2008 Expedition Medicine Conference (part 1)

I was lucky enough to attend the ExpedMed 2008 conference on Expedition Medicine, in Washington, DC. I found this to be one of the coolest experiences I could ever imagine. I didn’t want the conference to end!

The most impressive thing about the conference, to me, was the collection of lecturers. ExpedMed went to obvious lengths to have some of the true “world’s experts” deliver amazing presentations. Not only were the lecturers experts in their fields, but also they were also able to deliver a lively and engaging talk. The course faculty read like a “who’s who” in expedition medicine:

Paul Auerbach lectured on marine envenomation, shark attack and submersion injuries

Timothy Erickson gave a very colorful talk on poisonous plant ingestions and hyperthermia

Howard Donner lectured on several different topics, including being the expedition doctor, water disinfection, altitude sickness, staying found and even taught a hands on class about improvisational medicine. I now know the “Donner method” for calculating how much IV fluid to bring on an expedition

Michael Callahan delivered some very interesting information on medical evacuation, designing an evidence based medical kit and taught a workshop on clandestine medicine. He presented some very interesting new ideas and data related to travel and expeditions

Alan Magill took time away from being the president of the ISTM to talk about malaria and rabies

David Warrell presented about two of my favorite topics: snake bites and venomous arthropods, as well as tropical medicine emergencies/case presentations

Ken Kamler also gave his lecture on frostbite and told his story of being the doctor on Mt. Everest…a very gripping presentation

The course directors, Greg Bledsoe (living and working abroad) and Michael Manyak (evacuation insurance) even lectured

Legal issues were addressed by Tracey Knutson, who specializes in defending tour guides and adventure travel operators

The lecture on diving medicine was given by Craig Cook

Stanley Spielman delivered two great talks on eye emergencies and his experiences traveling to endangered and vanishing tribes of the world

David Townes discussed operations of medical teams deployed in the field and the difficulties they might encounter

“Medicine at Sea” was covered well by Joyce Johnson

Common dental problems on expedition was taught by Martin Nweeia

Richard Williams closed the conference with a great lecture on Aerospace medicine

One thing that I would advise any person looking to attend a conference, on any subject, is to check who the faculty are! The faculty are what make the conference and will be your instructors. The biography information on the faculty from this conference can be found over at ExpedMed’s website here.

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