Conference founder Mark Hannaford on why #WEM21 is so important and how it can help further your medical career
Mark Hannaford, WEM Conference Founder introduces #WEM21.
This is the 10th year we have held an annual World Extreme Medicine Conference, and we’re making it extra EXTREME! For the first time ever you can immerse yourself in person in Edinburgh or virtually in our WEM online environment 13th – 15th November and be inspired over three action-packed days as you encounter the biggest and best extreme medicine content from world renowned speakers.
Now, more than ever before, medical professionals are being asked to deliver high quality medicine in the world’s most remote areas; supporting expeditions, adventure holidays, responding to sudden-onset disasters or being deployed on humanitarian missions.
Over the 3-day conference, we will focus on a number of interrelated medical fields, covering everything from Pre-Hospital to Disaster & Humanitarian, Expedition, Endurance and Extreme Sport to Space and Extreme Medicine.
Doctors and medics who decide to work in extreme medicine will have a rewarding and dynamic career that offers plenty of diversity and challenges along the way, but it can be incredibly tough at times and individuals need to ensure they are suited to the job. You need to be able to cope with long deployments far away from home and work in situations that may expose you to things that shock you or even threaten your safety.
The aftermath of a deployment, particularly in a crisis zone, can also be difficult to navigate. It is quite common to get post-expedition blues, and medics can suffer from PTSD just like combat soldiers. For disaster medicine, you need huge adaptability and ability to respond quickly. One of the benefits of the conference is that organisations such as Medicins San Frontieres and the International Red Cross come and explain what it is they do, with feedback from medics who have already volunteered. This will cement some people’s determination to sign up, but others can see that it isn’t for them.
The military has driven many of the advances in trauma medicine which are saving lives in NHS hospitals and at road traffic accidents in the UK right now. Defence Medical Services are one of our partners and they will be on hand to talk about opportunities within the service for medics who wish to follow a military pathway.
Raleigh International is another partner organisation that needs the services of well-trained medics. They take young people on expeditions to build their confidence and increase their opportunities and they have a very well established medical system.
You don’t need to be a trauma consultant or a medical doctor to get involved. There is a great need for healthcare workers who have the skills to give ongoing treatment to people who may be swept up in a crisis situation. People around the world may be coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster, but they still need physiotherapy, maternity nurses, psychological assistance and paramedics to attend emergencies.
If you have a calling, there’s a place for you!
#WEM21 A New World Awaits…
Join us this year (13th – 15th Nov) for our 10 year anniversary, where for the first time in WEM history, you can either attend in person at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh or online via our brand new Virtual WEM Environment – we guarantee you an experience like no other! Book your place today!