Archive for the ‘Wild Medicine’ Category

Extreme Medicine news!

Extreme Medicine


South Pole Rescue

June 14, 2016 saw two Twin Otter aircraft leave Calgary on the first leg of a multi-stage intercontinental flight to the Amundsen-Scott Pole Station.

The purpose of the flight – a medevac of a Lockheed Martin employee requiring a level of medical care unavailable at the station.

Being mid-winter in Antarctica the crew faced severe weather challenges and extreme conditions, to pull-off this rescue.

Read the updates from Kenn Borek Air Ltd HERE and for some ligh-hearted interviews check out Global News’ article.

Explore the UK

Bothies are a great way to shelter and stay overnight out in the wilderness. Scattered throughout the UK, these shelters are very basic, often very remote and cannot be booked.

You could arrive at a bothy to find a group of fellow wilderness lovers just heating up a brew or your group could have the place to yourself – the great thing is, you won’t know until you arrive!

For more about bothies read Red Bull’s article and then head over to theMountain Bothies Association and plan your next adventure.

Are you working in an extreme environment?

STV Productions want to speak to medical practitioners working in remote, especially jungle, locations.

We’ve not got much info on this so if this sound like you, get in touch with STVHERE

Conservation projects for medics

If you’re a lover of nature and would love to work more closely with conservation projects, there’s loads out there for you.

As we say here at WEM, ‘where man goes, medicine must follow’ and conservation projects are part of that. You’ll be more than a medic, you’ll form part of the whole team and have opportunities to apply your skills in different areas.

Sea Shepherd (appearing at the Expo),Blue Ventures and Barefoot Conservation are great organisation to follow if you’d love to work near, in or on the sea. For land lovers the Naankuse Foundation and the Luangwa Safaris Association are great examples of opportunities open to you.

Whatever your favourite environment to work in, we’ve got a course to help you understand the challenges you may face. Check out our course page HERE.

Last chance for Polar Medicine

Fancy taking your clinical skills to cold environments? If you’re answering ‘yes’ then we’ve got something for you.

In just a few short weeks we’ll be just outside Wanaka with our team of expert cold weather lovers. From mountain summits to the North Pole our faculty has a huge and varied experience which they’re ready to share with you.

To find out more visit our Polar New Zealand course page, if the northern hemisphere is more suitable for you then how about joining us in Norway next February?

Friday fun

Head over to Life in the Fast Lane’s fantastic site and try your hand at the Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five.

If you’ve ever wondered what percentage of the population find a stethoscope sexy you’ll want to give this quiz a go.



Doctor(s) / Nurse Practitioner required at Lifeline Clinic, Namibia

The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is looking for two doctors or a doctor and a nurse practitioner to run the Lifeline

Clinic 2Clinic based in Pos 3 in the remote Omaheke region of Namibia, from May 2015. This is a unique opportunity to provide primary and pre-hospital care to the San Bushman.  This is a voluntary position with food, accommodation and a living allowance provided and the Foundation would like applicants to stay for at least one year. The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is looking for two doctors or a doctor and a nurse practitioner to run the Lifeline Clinic based in Pos 3 in the remote Omaheke region of Namibia, from May 2015. This is a unique opportunity to provide primary and pre-hospital care to the San Bushman.  This is a voluntary position with food, accommodation and a living allowance provided.  The Foundation would like applicants to stay for at least one year.



The San are considered to be the oldest peoples in the world. For tens of thousands of years the San were hunter gatherers and did not farm or keep livestock. With the advent of agriculture, the San have been forced from their original lands and are unable live their traditional lifestyle.  As a consequence, most San people now live in extreme poverty. They are the poorest group in Namibia with a per capita income of just N$ 3,263 compared with a national average of N$ 10,358. They suffer from discrimination, political and social marginalisation, domination and exploitation. They are the unhealthiest group in Namibia and have a life expectancy of just 46 years.
The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the San and is looking for two doctors or a doctor and a nurse practitioner to run the Lifeline Clinic based in Pos 3 in the Omaheke region of Namibia from May 2015 for one year or longer.
You will provide primary healthcare services and pre-hospital care to the local San population from a reasonably modern, clean and well-equipped clinic. You will also, through outreach clinics, provide care to those living further afield on farms and re-settlement villages. Working with you is a UK trained respiratory consultant who, as part of a research programme, is screening for TB among the San (we estimate 10% of the San people currently have TB) and will be looking at ways of improving their compliance with treatment.
The work is rewarding but the logistics of providing a quality service can be challenging at times – after all ‘this is Africa’. Experience in general medicine, primary care, or emergency medicine is desirable. Most importantly you need to be resilient, flexible, and tolerant.  Having a sense of humour definitely helps!
This role provides you with an opportunity to improve the lives of the San people and leave a legacy that remains long after you have returned home. If you would like to find out more about these posts, contact Sharon Smart by emailing “sharon at naankuse dot com” [email address spelled out to deter spamming]

Western Australia: Senior Medical Officer required

Find medical jobs in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Gulf Region, Canada and UK through Head Medical

Head Medical are looking for an experienced and adventurous UK trained generalist medical practitioner in rural Western Australia.  This is an incredible opportunity to use a wide scope of clinical skills and practice Indigenous Health.


Employers positively seek out members of the Expedition & Wilderness Medicine Community so please mention ‘EWM’ when enquiring...

Senior Medical Officer Rural Western Australia
£218,000 per annum + shift allowances car + accommodation

Located in rural Western Australia, this post may provide the adventure/challenge you are looking for. You will be working in the local indigenous community and making a true difference while also being exceptionally rewarded for your efforts.
The position requires a medical practitioner with extensive generalist experience, able to demonstrate emergency department and primary health care knowledge and skills. The post enables a wide scope of clinical practice in Indigenous health while working closely within a supportive team of friendly staff.
·         UK trainedHeadMedical1
·         MRCGP
·         Minimum 10 years GP experience
Western Australia is one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world, you will have the chance to explore the outback and the state is home to some the planets best diving and beaches.
If you would like to know more about the above post or have a chat regarding exploring your overseas employment options please don’t hesitate to contact Yan on +44 (0)131 240 5274 or via yan@headmedical.comLinks:
Wild Medicine – Conservation Conference, Namibia
Extreme Medicine Conference, London
Sir Ranulph Fiennes



EWM’s Wild Medicine Course Changed our Lives

We know that education opens doors and as the EWM crew are both interested and a bit nosey, we love to hear what our alumni get up to after attending our courses.  Naturally then, we were delighted to hear from Ian P, who told us he and his wife loved the  2013 Wild Medicine course so much, they’re busy packing up in the UK and moving to Namibia…

Not many things you can say that change your life!  Attending the Wild Medicine course was one of those events.  Amazing set of people and a fantastic opportunity to learn about conservation and desert medicine.  

The kind of odd things we learnt…
– Take blood from a cheetah,
– Learn about (and touch – optional) many poisonous snakes,
– Sleep in a desert,  walk 14km through a dry river canyon,
– What are the problem animals with Rabies? (A: Kudu),
– How can carnivores live outside conservation areas & not get killed by farmers &

– How to build a vineyard in a desert … what?!.. 

And the thing that changed our lives? Meet the Bushmen and see their need for healthcare!  My wife and I are volunteering at Naankuse to run the Bushmen medical services. The real thing we learned? There are many people out there that can benefit from our skills … 

Oh and by the way Namibia is amazing you get to see loads … but you can also get a 4×4 and do a week or so trip before the course.


Other courses of interest:
Remote Medicine
Extreme Medicine Conference

This years Wild Medicine Course



Working and Living in Namibia as Medic – EWM Alumni reports back…

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine alumni  Sarah McMurtrie has recently returned from Namibia having worked at a remote Bushman clinic, a post advertised through EWM, a has kindly written her impressions up to inspire you!

Working and Living in Namibia as a medic…

Based in POS 3: Epukiro- North East Namibia 1800 elevation.

Nearest town and district hospital 100km away at Gobabis. Facilities include an Accident and Emergency, TB ward, women’s ward, and maternity and paediatric ward.

Gobabis- 200km from Windhoek (capital of Namibia). Windheok has two major hospitals: Windhoek Central and Katatorah Hospital. It is Gobabis hospital that is the closest place for the people of Epukiro to get an x-ray and it is also the closest place for blood tests and TB sputum samples to be processed. The samples can be taken in Epukiro but need to be transported to Gobabis hospital.

Epukrio/ Pos 3 is a community of San Bushman and Herero people. The settlement is a mixture of small brick buildings and corrugated iron roofs, simple shacks made from wood, cloth and open fires. Communal living within a sandy compound- with relatively infertile land. No toilets so families use the bush – raising sanitation problems and risk of spreading and contracting worms.

The village itself contains two small shops  selling sweets, sugar, oil, soap, tinned goods and two bottle shops ( bars selling bottled beer). A government building involved in agriculture. The state clinic run by nurses  – here everyone pays the equivalent of 7 euros for treatment, there is also an ambulance that can make trips to Gobabis hospital.

There is only one communal tap for the whole of the Bushman community and until one month ago the Bushman were buying water from the Hereros.  There are also a few Shabeems, these are shacks selling cheap alcohol blasting out local pop music, this is unfortunately where a lot of local people – mainly the Bushmen – spend their time and money.

The Lifeline clinic in Eupikro was set up by a Namibian family in 2003, all part of the foundation called N/aankuse. This is a free clinic for Bushman people and where Hereros pay the equivalent of 7 euros. It is run by a permanent Namibian nurse (working there for more than six years) and a resident doctor who comes for at least one year. It is staffed by local people – a receptionist, two translators and a gardener. Volunteers come throughout the year, nurses, doctors or students for an experience.

As a paediatric nurse I came for 4 weeks to the Lifeline clinic. The clinic opens from 08:30- 17:00 Monday to Friday. There are three consulting rooms, family planning and immunisation room and small emergency/ rhesus room. On average 25- 30 patients are seen each day, anything from birth upwards.

For children there is a lot of diarrhoea and vomiting. Immunisations, dehydration, rashes, worms, tinus capitas, occasional broken bones and rapid malaria testing. Tonsillitis, upper and lower respitory tract infections.

For adults a lot of TB patients and TB sputum samples taken- these have to be processed in Gobabis. HIV related illnesses and HIV testing (which has to be done at the State Clinic). Upper and Lower respitory tract infections, chronic pain, arthritis, unknown wounds from insect bites or animals. Family Planning- Ladies coming in for their two or three monthly injections, fungal rashes, STI’s. Alcohol related problems or injuries.

It runs like a GP surgery. Patients histories are taken, these take a long time as most patients speak Bushman, Herero or Africans.  Nearly all consultations require a translator and frequently it is hard to get clear patient histories and the exact information. Patience is needed and often the presenting compliant turns out not to be primary compliant.

Temperature, blood pressure, weights, saturations, heart rate and respirations are all taken. Urine samples, stool samples, TB sputum’s, BM’s taken when required.  For children MUAC (middle upper arm circumference) taken between the age of 6 months to 6 years.

Examinations taken – listening to chest sounds, looking in ears, throats, feeling for lymph nodes, assessing limb from range of moments, pain assessments. Vision examinations (an eye doctor visits the State Clinic every other month). Abdominal examinations feeling for enlarged spleens and livers, or looking out for distended abdomens especially in children.

The clinic has a pharmacy, frequently dispensed medications are paracetamol- but only one or two days worth as alcoholism is a big problem in the village. Methysal gel – to rub over muscle aches- very popular in this community. Ibuprofen – only a few days worth- it’s the Herero ladies with high blood pressure which like this. Oral Antibiotics given for infected bites, secondary lesions and open wounds, also respiratory bacterial infections and some tonsillitis. Albendazole- a de-worming tablet given to the over 2 years.  Zinc is given for diarrhoea to prevent a reduction in the immune system. Multivitamins are given as standard to nearly all patients that come through the door. Blood pressure meds and oral rehydration solution. Kez shampoo given for Tinus Corpetus, Vitamin A given frequently to children and Intra Muscular contraceptive injections.

The clinic also runs outreaches to neighbouring villages- in particular POS 10, about 10km away- to a local school, and to other local community centres at least once a week.  Basically taking a mobile clinic to the villages , providing nearly all the same facilities.

The Life Line clinic is a busy clinic and each day is varied, if it isn’t busy with medical conditions, then it maybe that a crowd of kids come by to see if we have any shoes, clothes or just to sit in the waiting room or hang around outside under the tree.  My work in the clinic came to an end in December – just in time for the Christmas party. Hot dogs, flap jack  and fizzy pop for the kids of POS 3. I Lasting memories of our Christmas photo around the Christmas tree- even the chief joined us!

Find out more about the Lifeline Clinic

Sarah McMurtrie


Of interest


Conservation Course in Namibia accredited for CME

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s new Conservation Medicine course in Namibia has been accredited for 16.5 CME

Located at the stunning N/a’ankuse Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary only 42kms east of Windhoek is Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s new Conservation Medicine Course. This truly unique lodge is set amidst a natural savannah, with riverine vegetation, lush grass plains and magnificent mountain views, and offers a malaria free Wild Medicine course.

The main objective of the course is to educate attendees as to how we can integrate the diagnostic and problem solving skills of both human and animal health professionals with the knowledge of conservation professionals. Ultimately this should help all concerned to better manage the environment and biodiversity to the benefit of all the inhabitants of our beautiful planet.

The emerging interdisciplinary field of conservation medicine, which integrates human and veterinary medicine and environmental sciences, is largely concerned with  zoonose. At the present time there is very little sharing knowledge in both an academic and practical session and this course serves to address this significant gap.

To book your place


Of interest – Desert & Wilderness Medicinal Training Course