The UK UIAA Diploma of Mountain Medicine was established in 2002. One of the main aims of the Diploma is to offer a service to UK mountaineers from doctors who understand the realities of operating in a mountain environment.
In the first 6 years over 80 active climbing doctors completed the diploma and each year sees a new intake to the course. Within the membership there is extensive experience in rock and ice climbing, expeditions, ski-mountaineering, sports climbing and trekking in all parts of the world. Holders come from all areas of medicine: General Practice, Anesthetics, Accident and Emergency, Pre-hospital Care, Research, Psychiatry, General Physicians and Paediatricians. In addition Chris Imray a vascular Surgeon and David Hillebrandt (a member of the UIAA Mountain Medicine Committee) offer a frostbite advice and treatment service.
The Diploma course consists of four modules with the mountaineering component being taught and assessed by members of the British Mountain Guides Association. Modules are held in Snowdonia (2), Glencoe and Arolla in Switzerland. They include practical mountain skills as well as the theory of travel medicine, high altitude physiology, resuscitation, first aid, remote area medicine, medical kits and supplies, rescue techniques, snow pack formation, mountain weather etc.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Diploma or the services of those holding the qualification should check www.medex.org.uk.
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