The coldest job on earth
An Antarctic and expedition medicine doctor
- By: Matthew Billingsley
- Published: 05 July 2012
- DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e3507
- Cite this as: Student BMJ 2012;20:e3507
Alongside 12 European crew members, I live at Concordia Station, which is an isolated French-Italian inland research station, high up at 3800 metres equivalent altitude on the Antarctic Plateau—the world’s coldest environment.
Living isolated in Antarctica I have realised that prevention is everything. The same principal is true for expedition medicine—a thorough health screening for each individual is crucial. I have been on too many expeditions where patients or their general practitioners or doctors have signed them off as being “fit,” and not declared that they were on a particular drug or that they had a chronic condition.