World Extreme Medicine News

And so, it begins… our world-renowned World Extreme Medicine Conference just got BIGGER and better!

Fresh voices, new workshops and pioneering research from across the extreme medicine world gathered in one place for the 9th Annual World Extreme Medicine Conference.

Here is a small taster of the most exciting things for #WEM20…

NEW Theme: Inspiration Beyond The Ordinary

This year our theme examined unearthing inspiration beyond the everyday encounters we face as medics and explorers. It’s a full-force celebration of what the mavericks of humankind are capable of when we erase traditional boundaries of medical knowledge and shatter constraints to reach the heart of extreme medicine – and you’re invited.

Mark Hannaford, Conference Founder said:

“The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Inspiration Beyond the Ordinary’. Working as a medic means you’ve already picked a career that is beyond the ordinary – the day to day life of a medical professional is filled with challenges far from what most people would consider ‘normal’. Life-altering injuries, births and deaths are witnessed regularly, sometimes within a single shift.

This has an enormous impact on the physical and mental health of you, as practitioners. Add in an ever-increasing workload and long hours, it’s hardly surprising that stress, burnout and frustration are all on the rise.

Which is why we’ve made ‘inspiration’ the focal point of this year’s WEM Conference. We’ve invited some of the most inspirational speakers from around the globe to share their experiences from the world of extreme medicine. Our timetable is packed with sessions that will point the way to pursuing your own medical adventures and open the door to exciting opportunities that will help you find your own inspiration. You’ll have handy tips to help you manage stress and look after your own mental wellbeing so that patient care, in turn, improves and ensure that above all, you leave inspired, beyond the ordinary.”

NEW Categories: to make planning easier

Following the successful introduction of categories across last year’s conference programme, we brought them back for this year. You’ll see the categories listed across all three days, making it easier for you to plan your days around the speakers you want to hear from and the workshops you don’t want to miss out on. Download our #WEM20 app (watch this space – it’s coming soon) and you will find each category colour coded, so all you have to do is choose the categories you’re interested in, filter the results and track the relevant talks and workshops for the days you’re attending.

The #WEM20 categories were:

  • Medicine Beyond Earth – space, aeronautics and pure escapism.
  • Extreme Innovation – new technologies and ideas that transform and inspire.
  • Beyond the Battlefield – working in the ‘hot zone’, includes military and humanitarian deployments to areas of war and conflict.
  • Extreme Sports – supporting athletes and adventurers who are pushing the limits of human capability.
  • I’m a Casualty, get me out of here! – the art of rescue and evacuation from challenging environments, major incident planning and extended casualty care.
  • Extraordinary Resilience – self-care, psychology and mental health.
  • Extreme Evidence – cutting edge science and primary research.
  • Extreme Careers – inspiration, insights and actionable tips from medics who are on incredible life journeys.
  • Health and Climate Change – environmental and ecological impacts on health and how we should respond as a medical community.
  • Human Factors and Leadership – human performance within complex systems and dynamic environments and inspiring others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more.

NEW Guest Speakers: these are just the tip of the iceberg

We were delighted to have some of the world’s most remarkable medics, world-leading adventurers and internationally acclaimed explorers as part of our guest speaker line up this year.

They inspired and encouraged our audience with their personal stories and experiences as well as sharing new innovations, expertise and wisdom in medicine conducted in challenging and often harsh and dangerous environments.

Guest speakers to look out for included:

Jennifer Ngo-Anh, SciSpace Team Leader – European Space Agency (ESA)
Jennifer coordinates ESA’s ground-based and space-based (e.g. International Space Station) activities in the areas of human research, biology and physical sciences.
Speaking on Day 1

Andy Elwood, Men’s Mental Health Specialist
Campaigner, speaker and Mental Health First Aid instructor, Andy is candid about his own struggles and believes that mental health deserves parity with physical health.
Speaking on Day 2

Vik Mohan, GP
Architect of the award-winning Population, Health and Environment (PHE) programme, Dr Mohan is a champion of biodiversity conservation and global social justice.
Speaking on Day 2

Sophie Bostock, Sleep Evangelist
A champion of sleep, Sophie is on a mission to help millions of people to lead healthier and more productive lives by unlocking the science of sleep and performance.
Speaking on Day 3

Stephen Fabes, Doctor, Presenter & Author
Over 6 years, Stephen crossed 75 countries and pedalled a distance equivalent to over twice around the equator, while exploring the social, historical and political backdrop to health.
Speaking on Day 1

Not to mention some of our favourite speakers and good friends returning to the stage including Salehya Ahsan, Mike Barrett, Burjor Langdana, Kate Baecher, Mike Smith and Karen O’Neil.

NEW Workshops

Across all 3 days we had an array of practical sessions, hands-on workshops and panel discussions that reflected the theme for that day. Delegates learnt from our hand-picked experts who showcased and taught the essential skills required when in extreme and under-resourced conditions.

Workshop highlights included:

  • Running South America – Day 1
    ‘A feat of extraordinary courage and determination’ ~ Sir Ranulph Fiennes
    An extraordinary and gruelling tale of survival through hurricane-force winds, searing heat, near 100% humidity, swarms of biting insects and some of the most crime-ridden places on the planet.
  • Filtering the Noise – Rapid Decision Making – Day 3
    Take part in an immersive experience focused on dealing with simple tasks in a simulated confined space, while under distraction.
  • Rapid Recovery, Resource Building and Personal Resilience – Day 3
    Learn to relax and unwind anywhere (even a noisy helicopter or bumpy transporter) and at any time, for rapid destress and recharge.
  • How to get your First Job as a Humanitarian Medic – Day 2
    How do you prepare for it?  What courses are relevant? How do you make it a career, or juggle with a full-time job? Find out from the experts.

What can you expect across the 3 days?

We had a jam-packed schedule of events bringing you the very best practical training, motivating insights and innovation, plus of course, the most amazing networking opportunities, where else in the world will you have the opportunity to speak with a NASA astronaut one minute and then meet a world record holder and leading explorer the next?

Day 1: Expedition and Wilderness Medicine
Bringing you the very best of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, from the most remote regions of Antarctica to the depths of space.

Day 2: Disaster and Humanitarian Medicine
The day focuses on Humanitarian and Disaster medicine, equipping you with the skills you need in order to deliver medical care where it’s needed most.

Day 3: Extreme Pre-Hospital Care & Retrieval Medicine
Learn about pre-hospital care at its most extreme, as we explore how emergency medicine and prolonged care is delivered in the most remote environments

Our World Extreme Medicine Conference comes highly recommended from past delegates:

”I can say, without hesitation, that the WEM19 programme content was by far the most interesting of all conferences I have experienced.  I felt both humbled and inspired by the sessions I attended and have come away with ideas racing around my mind.”

Gp Capt Di Lamb PhD | Defence Professor of Nursing | Research & Clinical Innovation | Royal Centre for Defence Medicine | Joint Medical Command

Feeling inspired? #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!