WMT’s ethos is naturally a by-product of our team – the expert medical men and women who teach our courses so it’s impossible to discuss one without the other.
We’ve always believed that non-medically trained people – catered for by our Explorer courses – can learn an enourmous amount of medicine in a few days and can, with WMT’s expert guidance and comprehensive manuals as a back up, be entrusted to use prescription medications and antibiotics prudently. That’s why our Medical Director will personally approve our students to obtain such drugs for use overseas. In this respect we broke the mould – back in 1991 – which held the belief that the role of the expedition “medic” was reserved for doctors and nurses. Today, it’s acceptable and more imperative than ever for motivated laypeople to be trained for this role because most teams can’t take a nurse or doctor along. A little knowledge is not dangerous is a phrase that’s stood the test of time in WMT’s history and continues to shape how and what we teach laypeople.
On our Medic programmes for doctors, nurses, senior medical students and OHPs, we blend medical teaching with field skills (like how to set up a jungle camp, climb snow slopes with an ice axe and expedition catering) because we believe – in fact we know – that an effective medic must be comfortable in the environment they are working in and be able to contribute in ways that aren’t medical – and as part of the leadership team. We always emphasise that good medical planning prior to travel combined with the knowledge and confidence to improvise in the field without x-rays, special tests or any senior colleagues to refer to is a recipe for success. All Medic courses include a healthy dose of inspiration and are peppered with dozens of real expedition anecdotes and more formal faculty presentations on personal expedition exploits. We believe in showing the good, the bad and sometimes the downright ugly side of expedition life.
Our team of instructors is our greatest asset and they gravitate towards WMT because they share our ethos. They love to teach and they are active doctors, nurses, expedition leaders and mountain guides with a passion for travel and adventure. They’ve been there, see it, done it – but they are hugely approachable and are still active learners; maintaining the currency of their biographies is a full time task. Three words sum them up – expert, expert, expert – and WMT is very fortunate to be able to harness their hard-won experience. They write for leading publications, consult for travel companies, conduct related research, teach other doctors (in hospitals and on the Diploma in Mountain Medicine), operate private travel clinics, work with mountain rescue teams, serve in war zones and run charitable medical projects and clinics in the developing world. They also find time to pursue their own overseas dreams and ambitions so they are very much active “in the field” on full scale expeditions whether they’re diving, climbing, ski mountaineering, racing in the Marathon du Sable, making 1st ascents in Greenland, paragliding off Mont Blanc, ocean sailing, working in Antarctica or climbing Everest. See Directors, Senior Instructors & Associates for more information about our impressive team.