World Extreme Medicine News

Extreme medicine can be dangerous.

Stripped of the usual home comforts and everyday ‘tools of the trade’, working in the world’s most challenging and hostile environments is no small feat.

Yet out of the depths and expanses of extreme medicine arises incredible innovation, fresh wisdom and both the evolution and proof of humankind’s unyielding resilience.

Now, this doesn’t materialise out of thin air. No – it’s the tireless, uncompromising dedication of would-be regular people who make it happen. They enlighten us with their experiences, inspire us with their stories and encourage each generation to keep the fight going.

Want to be part of it? Of course you do.

Here are 8 boundary-shattering, rule-rewriting mavericks confirmed for #WEM21 this November.

Let’s get you acquainted…

Speaker Reveal No.1: Jane Goodall

Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

Now, Dr Jane Goodall (DBE) needs no introduction – but she certainly deserves one, so…

In 1960 aged just 26, Dr Jane Goodall braved the unknown in Tanzania to introduce the world to the remarkable lives of chimpanzees. Her 60 year long career of ground-breaking ethology has redefined our understanding of species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment.

Today there are 24 Jane Goodall Institutes supporting core programmes. These include community conservation programme TACARE, two orphaned chimp sanctuaries and Roots & Shoots, an environmental and humanitarian programme for young people in over 65 countries.

We’re incredibly excited to have Dr Jane Goodall speaking at #WEM21. Her decades of expertise and world-changing research makes her contribution to #WEM21 unmissable.

Learn more about Dr Goodall’s global projects at:

Speaker Reveal No.2: David Miller

Paramedic working with Eagle County Paramedics

You’d think type 1 diabetes would halt your dreams of embarking on epic adventures?

Well – not so for David Miller.

Racking up 10 years in EMS and countless specialisms in everything from community paramedicine and medically directed technical rescue, to ski patrol and wilderness search and rescue, David isn’t one to let his condition hinder ambition.

An avid backcountry enthusiast living out in the central mountains of Colorado, David is no stranger to outdoor adventures. He’ll be joining us at #WEM21 to share the inspiring journey of his thru-hike of The Appalachian Trail in the US, a 2,189 mile trek stretching from Georgia to Maine.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Type 1 Fun – The Journey of a Type 1 Diabetic on a Thru-Hike of The Appalachian Trail

Speaker Reveal No.3: Sarah Spelsberg

Physician’s Assistant working in Orthopaedic Surgery and PRN Nurse

A Fellow of Extreme & Wilderness Medicine (FEWM for short – find out more) and Fellow of The Academy of Wilderness Medicine, Sarah’s specialisms span emergency medicine, wilderness medicine, orthopaedic surgery and general surgery.

Honoured by the Department of Homeland Security and US Coast Guard as a ‘Hometown Hero’, Sarah splits much of her time between the ED of IFHS Clinic on the Aleutian Islands and the Mayo Clinic as Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Elsewhere, she’s no stranger to braving intense Coast Guard C130s plane and helicopter medevacs in the Bering Sea.

Sarah’s honours, experience and expertise are promises of the exciting content she’s readying for both her talks at #WEM21.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session 1: Challenges and Opportunities in Bering Sea Medevac
  • Session 2: Wilderness Sports Injuries and Their Radiographic Findings

Discover Sarah as an author at Rogue Medical:

Speaker Reveal No.4: Nich Woolf


Nich is a specialist in teaching resuscitation and mass casualty triage in resource-poor settings.

A paramedic for nearly 40 years, he holds more than 20 global emergency medicine and disaster response missions under his belt. Ever keen to share his considerable knowledge, he’s trained local medics in countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Senegal, earning the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his efforts.

If you’re interested in learning more about practising critical care under extreme conditions, you couldn’t ask for a more experienced teacher than Nich.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Marooned in Paradise

Learn about Nich’s long-running charity project he helped start, Festival Medical Services, a volunteer service for healthcare professionals to support large festivals:

Speaker Reveal No.5: Katya Alldis

Nurse and Medical Lead

Expert in remote and on-location medical support, Katya is an Adult and Paediatric ICU, Emergency nurse and current Medical Lead for Raleigh International.

Katya is experienced in both expedition medicine (leading in Nepal, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Tanzania) and humanitarian medicine, deploying to Iraqi Kurdistan and Lesvos, Greece in Primary Health Clinics for Internally Displaced People (IDP) and refugees.

For those keen to step outside traditional Western healthcare systems, Katya has been a key figure in mentorship, passionately guiding newcomers in development and helping them reach their potential.

This kind of broad experience is sure to make Katya’s session jam-packed with inspiration and knowledge…

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Young and Old, From One Extreme to the Other

Speaker Reveal No.6: Nathan Hudson-Peacock

Expedition Doctor

Emergency medicine and critical care doctor, Nathan is a true maverick and a passionate ‘eco-medic’.

Frustrated by the predictable training pathways and confines of hospital health care, Nathan broke free and set out on a new expedition medicine career.

This change launched him into a world of extreme environments and all the challenges they presented: facing difficult choices to be made in the desert, rescuing mountain climbers around the world and negotiating the many dangers of deep-jungle expeditions.

Each excursion exposed him not only to different cultures but also the extreme devastation climate change has on communities. Inspired to act, Nathan now diverts much of his time as an impassioned speaker on expedition medicine, advocating for sustainability at home, in healthcare and when we travel.

We’re lucky to be hosting Nathan for two sessions at #WEM21, so…

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session 1: Expedition Medicine: How and Why?
  • Session 2: EcoMedics: Extreme Sustainability

Speaker Reveal No.7: Kate Baecher

Clinical and Performance Psychologist

Kate Baecher, clinical and performance psychologist

Our favourite Clinical and Performance Psychologist returns for #WEM21!

Kate is an expert in performance optimisation for withstanding remote, wilderness, extreme and austere environments. Following an Army career with tours in Afghanistan and East Timor and disaster response work in Bangladesh, she is now a sought-after psychologist, coach and trainer. These skillsets have led to work with elite sports teams, Australia’s Special Forces, corporate leaders and TV personnel.

Kate regularly pushes her own psychological limits, particularly at high altitude climbing mountains throughout Australia, Nepal, Europe and Asia – and she’s joining us for #WEM21 to share her ‘heightened’ knowledge with you.

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Human Psychology and Performance at Altitude

Speaker Reveal No.8: Beth Moos


A passionate advocate for global health and tropical medicine, we’re excited to welcome Beth back this year!

An Oxford-based GP, Beth is also an avid expedition medic, having spent seven months in Myanmar conducting a retrospective review of patients admitted with snakebites and developing new education resources around the topic.

Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and qualified in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Beth is currently working for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a community engagement toolkit on snakebite envenoming and other Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

If you’ve ever wondered about the links between our own health, the environment and the animals around us, Beth will be there to enlighten you…

Keep a lookout for…

  • Session: One Health: How the Health of Humans, Animals and the Environment are More Closely Linked Than You Thought


Book your place in-person or online to #WEM21 and join one of the most energetic and unique networks in the universe. It’s a gathering of dedicated extreme medics and inspiring thought-leaders like all those we’ve announced here – plus many, many more yet to come!

Read more on #WEM21:
#WEM21 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQ’s)