World Extreme Medicine News

Surely you didn’t think our source of fresh speaker reveals had run dry?

Of course not! We hope you’ll agree this is one of the most unique lineups we’ve announced yet: a world-renowned photojournalist, a sports scientist, the last volunteer physician to leave besieged Aleppo and a developer dabbling in Everest Augmentation.

Curious? Read on…

Clare Connelly-Cottet


Clare is proof that it’s entirely possible to carve out an adventurous path alongside your day job. She’s training to become a Remote and Rural GP in the Scottish Highlands and can be found between Fort William and the Chamonix Valley during her downtime.

Clare isn’t one to rest too easy, she’s an avid traveller, indulging in exploration for her enjoyment and working on expeditions. Most recently, she’s cycled across the world’s two highest international highways: the Pamir in Tajikistan and the Karakoram Pass that bridges India and China, and completed a cycling/hiking trip from the summit of Mt Kenya to Kilimanjaro.

The constraints of a traditional medical job have not stopped Clare from maintaining both a strong career and experiencing epic adventures – and she wants the same for you too!

Helpfully, Clare has the experience and expert advice to get you on the same balanced path…

So look out for…

  • Session: Planning Your Career Around Your Adventures

Matthew Lee

Medical Student

Cardiff University

Matthew has had a longstanding interest in Expedition and Humanitarian Medicine, becoming a committee member of his Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Society and President of the Community First Responder Society. An enthusiast of multi-day treks, he’s walked the West Highland Way in Scotland and the Haute Route across the French and Swiss Alps.

His interest in Expedition and Humanitarian Medicine grew exponentially after an unforgettable summer volunteering in the medical team on Amazon Prime’s EcoChallenge in Fiji. Matthew has since taken his dedication further, getting involved in a scheme that proposes a new approach to global health education.

And he wishes to share it with you.

So keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Exploring the World Through Friendships – A Novel Approach to Global Health Education

Nick Danziger (FEWM)


A life dedicated to capturing the history-defining social and political issues of our age has rightly won Nick global recognition for his photography and documentary filmmaking.

His work has been honoured by the Royal Geographical Society with a Ness Award for raising public understanding of current socio-political and environmental issues, and the Royal Photographic Society awarded him an Honorary Fellowship. His photographs have featured in publications around the globe and are part of countless museum collections worldwide, and his portrait photography has won the World Press Photo 1st prize.

Nick’s work has already become a part of history – and we can’t wait for you to share in his outstanding photojournalism at #WEM21!

So keep a lookout for…

  • Session: Around the World in 80 Images

Nikki McLeary

Sports Scientist

World Extreme Medicine

Nikki has worked for 23 years researching and coaching on human performance in challenging environments, including 15 years of operational She’s also worked in science/medical publishing; as Editor for three sports and exercise science publications and Editor for a company translating scientific research on stress, sleep, nutrition and fitness into practical interventions for elite extreme athletes. Nikki’s also spent 15 years abroad, coaching and educating amateur extreme athletes to enhance their performance.

For the last three years, Nikki has been back in the UK, applying her vast knowledge as a consultant to commercial companies on human performance in challenging environments. Most recently, she became an Honorary Senior Lecturer and Fellow of Extreme Medicine at the University of Exeter.

Altogether, Nikki’s 23 years of experience in the medical publishing world will make her session a genuinely unique opportunity.

So look out for…

  • Session: Medical Publishing Workshop

Samer Attar

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Northwestern Medicine, Chicago

Samer spent much of his time during the Syrian war undertaking missions as a volunteer physician with the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). Just before the siege at Aleppo in 2016, he was the last SAMS volunteer physician to get out safely, before going on to testify at the UN on humanitarian conditions in the city.

His work in Syria earned him many awards in 2016, including ‘Chicagoan of the Year’ and ‘2016 American Red Cross Global Citizenship Hero’ for his advocacy for Syrian medics. Then, in 2019, he received the Humanitarian Award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Samer has also featured in many publications, including the New York Times, CNN, the Guardian and Wall Street Journal, to name a few.

Samer’s intimate knowledge of the conditions during the Syrian conflict is sure to make his session both revealing and inspiring!

So look out for…

  • Session: War Surgery in Syria’s Underground Hospitals


Stephen Hearns

Consultant in Emergency and Aeromedical Retrieval Medicine

Scotland’s Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS)

Following his experience working with the air ambulance in London and Queensland, Australia, in 2004 Stephen led the formation of a small voluntary service that has grown to an internationally recognised and fully government-funded aeromedical retrieval organisation – Scotland’s Emergency Medical Retrieval Service (EMRS).

Alongside the publication of numerous papers and book chapters on emergency medicine and pre-hospital care, Stephen is now a consultant for EMRS. This highly trained team are responsible for delivering pre-hospital critical care for major trauma patients, rural hospital secondary retrievals and major incident responses.

We can’t wait to hear from Stephen at #WEM21 – his topic of discussion is crucial for all medics, let alone extreme medics…

Look out for…

  • Session: Performance Under Pressure

Toni Sillanpää

Developer and Lecturer

Cologne Business School

A Finnish-born developer and lecturer based in Germany, Toni’s research interests are in collective situational awareness and telepresence. The latter involves using technology (like virtual reality) to make people feel or appear present at another location – even to physically interact in a distant environment using remote technology like telerobotics.

Toni is also an avid traveller, having explored large expanses of six out of the seven continents. He’s also led expeditions in South America, Svalbard and New Guinea.

When combined with his extensive expedition experience, unique research interests like Toni’s make us incredibly excited to see what he has in store for #WEM21…

So look out for…

  • Session: Augmented Everest


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 Speaker Announcement #3
#WEM21 Speaker Announcement #2
#WEM21 Speaker Announcement including keynote speaker Dr Jane Goodall
#WEM21 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)