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June 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #1002
how well equiped are the medical facilities at the stationsʔ can the doctor perform emergency surgery, for exampleʔ unfortunately appendicitis happens…cheers, julieJune 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8992
the medical facilities are basic, like a clinic back home but with a few more gizmos for testing and a small in-house pharmacy. itʹs adequate for minor stuff.during the austral summer months, when the planes and ships are running, anyone requiring surgery would probably be stabilized and medevacʹd off the ice. the doctors are usually general practicioners, not surgeons, and if things go wrong there is little recourse. so they are highly reluctant to do any sort of surgery, even though the capability may be there, except in dire emergency.June 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8993
there was an excellent surgeon at mcmurdo in the winter of ʹ59. when did that changeʔJune 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8994
was it always a surgeon back thenʔ i knew the last navy doctor at mcmurdo who wintered in ʹ97 and he wasnʹt a surgeon, so if there was a change it must have been before then.occasionally one of the civilian docs has a surgical background. in ʹ95 palmer had a trauma surgeon from detroit. he had some great storiesǃ that was probably the ideal kind of doctor to have on station, but the exception rather than the rule. iʹll settle for a doc whoʹs calm, experienced and approachable.June 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8995
do the doctors stay very busy down thereʔ i suppose that the number of patients really depends on what season it is. what other medical positions are staffedʔJune 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8996
hi diana, welcomeǃthe mcmurdo doctor(s) seem to stay busy, but thatʹs because of the larger population there. iʹm not sure about the docs at the pole. the palmer doctor is usually idle — and we like to keep him that way.mcmurdo has a couple of assistants, paʹs i think, especially during the summer. (mikeʔ been thereʔ commentsʔ)gJune 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8997
at pole now thereʹs a physician and a pa…since thereʹs 86 folks here it seems that theyʹre pretty busy at times between seeing people, checking out equipment, running training classes etc… earlier in the winter they held several cpr classes. hopefully something none of us will need to use here except for practice.June 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8998
during the last winter we had an md, a pa and a pt. while they would not perform surgery under almost any circumstance, there is a telemedicine connection with high class physician services back in the states, so if necessary the doctors here have a lot a good backup. they can do blood tests and x-rays can be digitalized and sent to the states for reading. there is little chance of a winter medivac, so the staff has to handle everything. accordingly the winter physical requirments are stricter. in the summer the medical staff grows. there are multiple physicians, a dentist, a pt and pa. x-ray tech and more. still they just stabilize and medivac you to nzwe also have a mass casualty staff. itʹs made up of members of the community and would be called up if there was a big disaster with lots of injuries. usually itʹs pretty laid back, but this year the physician insisted that everyone be extensively trained.June 14, 2009 at 6:58 am #8999
thanks for all the feedback, mike, bill, glenn and mirage. and welcome to the forum, diana. iʹve found the people here to be very helpfulǃcheers, julie
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