Expedition Medicine, Chamonix (winter) 21-25 January 2019

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 and global health. Now in its 17th 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. We have an expert team who’ll share 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 mid afternoon for indoor practical sessions, lectures and case study 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 GPS. 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 “insight” 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 a great choice! Organisations that “employ” expedition medics increasingly expect candidates to have done a course of this breadth and standard.

What students say

10/10. One of the best weeks of my life. FANTASTIC.
Absolutely superb.
Gripping & inspirational. 10/10
Exceeded expectations (which were high) by a mile.
Excellent [instructors} without exception.
Best course ever.
Brilliantly delivered – diverse / interesting.
Real career changer.
All sessions delivered by such passionate, experienced individuals.
WMT has been absolutely inspirational!
Course content was excellent…
Amazing wealth of experience and stories…
All (instructors) were outstanding.
Interesting and inspiring week in a brilliant setting.
This has been a career, and possibly life changing course for me! Went beyond expectations.
Inspirational! Great course. Enjoyed the structure, flow and content.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in expeditions/global health or who needs some career direction.

10 great reasons to attend!

1. The broad scope of the programme – from trop medicine to mountain medicine and more
2. Easy and cheap access to Chamonix – fly to Geneva, a hour’s drive from Cham
3. Academic accreditation / CPD – up to 30 hrs
4. Free snowsports time – a half day or more free each day
5. Expert tuition – a dream team of highly credible instructors
6. Career advice – encouraging, realistic advice on being an exped medic
7. The skiing – beginner slopes to glacier skiing and the Vallee Blanche. Unrivalled in Europe
8. Accommodation options – Air BnBs, hotels, apartments, chalets galore
9. Local services and ski hire – we’ll introduce you to our reliable in-resort partners
10. Incredibly eye opening and no doubt will change my life. This is the insight I have been needing and waiting for. 2017 delegate!

2019 Pre-course Downloads

The 2019 pre-course dossier with travel advice and more is coming soon.
Chamonix chalets and apartments delegate recommendations from 2017
WMT call for abstracts Jan 2019 Chamonix course submission guidelines


Salle du Bicentenaire 94 Place du Mont Blanc, central Chamonix.

Read what delegate Dr Isobel Wilson said

“Just wanted to say a massive, massive thank you for such a fun, informative and inspirational week! I have come away with a much clearer idea of what I want to do over the next few years and am much more excited about life in general! The lectures were great – short enough that you could concentrate throughout them but long enough that some key points were taken away. The handbook will be a brilliant reference in the future as well.”

Who’s invited?

Doctors of all grades, nurses, OHPs, medical students and anyone else with an interest in expedition and wilderness medicine are welcome to attend. No prior expedition or ski experience is required. Naturally many people come to this course to combine snow sports 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 younger 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 snow sport fun in your free time. (For our ski based course see Mountain Medicine on Skis.) We are proud that our faculty and delegate mix reflects a diversity of healthcare professionals and is inter-disciplinary.

Course fees – discounts for med students, nurses & paramedics

The tuition only course fee is £495. Remember to budget for flights, food/accommodation, ski passes and such. We provide heaps of related advice when you book. DON’T book if you don’t have leave approved as all payments are subject to terms and conditions and deposit payments are not refundable. The special discounted price is only available to 20 undergraduate medical students, nurses and paramedics. Please do not book this option if you don’t meet this criteria.

Call for abstracts – new in 2019

The abstracts will focus on recent research, interesting case studies or expeditions in the role of medic covering the entire spectrum of wilderness medicine. Accepted abstracts will be presented as posters at the meeting with a selection chosen for oral presentations. The best oral presentation will receive an award. Notification of acceptance will be sent to the principal author after 1 Dec 2018. Abstracts will be scored by a panel of the conference faculty using a validated scoring system from RCEM. WMT call for abstracts Jan 2019 Chamonix course submission guidelines

2019 Course Director & Teaching Team

WMT’s Medical Director Dr Harvey Pynn will be the 2019 course director. Read more about Harvey on this Director’s page and see his online library of Medical Director’s Bulletins.

This is the 2019 teaching team – more great instructors to be added
– Dr Harvey Pynn, EM Consultant, climber, endurance athlete, Dip Trop Med & Mountain Med. WMT Medical Director
– Barry Roberts, skier, climber, diver & paraglider pilot, WMT Commercial Director with 25+ expeditions
– Dr Lucy Obolensky GP, passionate global health advocate, Kenya medical project founder, TV medic
– Carron Scrimgeour, local Chamonix EM consultant, frostbite expert and mountain rescue helicopter doctor
– Dr Charlotte Verney – anaesthetist, broad base of diverse expedition experience

2019 provisional programme

This programme has been thoroughly revised with the main addition of more short, sharp sessions thus broadening this comprehensive programme even further. There is approximately 5 hours of teaching time per day, indoors 4/5 and outdoors 1/5 Monday to Friday.

Day 1
2.30 – 3.00 Registration
3.00 – 3.15 Course kick off – welcome & introductions
3.15 – 4.00 Be ready – expedition medical planning
4.00 – 4.30 Stay safe in Cham – avalanche risks
4.30 – 4.45 Refreshments
4.45 – 5.40 Hypothermia & frostbite
5.45 – 6.15 Expedition orthopaedics
6.15 – 6.30 Complimentary wine & nibbles
6.30 – 7.15 Insight lecture

Day 2 Vignettes
2.30 – 2.45 ‘Bang for Buck’ medical multi-tools
2.45 – 3.00 Human dynamics
3.00 – 3.15 Hyperbaric emergencies
3.15 – 3.30 Global health / rash quiz
3.30 – 4.00 Refreshments
4.00 – 4.15 Changes in UK SAR
4.15 – 4.30 Communications
4.30 – 4.45 Working with disabled participants
4.45 – 5.00 Pain in the wilderness
5.00 – 5.15 Ten pearls for a medical kit
5.15 – 5.30 Q&A with presenters
5.30 – 6.15 Chamonix Mountain Rescue
6.15 – 6.30 Complimentary wine & nibbles
6.30 – 7.15 Insight lecture

Day 3 Outdoor workshops 1/2 day – 9-12.30 OR 1.30 – 5.00
GPS navigation
Trauma scenario (PAC)
Practical fracture management
Safety on steep terrain – rope skills
Communications / SAR / survival aides
6.00 Complimentary wine & nibbles
6.15 – 7.00 Insight Lecture

Day 4
2.30 – 3.30 Altitude illness – theory & practice
3.30 – 4.00 Research on expeditions
4.00 – 4.30 Refreshments
4.30 – 5.15 The eye at altitude & other eye problems
5.15 – 6.00 Submersion and immersion
6.00 – 6.15 Q&A with presenters
6.15 – 6.30 Complimentary wine & nibbles
6.30 – 7.15 Insight lecture
Day 5
2.30 – 3.15 Hot and Bothered
3.15 – 3.45 Max fax injuries & dental problems
3.45 – 4.30 Tropical problems – part 1
4.30 – 5.00 Refreshments
5.00 – 5.45 Tropical problems – Part 2
5.45 – 6.15 Breakout Q&A
6.15 – 6.30 Complimentary wine & nibbles / evaluation
6.30 – 6.45 So you wanna be an expedition medic?
6.45 – 7.30 Insight lecture
7.30 Close

Day 6 Optional glacier trekking experience – see this video shot in 2018 by delegate Taha Hadidy.

Insight Lectures

The very personal insight lectures at the end of each day 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 in the Kenyan bush or running the Marathon du Sable. 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 we’ll have 5 such talks on the winter Chamonix course.

CPD & MSc accreditation

We estimate that this programme is valid for between 20-30 CPD hours. This course counts towards the University of Plymouth’s MSc in Global and Remote Healthcare. See this page for details.

Fees & booking

The fee has been held for a 3rd year at 2016 rates and includes tuition, some refreshments, course manual, a learning journal and the lecture and 1/2 day outdoor training programme only.

What is NOT included?

No ski passes, accommodation, meals or other services not mentioned above are included. DO NOT BOOK if you don’t have leave approved. Deposit payments are not refundable for any reason. Other payments are subject to terms and conditions

What about travel, accommodation, ski pass costs etc?

A dossier will soon be available above under DOWNLOADS that’s packed with travel and accommodation advice and much more to help you decide to join us and organise your visit to Chamonix. This document will get updated in the autumn and sent to booked delegates.

How does this course compare with other WMT Medic courses?

There is free time to ski and the course is 4/5 indoors. This is our biggest course – up to 120 delegates. If you want a smaller, more outdoor based course, choose any of all the other Medic courses including the Morocco expedition, which do not have free time during each course.

This course on Facebook

Join in the pre-course chatter, apartment sharing options and course updates and info from WMT on Facebook.

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