A magazine for friends of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Surgeon, Puzzle Master, and ‘Survivor’


Alum Mike Zahalsky once again helps his tribe, the Healers, survive another week in Fiji.

On the second episode of CBS’s Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, Mike Zahalsky ’95 MMS’98 MD’99 earned himself a new moniker: Likeable Mike. And what’s not to like? He’s affable, supportive—and great at puzzles in the weekly challenges.

Surprisingly, Healers teammate Joe, who expressed distrust over Zahalsky’s motives in episode 1, was the guy to dub him “Likeable.” Last week Joe accused Zahalsky of secreting away an immunity idol, which protects the bearer from being voted off. In an abrupt shift this week, Joe himself locates the immunity idol, with the help of teammate Cole and a map discovered on a tree.

Wednesday’s episode was marked by continued squabbles in team Heroes, still reeling from voting off a teammate last week; alliance negotiations in the Hustlers; and many attempts at spearfishing. The contestants this season are on the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji.

All that time in the water was good preparation for this week’s challenge: recovering puzzle pieces from an underwater cage and solving a signpost puzzle. The Healers struggled mightily as three members per tribe took turns diving to untie the secured pieces. Both the Heroes and Hustlers recovered all the pieces and arrived on floating platforms for assembly, leaving the Healers alone in the ocean.

Last to begin the puzzle, featuring signpost planks with previous Survivor locales, the Healers plunged ahead. The whole tribe enthusiastically cheered Zahalsky as he arranged the planks and led them to a comeback victory. Zahalsky planted a kiss on the Healer’s idol trophy as they were awarded a primo fishing kit.

As the last to finish, the Hustlers were ushered to the tribal council, where they voted off a teammate who disliked being out in nature and away from air conditioning. With two wins under their belts, the Healers remain intact going into next Wednesday’s episode at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.


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