Expedition Medicine in Chamonix (winter) 17.5 CPD, 20-24 January 2014
What WMT says
Chamonix in winter is a fantastic setting in which to bring together WMT’s expert resources for a five day course to explore the rich and varied field of expedition and wilderness medicine. Now in its 14th year, this is WMT’s most popular Medics’ event that is packed with inspiration, practical advice on how to join an expedition and expert medical training. On the most recent course in January 2013 we had 9 faculty who shared their expertise with great passion, be it in the fields of mountain or jungle medicine, extreme expedition adventures, remote clinical and humanitarian work, mountain rescue or research. Four out of five days begin at 3pm for indoor practical sessions, lectures and discussions. A half day is spent outside practicing medicine in the cold and learning useful field skills like using a rope on steep ground and radio communications. Each day has 4-5 hours course time which leaves the best part of the day free for snowsport activities. Every day concludes with a special inspirational talk. As far as learning from experts, career destabilising inspiration and snow time in the Alps, attending this course is a no-brainer in terms of being the only choice! Organisations that “employ” expedition medics increasingly expect candidates to have done a course of this breadth and standard.
What students say
Particularly impressed by approachable and incredibly experienced and interesting faculty.
Fantastic. Great. Amazing!
Superb, realistic course! Eye opening. Excellent. Very well prepared and spoken.
This has been a career, and possibly life changing course for me! Went beyond expectations.
Excellent lectures and practical sessions.
Inspirational! Great course. Enjoyed the structure, flow and content.
When you get an angry letter from my mum saying you’ve ruined my medical career please don’t worry – I had a great time!
Wonderful – thank you.
Inspiring teaching styles. All very clear, concise and very knowledgeable.
Well organised & approachable & friendly faculty. Great experience – loved it!
“… the result was a really high standard of teaching, far and above most other medical courses I have attended. I think when other medics hear of a course in expedition medicine they think “junket,” and yet I feel I can return to my training scheme that granted the study leave and proudly boast as to the standard of teaching I have received.” Cathal O’Sullivan
Doctors of all grades, nurses, medical students or anyone else with an interest in expedition and wilderness medicine are welcome to attend. No prior expedition experience is required. Naturally many people come to this course to combine snowsports with the educational opportunity. Delegates range from experienced expedition medics who attend to ensure their knowledge is up to date and to get formal training under their belt, to medics who are fascinated and curious about this field of medicine and are exploring alternative career paths. This is our most well attended Medic’s course due to the stunning location, diverse faculty, rich programme and snowsport fun! We are proud that our faculty and delegate mix reflects a diversity of healthcare professionals and is inter-disciplinary.
The tuition only course fee is £495. For undergraduate medical students, nurses and paramedics there’s a special price of £400 but we reserve the right to withdraw this price at any time without notice so you should book while it is available.
2014 teaching team
We’ll have another amazing team in January 2014 who are vastly experienced in the field, great teachers and passionate outdoors people. Their achievements are many and varied; from leading researchers, founders of charitable clinical projects, authors, medical consultants, professional mountain guides and expedition leaders. This team has operated in every environment there is and they are full of inspiration, great stories and advice on how to follow in their footsteps. Overwhelmingly, they are always rated as “friendly, expert and accessible”. Whilst the 2014 team is yet to be confirmed, here’s an idea of the 2013 faculty to give you an idea of the calibre to expect:
- WMT director Barry Roberts with 25 expeditions to his credit
- Daniel Morris, consultant ophthalmologist and “the eye at altitude” authority
- Dr Lucy Obolensky, vastly experienced in the field and in running African orthopaedic projects
- Charlotte McCall, physiotherapist
- Mr Ali Cobb, inspirational consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon
- Dr Paddy Morgan, jungle, mountain rescue & water rescue expert
- Dr Nick Mason, international high altitude expert, head of the IPPG
- Dr David Hillebrandt, UIAA Medical Commission President, head of UK DiMM
What’s the programme for Expedition Medicine in Chamonix?
There is approximately 4.5 hours of teaching time per day, indoors 4/5 and outdoors 1/5. This programme gives you a good outline and is subject to confirmation once the faculty are confirmed.
1500-1515 Course kick off – welcome to the world of expedition medicine
1515-1600 The eye at altitude and other eye problems
1600-1615 Research on expeditions
1615-1700 Avalanche risks: essential for off-piste skiers
1730-1815 Frostbite – alpine management
Complimentary wine & nibbles
1830-1930 Keynote address
1500-1545 Medical planning for expeditions
1545-1600 Don’t get sued – legal liability and insurance
1600-1630 Medical kits – discussion groups
1630-1645 Aero-medical evacuation – what you really need to know
1715-1730 Abdominal pain and diarrhoea
1730-1815 Orthopaedic problems on expeditions
Complimentary wine & nibbles
1830-1930 Inspirational lectures – voluntary work in Kenya
Eyeing up Africa – Dan Morris
Orthopaedics in Kenya – Lucy Obolensky
Wednesday – Medicine in the Outdoor Environment
0900-1230 OR 1330-1700 – Half day of outdoor practical sessions and scenario-based problem solving exercises including:
• Use of radios
• Trauma scenario
• Practical fracture management
• Safety on steep terrain – some practical rope tricks
• Moving casualties/use of high altitude Gamov bag
Complimentary wine & nibbles
1830-1930 Inspirational lecture
Everest My Way – Barry Roberts
1500-1545 Altitude illness – theory & practice
1545-1600 Working with disabled groups
1600-1700 Maxillofacial trauma & expedition dentistry
1715-1815 Physiotherapy in the field
Complimentary wine & nibbles
1830-1930 Inspirational lecture(s)
Speaker to be confirmed
1500-1545 Swift water search and rescue
1545-1600 Human dynamics on expeditions
1600-1615 Jungle marathon and extreme events
1745-1815 Military medicine and expeditions – crossover of experience
1815-1900 Joining an expedition – being the right stuff – what next?
These very personal talks are a real highlight for many delegates so it’s worth saying more about them. Firstly, they are always accompanied by first-class images and often other media. Secondly, it is the highly personal, often intimate, nature of these presentations that delegates love. You will be laughing, and crying, as our team tell you about their exploits, hardships, successes and failures in the jungles, high on Everest, conducting life-changing eye operations, running the Marathon du Sable, 4×4 exploring around Africa, fighting polar bears in Greenland, treating tragic frostbite or working with the International Porter Protection Group in Nepal. Often heart warming, inspirational, humbling, humble, honest, revealing, frank, frightening and occasionally cringeworthy, it’s no surprise these talks are so highly rated. We don’t promise all of these talks on a single course but this gives you a flavour of the calibre to expect.
We estimate that this programme is valid for approximately 17.5 CPD hours.
Fees include tuition, refreshments, materials and full lecture programme only. The early booking discount has been extended to 15 September. Nurses and paramedics are entitled to the special nurse rate as are full time undergraduate medical students. This offer can be withdrawn at any time so book now.
What about travel, accommodation, ski pass costs etc? See the pre-course Welcome Note
We issue a comprehensive Welcome Note that details the answers to every conceivable question you could ask about getting to Chamonix, where to stay, what to bring, what’s happening and many more top tips to make it easy to join us including apartment rental discounts, airport transfer discount codes, ski pass prices and more. We also normally block booked and reserve the main town centre hostel for our delegates (sleeps about 40) which we’ve filled for the last 4 years. This is an easy solution but there are many other options detailed in the note that range from other hostels to hotels of all standards and catered chalets.
Download more information
Download this file for more general information, accommodation and travel advice about this great course in Chamonix.
RGS Expedition Health Research
A Royal Geographical Society study of 1263 medical complaints on expedition found that more than half (51%) were classified either as gastrointestinal upsets (30%) or medical problems (21% – infections, headache, malaria etc.). 8% of complaints were fauna related. Not surprisingly, 4% of problems were feet related. Orthopaedic problems accounted for 19% of complaints, closely followed by environmental problems at 14%. Even minor illnesses left untreated, such as diarrhoea, blisters or sunburn, can slow a whole team down, reduce productivity and enjoyment and threaten the success of an expedition. More serious illness or injury can derail the expedition’s plans and result in evacuation that can be difficult and protracted. There is much for the expedition medic to consider and prepare for.