Wilderness Medical Training at the RGS
I have wanted to do the “Far from Help Course” for years, as another medical back up for our adventure programmes in Europe and East Africa. Finally, last weekend I made it to the Royal Geographical Society in London, and the course didn’t disappoint. The four lecturers were highly experienced expedition doctors with backgrounds in the field, ranging from the deserts of Nambia and Sinai to the Himalayas, the jungles of Papua New Guinea to the Arctic, war torn Afghanistan and to the last frontier in space medicine.
It was a blast from the past walking past the bust of Christopher Ondaatje on my way into the Ondaatje Lecture Theatre each morning. I guided Christopher Ondaatje on a fascinating safari in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway. This resulted in his expedition book, Hemingway in Africa, The Last Safari.
During the two days, we covered a wide spectrum starting with expedition medical planning, nursing care in the field through to hands on diagnosis and treatment of some of the serious injuries possible during an expedition. This course started where standard first aid finishes. We analysed a lot of gory pictures accompanied by empathetic sounds from the delegates. The most heart felt deep groaning echoed round the lecture hall when the twisted testicles came up! You could have heard a pin drop while the treatment plan was explained for this emergency. Our attention was assured when we were told they drop off and your shaving days are over without it! My heart felt hope is that I am never confronted with this condition.
I would recommend this inspirational and useful course to anyone planning to venture off the beaten track.
For information on its next medical courses the Royal Geographical Society link is www.rgs.org