20% off entry to Extreme Medicine ’15 as our way of saying ‘thank you for marching’

Junior doctors take the streets in London
With junior doctors taking to the streets in what must be one of the most articulate, well dressed and peaceful demonstrations ever we are glad to be presenting the Extreme Medicine Conference a week later to illustrated that the NHS is not the only option career-wise

World-class speakers, recruiters and inspiring presentations the conference offers real access to a new world of medicine.

Book your place now.  For the next 48 hours, unfortunately not combinable with other offers. in support of our junior doctors are offering 20% off entry to Extreme Medicine ’15 as our way of saying ‘thank you for marching’

WEMEEXPO15SPECIAL20 – use this code at checkout

‘Perhaps the most interesting medical conference I know of’   Senior health correspondent – mainstream media outlet in conversation..
Thank you for marching

A thank you..

For the next 48 hours, unfortunately not combinable with other offers, in support of our junior doctors are offering 20% off entry to Extreme Medicine ’15 as our way of saying ‘thank you for marching’

WEMEEXPO15SPECIAL20 – use this code at checkout

Rob Holden & Ebola

Extreme Medicine is like no medical conference you’ve ever attended.

Extreme Medicine Conference London

BMJ ‘Image of the Week’

Extreme Medicine ’15 image chosen for BMJ ‘image of the week’  We are super proud to see one of the MSF Gallery images for this year’s conference featured this week

We are always grateful of the BMJ’s support for our conference and we are really looking forward to seeing them at this years gathering.


There are still limited tickets available – book yours now..

Kunduz & MSF


New Session;  Board member for MSF (UK) Dr Javid Abdelmoneim will be speaking about MSF’s reaction to the bombing of their registered medical facility in Kunduz


Junior contracts getting you down? See what Katie Owens did with her medical training!

Why expedition medicine is a valuable trek into the unknown

Authors: Katie Ovens

Publication date:  22 Sep 2015  BMJ Careers

Alumni of Expedition Medicine, Wales

As an expedition doctor in Tanzania Katie Ovens gained useful clinical and managerial experience

Throughout my foundation years I knew that I wanted to have a year to broaden my knowledge of medicine and to gain experience in an entirely new setting, outside hospital, before continuing on to specialty training.

At the end of my first year of medical school I volunteered for a charity in Zambia for four weeks promoting health in remote communities, and I also spent one month in Sarawak General Hospital in Borneo for my medical elective. Both of these trips gave me an insight into working abroad and provided the opportunity to combine my passion for travel with my interest in medicine. As a qualified doctor I was keen to work abroad more independently, where my skills would be fully used and I would have exposure to more tropical medicine.

My introduction to expedition medicine was a four day course in Plas-y-Brenin in Wales. The course incorporated lectures, practical sessions, and small group sessions on common medical issues; advice for working on expeditions; and specific skills required for expeditions (such as rope skills and navigation). The inspirational speakers had an extensive knowledge of the field.

Raleigh International

BMJ article about expedition medicine in Tanzania - BMJ Careers

BMJ article about expedition medicine in Tanzania – BMJ Careers

The week after the course I took part in Raleigh International’s gruelling assessment weekend. Raleigh International is a sustainable development charity, giving young people the chance to work in developing countries. During the assessment weekend I had to complete multiple tasks based on expedition scenarios to demonstrate my ability to lead a team while also working as a team member. This was both physically and mentally challenging.

Three days later I accepted the dual role of volunteer manager and medic in Tanzania for 13 weeks. As a volunteer manager I was responsible for supporting a group of young people carrying out sustainable development projects and trekking. I also helped set up the trek projects and ensured the success of sustainable development projects on site.

Before deploying to Tanzania I attended the Raleigh training weekend for volunteer managers. This training mainly focused on sustainable development, how to provide life coaching to young people on an informal basis, and the main aims and conduct of the charity. There was no specific medical training but pre-reading was provided on common medical problems in expedition and tropical medicine. Recognising that I was likely to come across conditions I may never have seen, I also learnt some specific expedition medicine by reading expedition medicine books. The Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine is particularly good.[1]

Working as a volunteer manager

After arriving in Tanzania all volunteer managers had a two week induction before the volunteers arrived. During this time we were given final training and helped to set up the projects. Each expedition is split into three 19 day phases and during the induction phase all of the volunteer managers gave their preferences on whether they would like to work on a particular project or whether they would enjoy leading a trek.

I was allocated to work on a project that brought clean water to a remote village. In the second phase I was the field base medic, and, finally, leader of a 20 day trek in the Usambara mountains. Setting up projects included casualty evacuation planning, risk assessments, route planning, meeting project partners, and locating houses suitable for homestay. The evacuation planning was very detailed and included visits to local hospitals, dispensaries, and airstrips to plan for all eventualities. In addition to being able to take patients to these local facilities we also had email and phone advice available from the UK through Raleigh.

I underestimated the volunteer manager role before going to Tanzania, but it turned out to be an incredibly rewarding aspect of my trip. I gave daily feedback to members of my team, helping them to think through important life decisions and plan for the future. I was also responsible for the success of the projects and the safety of the team round the clock. Having responsibility for a team of young people aged 17 to 24 did mean at times that I had the role of mum, from teaching how to chop onions to saying things like “be careful,” “don’t get too near the edge,” or “please don’t hold the machete like that.”

During induction, medics teach first aid and general expedition health to managers and volunteers, as some groups do not have a medic. Education was fundamental throughout the expedition and needed to be tailored to the particular environment. For example, living with families meant that hand hygiene and bleaching utensils was essential to reduce the chances of contracting gastroenteritis.

As field base medic I travelled to groups without a medic and held medical clinics in remote locations, as well as giving telephone advice, which was a new and rewarding challenge. The main medical problems I encountered were diarrhoea and vomiting, fever, dehydration, rashes, skin infections, wound care, scorpion stings, and mental health problems. Expeditions can be stressful so this latter problem was common, ranging from homesickness to severe depression.

Washing a volunteer’s vomit covered clothes and bleaching floors to help reduce a diarrhoea and vomiting outbreak were jobs I hadn’t anticipated. On site you are often the only Raleigh medic available and your nearest medical colleague can be several hours away. However, I was always able to contact the field base medic to discuss patients and get a second opinion (either via mobile, or satellite phone if there was poor reception). Being able to discuss patients with other medics meant that I never felt isolated, and preparing detailed casualty evacuation plans reassured me that I knew how I could get to the nearest health facility if needed.

Foot care

During trekking, foot care and general hygiene advice was essential. In the first few days of the trek we covered feet, hips, and shoulders with a good quality zinc oxide tape to prevent blisters. We also decided to implement daily foot siestas where everyone had to wash, dry, and talc their feet, and as a result we avoided any major foot problems.

I missed out on the usual highlights of a trip to Tanzania such as a safari, climbing Kilimanjaro, or a visit to the island of Zanzibar. However, I had an incredible experience working with inspirational people. I gained valuable experience as a leader and working alongside others in a management team. As I was a similar age to some of the volunteers, one of my main challenges was gaining the authority to lead the team.

I learnt to be flexible in difficult and remote environments, and gained independence as a clinician. After this expedition I studied for the diploma in tropical medicine in Liverpool, which covered tropical medicine, child health, parasitology, and public health. I hope to use what I learnt from the diploma and my experience in Tanzania in future expeditions and as a trainee doctor in the United Kingdom, where I hope to specialise in genitourinary medicine.

What to consider before going on a trip

It is important to consider the type of expedition before applying for jobs. Recognising your experience and limitations is fundamental. I had not worked as a doctor outside a hospital or general practice setting so wanted to work with a charity that was well set up in terms of risk assessment, casualty evacuation plans, and support in the UK from abroad.

I also wanted to work with a charity that supplied the medical kit and had other doctors on the expedition. I preferred jobs where the doctor was also a manager so that I could challenge myself not only medically but also on an individual level.

It is important to factor in buying general kit such as walking boots, a rucksack, and a sleeping bag as some expedition kit is quite expensive. Make sure that you also organise professional medical indemnity—some companies will provide a discount for voluntary work.

Competing interests: I continue to do voluntary (unpaid) work at assessment weekends in the UK with Raleigh International and receive travel expenses to get to these events.


  1. Johnson C, Anderson SR, Dallimore J, Winser S, Warrell D, Imray C. Oxford handbook of expedition and wilderness medicine. 2nd ed. Oxford Medical Handbooks, 2015.

Katie Ovens locum senior house officer, Birmingham, UK


Cite this as BMJ Careers  visit site 

Extreme Medicine ’15 – ‘so whats so different this year?’…

Refugees, Kunduz, Space, Ebola, Nepal Earthquake, Ultra Sports, Pre Hospital Medicine at Extreme Medicine ’15
Work starts of the Photographic Gallery section of Extreme Medicine '15
As the conference gets closer and closer the preparations we are preparing a gathering bringing together over a 100 presenters from across the world, delegates from all over the worlds, focused exhibitors and some of the world’s best humanitarian photographers.Unfortunately the world isn’t keep us short of discussion topicsRefugees, Kunduz, Space, Ebola, Nepal Earthquake to name but a very few, but the conference will also be full of lots of hands-on learning, discussion sets and quite a few well known names…

Attendees and speakers from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Ghana, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Laos, Libya, Malawi, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, USA

‘Perhaps the most interesting medical conference I know of’   Senior health correspondent – mainstream media outlet in conversation..

Career enhancing…

Network with some of the world’s most inspiring medics and global thought leaders.
New research, best practice, hands on learning and open discussions.
If you fail to be inspired we would like you to let us know…

Rob Holden & Ebola

Extreme Medicine is like no medical conference you’ve ever attended.

Extreme Medicine Conference London

Whats different this year?

From Disaster and Humanitarian Medicine to Pre- Hospital Care, Expedition to Ultra Sports Medicine  the aim of our conference has always been to break down silo’s between medical discplines, to build networks, stimulate innovation and share best practice.

We have achieved this and much much more the forth iteration of, one of the world’s most eclectic gatherings, is set to surpass all that have gone before and we invite you to join us.

There are still limited tickets available – book yours now..

Conference Exhibitor EVAQ8

Even our exhibitors are getting in on the act..

Using one of conference founders, Mark Hannaford’s images, EVAQ8 are in pole position to win the best dressed exhibitors web page (you’ll have to excuse the pun!)


Making a fuss – Down South with Sea Shepherd


Three ships, crews bustling on and off, are tied up at the pier as I walk towards the water, bags in hand. For the next three months or so, I am to be the ship’s doctor aboard the M/Y Sam Simon – one of conservation group Sea Shepherd’s three ships heading to the Southern Ocean and into inevitable confrontation with Japan’s whaling fleet.

As ever, I have my doubts. With my love for the exercise and all things outdoor, will I go crazy stuck on the ship for so long? Will I get on with the crew? What on earth will I do if I don’t? Medically, this is a big step up for me – I’m only four years out of med school, and am now responsible for a crew of thirty, in one of the most remote places on earth. I’m told that there is a very real risk of trauma, and that I could be two or more weeks away from medical backup if things do go wrong.

However, there is no going back at this point. I’m very much expected to joined the ship by now, though our actual date of departure is unknown since it is dependent on the movements of the whaling fleet.

On board, I am introduced to the crew, who welcome me enthusiastically. Although this of course, is lovely, their happiness at my arrival almost makes me turn and run. I am always in awe of how much patients put their trust in us, as medics, and my fear that crew’s trust in me might be misplaced must be palpable.

After a few last-minute runs stocking up the onboard pharmacy, I feel as ready as I’m going to be to leave.

We slip out of Melbourne in early December, for what turns out to be 81 days at sea, covering over 15,000 nautical miles, getting down as far as 75 degrees South.

Thankfully, I’m underemployed as medic for the first half of the trip, leaving me plenty of time for my other duties as a deckhand. This means everything from cleaning toilets to launching our small rigid inflatable boat, and it’s good to be the non-medic most of the time, learning about ship life from the rest of the crew.

Not Going Well

It couldn’t last, of course. Somewhere in the Ross Sea, a crew member has an allergic reaction to some nuts that he has inadvertently eaten. He has not been able to complete his watch up on bridge, and is currently on all fours in a locked shower, vomiting, and feeling too faint to stand. He is breathing with some degree of difficulty through a tightening pharynx that has its work cut out balancing its now dual roles of food egress and ventilation. We are a long way from help.

As if this weren’t enough, the patient also happens to be me.

At this stage, I think its fair to say,things were Not Going Well.

Too British for Adrenaline

I am fortunate enough to have a caring and competent paramedic on board to help me out, who, left to her own devices, would handle this very well. Unfortunately, she is not left to her own devices, and I continue to attempt to direct my own treatment. And this is where my Britishness nearly kills me. Looking back, I think the biggest factor in my refusing a very sensible offer of IM Adrenaline, was my inherent desire to “not make a fuss”. I was convinced that a combination of IV fluid, antihistamine and steroid would see me through.

And, it did, just about.

However, this was not my finest decision-making moment, and I hope very much that I never provide as poor a standard care to anyone else, as I did to myself that evening.

Coming home

Since getting back to land, I’ve found myself unable to summarise what the whole thing was like – either to myself or anyone else. It seems to me that the highs were so high, and the lows so low, that to give any summary would be misleading. The trip was amazing. But it was also hard, boring, exciting, unique, monotonous, and everything in between.

The one thing that I’m sure about though is the people; I was lucky to work, play, and live amongst an amazing crew on the Sam Simon, many of whom I’m sure will remain long term friends. Will I go back “down South” with Sea Shepherd? I’m still not sure. I hope I don’t have to of course, and that hunting whales in this great ocean wilderness becomes a thing of the past. But if it doesn’t, and if people still head South again to stop it, I might just join them. And this time, if I get sick, hopefully I won’t be so scared of making a fuss.

Bio: Chris is a UK trained doctor currently working as an Emergency Department Registrar in Tasmania. He has completed our general Expedition & Wilderness Medicine course in Keswick, and our Polar Medicine course in Alta, Norway. Chris has also done the AWLS course and is currently collecting points towards his Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). Sea Shepherd is a non-profit conservation organisation most famous for using sometimes controversial direct action tactics to disrupt whaling in the Southern Ocean. “Operation Relentless” was the organisations tenth Antarctic anti-whaling campaign. For more info on Sea Shepherd, go to www.seashepherd.com.au













Extreme Medicine '14




Extreme Medicine ’15 – get the low down!

The largest gathering of medical professionals working in the some of the world’s most remote corners. 4 days, 100+ speakers, world class speakers, superb networking, new research, great exhibitors and amazing images – there is literally nothing quite like it…
‘The cutting edge of cutting edge medicine’   ‘By far and away the most inspirational medical conference i have ever attended’   ‘Where change happens’
100+ speakers, 105+ individual sessions, plenary sessions, practical workshops
Research in remote medicine

New Research…

Presenting new research is a key cornerstone of the conference and we are delighted that a number of key speakers will be presenting new findings.

Along with the launch of our new Innovation Platform this year, and a massively expanded poster area, we are building a meeting place where new ideas can be exchanged freely.

Dr Sean Hudson in Huffington Post

Conference Content Director speaks to the Huffington Post

Dr Sean Hudson, co-founder of Expedition & Wilderness Medicine and medical lead for UKMed, writes in the Huffington Post this week ‘Natural Disaster Relief: We Must Not Let Down the World’s Most Vulnerable Communities”…

Read more here

Space Medicine

European Space Agency in on the act

Really pleased that Beth Healy at Concordia, Antarctica and the European Space Agency are getting so excited about Extreme Medicine ’15

Feeling rather rock ‘n’ roll about their tweet! @Bethahealey: Looking forward to a live link from Concordia to @extremeexpo in a few weeks! @esa @esaoperations @ExpedMedicine

Emily Knox on the refugee crisis

Emily Knox, head of International Family Tracing at the British Red Cross, said: “Many people are fleeing conflict or persecution. In addition, they have to cope with the trauma of the journey and separation from family members. Some arrive or travel through Europe not knowing if their families are alive or dead. The Red Cross is working hard to reunite those families separated on the perilous journey across borders.”  Meet Emily @ Extreme Medicine ’15

International forum

Prof .Buddha Basnyat is a widely published medical doctor practicing medicine in Kathmandu, Nepal and his pretty excited about speaking at Extreme Medicine ’15 as we are that he has kindly agreed to speak!

His research interests are infectious disease and high altitude medicine both of which are in ample supply in Nepal. He is the Director for the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Nepal

(c) MSF

MSF Rescue Mission – Mediterranean

Subject to confirmation and operational tasking we are hoping to be able to include a ‘live-link’ to the MSF rescue ship currently operating in the Mediterranean – this in addition our live link with ESA in Antarctica

image (C) Rob Holden

Only inspirational medics need apply

David Weil Bursary Winners for Extreme Medicine ’15… This years inspiring, certainly worthy and humbling winners will be joining us from Laos, Nepal, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, and Ghana.

Many are called but few our chosen .. some of our partners

Public Health England, MSF, NASA,, Xtreme Everest, Human Performance Lab, Society for Experimental Biology, British Red Cross, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, EverestER, ICRC, London HEMs, Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions, RCS (Edinburgh), UKAid, War Child, WHO, RAMC.

Book here…

To secure your place just click here – really nothing extreme about this bit of the experience..!

Registration Page


Medical Innovation in Remote Medicine

We have shortlisted 6 Hackathon Challenges for Extreme Medicine ’15 – which one do you vote for?Remote medicine innovation

Simply reply with 1, 2 ect to indicate your favourite – please also been free to make suggestions – if we feel they are better that ours that you might find yours taken up!!!

1. Small deployable surgical system for disasters and military units; a ‘Theatre in a Box kit’ that could be used for almost any surgical intervention
2. Single water disinfection system for 4 – 4000 litres
3. Portable cold chain for storing vaccine and blood supplies
4. Autonomous, pocket-sized diagnostic system for patient/ casualty transfers for ECG, BP, SATS…
5. Small portable O2 system which doesn’t explode!!
6. Access to personal hygiene and simple medications in immigration camps in Calais

To Vote: Please visit the EWM Facebook page, why not ‘lie’ us at the same time!!


Medicine Conference - Extreme Medicine











INNOVATION PLATFORM IN REMOTE MEDICINE @ Extreme Medicine ’15 £10,000 cash prize

INNOVATION PLATFORM @ Extreme Medicine ’15

The Extreme Medicine Innovation Platform is offering a £10,000 cash prize to startups within the extreme medicine space.

We’re inviting startups in the field of extreme medicine to showcase their thinking and groundbreaking ideas in order to support innovation within the medical community. The Innovation Platform serves to create investment opportunities for startups to continue funding their cutting-edge work.

All individuals and organisations within the medical space are invited to enter the competition and after careful consideration, a shortlist of entrants will be asked to present their ideas at the Extreme Medicine Expo.

The Extreme Medicine Expo is an exciting opportunity for startups as it provides a platform for innovative medical ideas to be heard by industry experts and potential investors. Each shortlisted entrant will have a chance to present at the conference to panellists and attendees.

A final list of 3 startups will be given an opportunity to present on the main conference stage, after which, the startup with the most impactful and innovative idea will win a £10,000 cash prize.

Any startups currently in development may enter. If you think your organisation has significant potential in the area of extreme medicine, meets an unmet challenge and offers a potential new solution, please enter your details here  http://www.extrememedicineexpo.com/innovation/


Medicine Conference - Extreme Medicine


65 Degrees North – Guest Post

I joined 65 Degrees North back in July 2014…after a coffee with the team manager and an overview of the project. Feeling inspired my mouth uttered the words ‘I can ski’. Three words that sealed my fate as being the Doctor responsible for assisting Pete Bowker, an amputee from the recent conflict in Afghanistan, and three other ex-serviceman in their attempt to cross the Greenland ice cap- unsupported.

Why? How? and so many other questions entered my head. I was [am] a GP who has worked with Disability Sport, and various international sporting events over the last 15 years. But me- a mum with two young children.. go on an expedition?..  Had I ever been in polar conditions?- No, did I have ANY expedition experience?- No. And So, what to do…. get information from those who did.

I spent months meeting with polar doctors, expedition experts, and other females who had completed polar expeditions. Gaining little pearls like how to wee in a bottle when the temperatures are hitting minus 35 outside the tent walls, to how to keep your feet warm at night time. How to manage blisters, frost nip and generally keep everyone going for the duration.

Momentum gathered and D-Day fast approached. A training week in Norway in February helped to familiarise the team with the skis, boots, tents and cooking equipment. It also served as an important team bonding week.

And so May was upon us… Copenhagen stop over, next stop Greenland. Kit inspection and an early start up to the ice cap.

28 days. Weather watching, tent routines, daily ward rounds, blister management, pain relief… marathon days of skiing, pulling pulks weighing more than me. White out days, blizzards and wind speeds of up to 33m/s and temperatures down to minus 37.

Crevasse fields, polar bear watch, rescuing team members, roping up and the final day of 17 hours skiing.

Medical encounters:- several. Main complaints blisters and MSK problems.

Lessons learnt:- requirements for this type of challenge are be inquisitive, knock on doors, find someone who has and interrogate them. Learn from their mistakes.

It was an honour to be part of this project. Pete is a truly inspirational individual, and every day proved that we can all achieve more than what we expect. Would I do it again? YES.


Facebook:- 65 degrees north

Twitter:- @65degnorth

email:- sianfach@hotmail.com


Extreme Medicine ’15; A unique gathering of inspiring minds

Extreme Medicine ’15

Remote Medicine is set to change rapidly as technology produces solutions much more portable, adaptable and affordable.  In the same way that home computing changed our lives irrevocably the development of this portability will alter the provision of remote health care beyond recognition.

If you an already established practitioner of remote medicine, or hope to be, or just want to be inspire about you can use your medical degree in an amazing way then you won’t want to miss the amazing gathering…

Be at the forefront of change and join us at the world’s largest gathering of ‘extreme medics’ 

‘There is just more’

Extreme Medicine ’15 is all about inspiring innovating,educating and building networks – we honoured that we are gathering some of worlds the most inspiring and forwarding thinking medical professionals in one place and building on our success we intend this years gathering to be the very best yet.

With 2 concurrent sessions each daycareer sessions and daily workshopsthere is plethora of choice plus image galleries from MSF, War Child, NASA and others and to be announced very soon a ‘little bit of stardust’….

Extreme expo – workshop highlight

Frostbite in the field: delivered by A&E Charge Nurse, Expedition Medic and Expedition Medicine faculty member Ben Cooper. Since early on in EWM’s life Ben has been inspiring budding expedition medics with innovative ideas and practical solutions to wound management in resource poor environments.

This workshop will bring you practical and learnt-on-the-job lessons from Ben’s time working with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions. This fantastic workshop will only be held on day 4 and there are limited spaces available.

If you’d like to learn from Ben’s extensive experience register your interest with us HERE or click THIS LINK to be taken to the Expo main site.

A unique gathering of inspiring minds…

What other medical conference do you get Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Lord Nigel Crisp, urban explorer Lucinda Grange, NASA & International Space Station medic Dr Michael Barrett, Parkour Generation Founder Dan Edwardes and inspirational pre hospital specialists such as Prof. Tim Harris and Scotland’s Emergency Medical Retrieval Service founder Dr Steven Hearns all speaking in the same place

Lord Mayor of London

Thank you to the Mayor of London for his support…
“The work that you are doing in world extreme medicine, innovation and climate change, and the support you give to medical staff working and children and families living in these remote and challenging environments, is extremely important, and I hope the conference is a fantastic success.” Boris Johnson

Book here…

To secure your place just click here – really nothing extreme about this bit of the experience.

Registration Page