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Medicine in remote areas
  1. R Hardern

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    Course run by ex+med UK Ltd; http://www.ex-med.co.uk.

    I enjoy my creature comforts at least as much as the next man (or woman). Why, then, had I ended up in the woods in the cold and dark, lugging someone on a stretcher (that we had to make ourselves) over ditches and between trees? Two reasons: firstly, I wondered if I might learn something on this course that would be useful if called out as part of a mobile medical team at a major incident, and secondly, I enjoy walking and felt I should have some preparation in case I came across someone injured on the hills.

    Did I regret going? Only when I saw the state of the local nightclubs. I have previously been told that the single most important thing for effective teaching is to have credible teachers. On this criterion, the instructors on this course could not score any more highly. They have treated casualties in some of the most inhospitable environments there are; their knowledge is not derived from reading but has been gained the hard way. They are also good at teaching and at maintaining the balance between having fun and learning.

    There is some didactic teaching (in specially refurbished accommodation) but I found the most useful sessions were the practical ones. Although I have previously (successfully) taken two different prehospital trauma courses, I learned a lot on this course. This was not just useful for work as part of a mobile medical team or for prehospital work; I learned things I have since used in the A&E department (and when I have shown others, they really have said “wow!”).

    I would recommend this course to anyone working in A&E provided they do not mind the cold or the rain too much. For people who have an interest in expedition medicine or in outdoors pursuits (and those who cannot find a good excuse for getting out of being part of a mobile medical team) this is a first rate course. If you go on this course I can confidently tell you that you will return with extra skills and knowledge and have fun acquiring them.

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