Doctors on National Geographic Expeditions and such?

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DeadCactus

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Asking here because it is somewhat related to Wilderness Medicine... sort of...

So one of the few career paths that interests me besides Medicine would be something along the lines of what people affiliated with National Geographic do. You know, the whole going to remote parts of the world to climb mountains or study some animal or what not thing.

So my question is: Do these sort of expeditions take a Physician with them all that often?

I'm just curious if there is a way to be involved in that sort of thing as a Physician. Nothing like a full-time position. Just an opportunity to go once in awhile and do something, for lack of a better word, "cool".
 

dlung

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Asking here because it is somewhat related to Wilderness Medicine... sort of...

So one of the few career paths that interests me besides Medicine would be something along the lines of what people affiliated with National Geographic do. You know, the whole going to remote parts of the world to climb mountains or study some animal or what not thing.

So my question is: Do these sort of expeditions take a Physician with them all that often?

I'm just curious if there is a way to be involved in that sort of thing as a Physician. Nothing like a full-time position. Just an opportunity to go once in awhile and do something, for lack of a better word, "cool".


One of our GW graduates runs the Everest Base Camp clinic and on the off-season works at Yosemite. One of our current attendings has gone to Everest as one of the expedition MDs.

The answers are 'yes' you can do it and 'sometimes' expeditions hire their own MDs depending on how much nice the adventure company is. Advice from our MDs is just be careful who you decide to work for, the barebones expeditions can be sketch and you don't want to agree to do something you're not comfortable with. Also, you'd better know what you're doing before you go and not be the sketch MD with the sketch adventure company. I can't remember the current stats, but morbidity and mortality on Everest is something ridiculous like 5-10%.
 

psychbender

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One of the Sports Med fellows (Dr Phil Arnold) at our school last year was with the Weihenmayer expedition on Everest, along with his mentor (who was the expedition physician, I guess). He now has a practice in Wisconsin, and is the primary medical officer on MountainVision trips (http://www.mountain-vision.com/mv_associates.htm). Groups like NOLS and GMRS, I believe, also have a number of physician instructors for their wilderness medicine classes.
 
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