterial and fungal infections, as well as HIV. He also donates his time at Father Joe’s Village and believes the most important thing about being a doctor is listening and truly caring about patients.

He decided to become a doctor to help people, a trait that extends to helping friends and family navigate simple to complex medical challenges.

When asked if he’ll ever tire of working, Andrew gets that familiar twinkle in his eye. He has a secret, but he is going to share this one. He says infectious disease will never be eliminated in our lifetime. For Andrews it’s an ongoing challenge and an endless opportunity to help.

Andrews has three things he spends time with daily to keep his life in balance: health, family and fitness.

“Health is work I do at Pfizer, seeing patients at Father Joe’s Clinic, and surfing. Family is time I get to hang out and be with my wife Liz, daughter Jane (12) and son Luke (9). Fitness is the exercise and workouts I do, like swimming and walking, so I have the energy and stamina to do everything else.”

He also says his wife Liz’s boundless energy and love has made everything work for him and the family.

Andrews says he has one medical secret to staying healthy: “Surfing. It’s the fountain of youth. You get into the water, even for half an hour - it’s the ultimate physical and emotional fix.”