Archive for the ‘Arctic Medicine’ Category

« Older Entries

Calling snow-loving doctors!

Life-changing opportunity for a physician to deploy to the North Poleutmb-Polar-Ops-Side-Banner_2 with the US Center for Polar Medical Operations (CPMO).

You’ll need to be a US citizen, have a US medical licence, hold a valid passport and not averse to the cold, the snow and the dark!  In return, you’ll have a unique experience, enjoyed by few others on the planet.  You’ll be rewarded with fantastic other-worldly snow-scapes and acres of stars in night-time Polar skies.

The CPMO is hosted at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).  Here, they support the National Science Foundation’s US Antarctic Program (USAP) and they seek a doctor to work at one of the scientific research stations in Antarctica.

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole station is one of the most isolated places on earth. CPMO are looking for an Emergency or Family Medicine physician with acute care experience who is up for the challenge of working at 10,000 feet during the depths of the Antarctic Winter.

While the clinical load is light, the opportunity to work in this remote situation will be attractive to physicians with interests in extreme/remote or altitude medicine.  Practice medicine under the Aurora Australis and see the Milky Way as few others ever will, all while providing health care to the station crew.

The South Pole Station carries out exciting research in astronomy, weather, geology and supports other science missions. Deployments are 9 months, and US citizenship is required.  Warm, shared accommodation is provided as are  recreational facilities, internet and telephone access.  CPMO are also recruiting for winter staff at the McMurdo and Palmer Stations.

For more information, please visit www.usap.gov or www.utmb.edu/polar

Call 409-772-3626 if you are interested or apply on-line at www.utmb.edu/polar.

 

Links
Polar Medicine Course
World Extreme Medicine Conference

 

Share

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine and Extreme Medicine Conference & Expo.

Have you used ‘WEMEEXPO15SPECIAL30’ ? There’s only 8 days left to take advantage of this massive 30% off the Extreme Medicine Conference & Expo tickets. Full Ts&CsHERE

Dive Medicine – Raja Ampat

Only 1 space remaining!
From September 21, we’ll be spending 11 days exploring the under water paradise of Raja Ampat. Home to over 1,050 divers fish species, 537 coral species and 6999 mollusc species, this stunning location is considered by many divers to have the richest composition of sea life anywhere in the world.
During this exciting expedition you’ll be staying on the liveaboard Shakti, taking part in up to three dives per day, with up to two hours of CME per day – leaving you plenty of time to enjoy your surroundings and share experiences with your fellow delegates and faculty.
If you’d like to snap up the last space email us HERE and we’ll hold the space for the first person to get in touch.
For more information on this trip clickHERE.

Polar Medicine – New Zealand

In a little over two weeks we’ll be enjoying the snowy wonders of the Southern Alps, and we now have capacity for a couple more delegates to join us.
Our highly experienced team will develop your specialist skills with practical sessions giving you hands on experience of rescuing and treating cold water immersion, frostbite, altitude related illnesses and hypothermia. Essential cold weather skills such as building shelters, snowshoeing and dog sledding will all be included.
If you’re thinking of applying your medical skills in a cold environment, you can’t go wring by starting here.
For more information on Polar Medicine click HERE.
If you’d like further information on our Polar and Mountain courses the check out THIS LINK.

Kili’ medic opportunity

Action Challenge are looking for a medic to join their Kilimanjaro expedition June 30 – August 09 2015. The expedition will be following the Machame route. The medic must be a fully qualified doctor – altitudue experience and expedition medicine course attendance preferred but not essential. Expenses for the trip will be covered.
Contact James Holland +44 (0)20 7609 6695 for more info.

Conference news

Keep your eyes peeled for a special newsletter this weekend with conference announcements that you just wont want to miss!

Poster Competition Liaison

James Yates works for the Great Western Air Ambulance as a Critical Care Paramedic. James has worked nationally and internationally, as a clinician and educator, as well as spending time with HART and UK-Med.
After completing an Expedition & Wilderness Medicine course, James has worked on various events across the world and we’re please he can now use his skills to assist us.
To entre our poster competition for the Extreme Medicine Conference email usHERE

 

Share

The view from EWM towers is a very exciting one and here’s why.

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

News and updates

The view from EWM towers is a very exciting one and here’s why.

Moving forward

We’re delighted to announce the development of a new postgraduate education programme in Expedition, Wilderness and Extreme Medicine where students will work towards a Certificate, Diploma and MSc.
Building on over a decade of successful evolving courses to highlight Expedition Medicine as a career option, we feel that now is the right time to take a step forward and offer a formal postgraduate programme that matches the increasing levels of clinical governance in this field. We think you’ll all agree that this is really exciting for us at EWM, but also for medics out there who wish to formalise the learning and skills they have picked up in this exciting field of medicine.
If you’re interested and would like to hear more news as we announce it, be sure to sign up to our postgraduate mailing list HERE.

Next stop…
..New Zealand.

To be a little more precise we’ll be off to the beautiful Southern Alps for our ever popular Polar Medicine course. There are only a few spaces left so click HEREif you’re thinking of joining us.

Course News

We listen to our delegates and as part of our improvement strategy extended our next UK based course, to four full days. The course, which will be held in Dartmoor, will allow time for additional learning, a little more free time and greater networking opportunities. For more information visit our Expedition & Wilderness Medicine Dartmoor page HERE.

Interns/Electives

Great news for our readership who approach us about intern posts or electives. We are re-establishing our EWMi programme to accept an intern on each of our UK based courses. For more information on the application process click HERE.
If you have any questions about electives we’d recommend you take a look at what our great friends at Adventure Medic are doing. It’s a fantastic resource which contains accounts from returning medics, but check out their resources section for elective opportunities!

We want to hear from you

Your experiences: We love a good blog (or vlog) that shares your experiences with the wider world. EWM was born out of adventure and although we’re passionate about delivering high quality training, adventure is still in our soul and we enjoy reading your tales and admiring your photos.

Your photos: Photography is another passion of ours, bridging languages, sharing culture and stirring the deepest emotions. If you have a great snap you’d like to see appear in our newsletter then get in touch HERE 
Share

Antarctic Medical Conference 2015: Fight offer

Free flights from Miami to Buenos Aires!

Antarctic Wilderness Medicine Conference

Secure complimentary flights from Miami to board expedition ship, National Geographic Explorer in Buenos Aires on 7th December for the iconic Antarctic Medical Conference, when you book with Lindblad Expeditions & mention Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s medical conference.

Expect breathtaking scenery and huge photo opportunities on this voyage; whales, penguins & a multitude of seabirds: 7th – 20th December. With CME content accredited for 10 hours by the Wilderness Medicine Society and delivered by Dr Alex Kumar.

To read more about this life changing experience visit our Antarctic web-page HERE

This offer is time limited and due to expire 3oth June 2015, so don’t hang around.

 

Links

Antarctic Medical Conference  

EWM course portfolio

EWM Facebook

Share

White Mars: Doctoring in the Coldest Place on Earth

Extreme medicine and expedition doctor Alexander Kumar provides an account of his time spent working in one of  the coldest places in Antarctica and one of the few true extreme environments on Planet Earth.  Known for his sense of humour, he has lived, worked and travelled through over 80 countries all over the world, including the Amazon and extensively across the Arctic and the Antarctic a few times also over the past 10 years

Alex Kumar Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

Dr Alex Kumar

Shackleton in Space

Antarctica is a large flat egg-white expanse with bits of egg shell in it (aka the TransAntarctic mountain range) that is greater in area than India and China put together.

Exactly 100 years on from Scott and Shackleton, I travelled to Antarctica and spent around one year living at Concordia, a joint French-Italian inland Antarctic research station as the Human Spaceflight Research MD to conduct research for the European Space Agency in an attempt to understand how far human physiology and psychology can be pushed towards a future manned mission to Mars.  It is one of the most remote outposts on the planet located in one of the world’s most extreme environments.

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine Alex Kumar

The most extreme place on the planet?
Environmental extremes experienced there include:

*  Enduring around 3 months of complete darkness, where the sun does not rise above the horizon
*  The world’s coldest temperatures dropping down below minus 80 degrees Celsius
*  Complete isolation with no means of escape for 9 months, simulating long duration space missions and life on the surface of another planet
*  Chronic hypobaric hypoxia being located at around 3800 metres equivalent altitude
*  Nothing lives outside the station for over 1,000 kilometres, in nearly all directions.
*  Our nearest neighbours are the astronauts orbiting the earth on board the International Space Station, and then some Russians snowed* in at Vostok station (* = it does not actually ‘snow’ inside Antarctica).

Answering the job advertisement for what may be the coldest and loneliest job in the world, I found packing my mind for a year away was much more difficult than my bags.

“The uttermost end of the world”

To travel to the moon from the base would only take three days – far less than the three weeks it took to fly from London to Hobart and then to sail by icebreaker across the Southern Ocean, battling high seas, whales and being stuck in the ice pack with leopard seals before reaching a 60,000-strong rookery and football stadium’s worth of Adélie penguins.  The stench nearly turned me back home.

Antarctica is an ill defined space in people’s minds.  It incorporates South Georgia and other sub Antarctic islands, which are in fact closer to South America than the continent of Antarctica itself.  People can and have sailed to South Georgia even during its winter.  Whereas the interior of Antarctica remains an inpenetrable block of ice.  Even a team led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ (Coldest Journey) could not penetrate the continent’s interior during winter.

The longest on-call 

Antarctica is full of surprises (and penguins).  Adding to that it was the first time since the station opened 10 years previously that there would be just one doctor overwintering – that was to be me, since another doctor left the base just before winter began.  It was a game of Tag and I was ‘it’.  I can’t complain now about a set of nights or hardship on-call after doing nearly a year on-call in Antarctica.

The journey wasn’t over, it had just begun.  After flying a further five-hour flight inland in a Twin Otter over the Great White Silence, a blank white canvas.  Perhaps God had forgotten to paint this continent, intentionally I thought, as he took rest on the 7th day.

Alex Kumar, Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

Coldest science on earth

Antarctica’s ice layer protects and hides its secrets like a thick skin, stretched over the bedrock many thousands of feet below. Recent efforts at Russia’s Antarctic Vostok station tapped the veins of the sub-glacial lakes, which flow deep beneath the surface, that may harbour evidence of life forms of our distant past.  But as yet, this continent’s secrets remain teasingly elusive.

Ice cores plumbed out of the 800,000-year-old ice have told a story of their own – the impact of mankind on Earth and climate change. Century-old equipment was used in the discovery of a hole in the ozone – earth’s own flesh wound, which may yet scar over.

We conducted earth science research including glaciology, meteorology, seismology and astronomy, alongside my own research (on the adaptation of human health and well-being to this extreme environment), and trying to help in arranging the jigsaw pieces involved in sending a manned mission to Mars and back.

Curtain of darkness

As winter sets in, you stop living and start surviving.  Temperatures plummet below minus 80C. In May the sun sets for the last time.  A curtain of darkness falls, leaving you to endure three months of 24-hour darkness.  Spinning uncontrollably through the world’s time zones, leaving you gasping as you wake from unforgiving, hypoxia-euphoric vivid dreams.  The cold and isolation begin to seep in and your mind begins to stretch uncomfortably, as your senses become blunted by the sensory deprivation.

There is light at the end of the tunnel as multicoloured lights flicker overhead in the darkness, the Aurora Australis.

One way journey to the great beyond

Once you enter the Antarctic winter, you begin a personal journey of discovery and you will learn a lot about yourself.  You cannot turn back or go home.  Once that last plane departs, there is only one way up, you have to summit and there is no quitting, only crying along the way.

Alex Kumar, Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

Living and over-wintering as the only British national among a team of 13 Europeans in the most extreme and remote environment on the planet was not ‘easy’ but not so challenging as it was predictable.  As in any stressful environment living in an Antarctic station can be likened to living in one of the Old West frontier towns – a continual sense of not knowing who is going to shoot at who next or why.  As a team, we ate, slept, exercised, conducted science and survived alone frozen into the landscape in close proximity.  We all survived.

Not wanting to spoil the winter and many stories that came from it, I can summarise wintering in Antarctica in one sentence… it is one of the world’s only psychological marathons and one of the Earth’s greatest, most magnificent and most peculiar journeys.

‘I’ve been to Antarctica’

Tourists are so often bedazzled by Antarctica.  And the public are often impressed by those who have been there. It certainly is special.  However, all in all, you can say you have ‘been’ to Antarctica if you have flown in to work there for a few weeks or been on a cruise down there, during the breezy summertime.  Take heed, when this is so often thrown about in conversations and talks.

We are all just tourists when it comes to Antarctica

Really, you can never say you actually know Antarctica until you have wintered there.  And not just anywhere.    A winter on a subantarctic island such as South Georgia, Antarctica’s coast or peninsula (-20C climbing and skiing activities which can be accessible during the winter) is nothing like a winter in the interior of the continent (-80C in hypoxic darkness that is inaccessible for months).  And even a well connected wifi ridden winter in the interior nowadays is nothing like a broken radio winter in Shackleton’s day.  If you want real isolation, you’ll have to bury your head and phone in the ice.

My own conclusion?  Simple – Watching people around you unfold and unzip at the seams during wintering as a doctor is an interesting and can be an unforgiving past time.  For sure, people aren’t made of the same grit and stuff these days.  If you want to really experience something try to do it properly.  Challenge yourself and mankind.  What have you got to lose? … Only a few fingers or toes.

Alex Kumar, Expedition & Wilderness Medicine

 

Alex has since worked in different space analogue environments and constructed the ‘White Mars’ research protocol for Sir Ranulph Fiennes. 

As an accomplished writer, photographer and public speaker, he has published articles in BBC News, New York Times and by invitation, recently held an exhibition at the Royal Photographic Society, featured in The Guardian.  

Alex now talks and works internationally for different organisations and humanitarian agencies, conducts global health research and continues to enjoy taking photos behind his camera and presenting in front of cameras for TV including BBC and Discovery, alongside his day to day NHS job and is a member of the EWM faculty.

Alex is continuing important work on a patent for a unique blend of cheerful and optimistic British sarcasm.

More information can be found at: www.AlexanderKumar.com  

Alex’s TED talk ‘Malaria to Mars’ can be found at: http://youtu.be/OukZ04e6kOM

 

 

Share

Dates for Polar Medicine Norway now available….

Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’s Polar Medical Skills course is set in Northern Norway near the town of Alta within the Arctic Circle. It runs over a 6-day period, at the height of the Arctic winter. It represents, we believe, one of the best presented and comprehensive winter medical skills courses in Europe and routinely receives outstanding feedback from its delegates.

To find out more about the Polar Medicine Course in Norway – click here

and if your are in the Southern Hemisphere our New Zealand based Polar Medicine course – click here.

Share

Well done Ellen on getting published!! A great article on Polar Medicine Norway!

Medicine at minus 25 (one of the best medical courses I have attended.)

  1. Dr Ellen Welch

+ Author Affiliations

  1. GPST1, East Cumbria VTS

EXTRACT

Earlier this year, as the British winter was beginning to thaw, I ventured over to northern Norway, within the Arctic Circle, to spend the week learning about expedition medicine in an extreme environment. Expedition Medicine’s Polar medicine course aims to equip medics with the skills required to safely manage casualties in the wilderness. The course is led by experienced expedition medics alongside ex-Royal Marine instructors and is structured around learning winter survival skills in the field, followed by evening lectures once the polar daylight fades. Our group was made up of 23 doctors from a variety of countries, grades and specialities. Some had previous expedition experience, although this is not a prerequisite for the course. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and enthusiasm to participate would be encouraged to attend. For me, the opportunity to get out of the classroom and gain some expedition experience with some inspiring people makes it one of the best medical courses I have attended.

Read the full article here…

Sign up for our New Zealand Course

Pre Register for the 2013 Polar Medicine Norway Course

EXTREME MEDICINE CONFERENCE

*InnovAiT is the RCGP journal that promotes excellence in primary care through quality education. It was developed to support Associates in Training (AiTs) of the Royal College of General Practitioners from entry into specialist training to qualification. It is also a valuable resource for; GP trainers, trained GPs who wish to update and maintain their knowledge base, newly qualified (First5) GPs wanting to extend their knowledge, practice and community nurses, and foundation level doctors and medical students contemplating a career in primary care.

Share

Expedition Medicine sponsors the International Scott Centenary Expedition

Expedition and Wilderness is proud to sponsor the International Scott Centenary Expedition ISCE.  

The story of Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN (1868 -1912) is one of the greatest epic tales in human history. Through h 

Antarctic Medical Conference © Mark Hannaford

is life, which he dedicated to the scientific exploration of the Antarctic regions, and in his heroic death, he has inspired the lives of many. His work paved the way for the modern Antarctic as a continent for science and international co-operation.  

Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition (1910 -1913) was not, however, in the business of creating heroes. The main objective, as expressed by Scott in his prospectus, was “To reach the South Pole and to secure for the British Empire the honour of this achievement”. The expedition had further objectives in scientific research and geographical exploration and intended to make “…bagging the Pole merely an item in the results”. To achieve this, Scott took with him the most extensive team of scientists to visit Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration.  

Their wide ranging achievements were overshadowed by what became the loss of the race to the South Pole to the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and the subsequent death of Captain Scott and the Polar Party. Nevertheless their efforts paved the way for the foundation of modern polar studies with the foundation of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge as a national memorial to Captain Scott and the Polar Party. This has ensured the continuation of their legacy of scientific exploration to this day.  

With 2012 marking the centenary of the deaths of Captain Scott and the Polar Party, there is no better time to remember the achievements of the expedition, to raise the public’s awareness of the role that the expedition members played towards advancing polar research and to commemorate those who gave their lives – Captain Scott RN, Dr Wilson, Lieutenant Bowers RIM, Captain Oates and Petty Officer Evans RN.  

  

  (more…)

Share

Some feedback just makes us smile!

Feedback on our recent Polar Medicine training course in Norway has clearly affected some of the course delegates by creating a need for ‘biggles-speak’…

PapaFoxtrot calling Red Leaders AlphaHotel, AlphaCharlie, DeltaBravo, Bravo and Delta

Congrats on recent Operation Polar Bear

Wizard week

No prangs

Best ever

Location stunning

Bunks and chow excellent 

Red Leaders all SPLENDID

Hope all returned to base safely

Please pass on to all members of Polar Bear as don’t have call signs

Do you read me ?

Over

Share

Polar Medicine instructor completes epic sea kayak expedition

A dispatch from our Polar Medicine instructor Per Thore Hansen after his epic sea kayak expedition in Svarlbard. ‘Back in Longyearbyen. All well 14 bears, had to scare away 4 of them that was walking into the camp. 550 kilometre paddling , 30 kilometre pulling 100 kilo kajak over the glacier. Surfing in 5 meter waves! Good fun…!’

Share