The role of the expedition doctor: Lessons From 100 years ago

This paper explores the role of the doctor on the expeditions of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration. The medical role includes medical screening of prospective expedition members, choosing medical equipment so as to maintain a balance between being able to cope with any eventuality and the cost and weight of equipment and drugs, health screening during an expedition, first aid training for field parties without a doctor, and, obviously, treatment of any injury or disease that occurs. If injury or illness occurs, the presence of a doctor is of great psychological benefit to the expedition. Although medical experience is important, it is probably more important that the doctor is a "team member," playing a full part in the expedition's aims, whether these are scientific, exploration, or reaching some goal. Most of the lessons learned during these expeditions a hundred years ago are just as relevant today.


Publication status:
Authors: Guly, Henry R.

1 January, 2012
Wilderness & Environmental Medicine / 23