Medical/Dental Challenges in Isolated Communities Antarctic Discovery Cruise

Jan 13-27, 2016

Antarctica is one of the rare pockets of the Earth that does not have an Indigenous population so every person that lives in or visits Antarctica is an alien. Being an alien in an alien environment poses unique healthcare challenges for both the medical practitioner and the patient community, which consists mainly of multinational researchers and support personnel based in remote field research stations. Strategies for dealing with healthcare treatment and delivery in this extreme, isolated environment have by necessity been honed to guarantee survival. Antarctic medical practitioners are required to provide complete generalist medical, surgical and emergency dental care for a remote community. A medical practitioner can serve for up to 15 months at a field station. Others have responsibility for up to 130 passengers and crew on research expedition voyages. Experience-based best practice treatment and delivery models born out of necessity have invaluable application to medical and dental practitioners worldwide. Exploring solutions to healthcare challenges with colleagues and in-country professionals provides opportunities for practitioners to enhance healthcare delivery models and best practices to provide quality patient care and outcomes in their own professional setting. Planned In-Country Healthcare Topics Include:

  • ​Health on Ice: Challenging Roles of Field Research Station Doctors
  • Strategies for Survival in Extreme Conditions
  • Maintaining Mental Health – Impact of Limited Social Interaction
  • Healthcare Delivery in Isolated Areas
  • Medicine at Sea