And the questions frequently asked of Exile Medics are……

Q. How do I get involved in exile medics?

A. There's no register or minimum requirements. Whoever you are, be it nurse, doctor, paramedic, physiotherapist or medical student, we need you in Exile Medics. If you want to be an Exile Medic, the steps are simple. Look for expeditions that interest you and apply (under Apply to Exile Medics).

Q. Where do i find out about expeditions that i can join?

A. Like the Facebook page, follow our twitter account @exilemedics and keep checking back to the website. We'll post opportunities on these regularly, usually with around 6 months notice. Look at the applications link on the top of this page to see which events we need your help on now. Each expedition has a section which shows which medical professionals are eligible to apply.

Q. I’m a medical student- can i join?

A. Yes. Medical students join our teams on all our events anywhere in the world, with a few exceptions. Every opportunity will show clearly how many medical student spaces are available. So that we can make sure that you get the most out of your event, we usually limit student spaces to 2 for overseas expeditions. Once you’re in the field, you’ll be 100% one of the team. No sitting at the back with Exile Medics! There is more information specifically for students here.

Q. What does it cost to be an Exile Medic?

A. The costs vary depending on the expedition. There is always an admin fee, which covers all the work put into planning and delivering the expedition, the insurance, your predeployment training and goodies. In virtually all the expeditions you have to pay at least something towards your flight, and in some cases you have to sort your own flight. Regardless, Exile Medics is still the cheapest way to see these remote (random?) parts of the world. Your own kit and food is usually your responsibility too- but is part of the adventure. Remember that some countries require visas and inoculations too, though these are way outside the influence of Exile Medics.

Q. I’ve not done much travelling, and I’m worried about going to these remote places. How can Exile Medics help me?

A. Going to remote places is what you’re signing up for, and we make no excuses about the adventure. We hope that’s why you’re here. You’ll go out as part of a team of medics, some of whom will have travelled before, and some who will be long standing Exile Medics. You won’t be left alone anywhere, and we are always here to help you. Before you go, you will be invited to a pre deployment day and a telephone briefing where you’ll be able to ask questions, and you’ll communicate with your group via WhatsApp in the build up to make friends and plans before you leave. Being a traveller isn’t an essential criteria for exile Medics, but having an adventurous soul is!

Q. do i receive any training or briefings before an expedition?

A. The short answer is Yes. The longer answer is that you will be invited to a predeployment day prior to your expedition where you will meet your team and team leader, look at your equipment that you will be using, receive some specific training regarding Exile Medics, professional practice, case scenarios, evacuation, communication and foot taping (a key skill). You will then have an audio briefing that you will be able to dial into from wherever you are in the world where you team leader will go through your expedition in detail and answer any questions that you have. Once in country, you will receive an arrival briefing too, and daily governance meetings. So you get a lot of information before you head out. You can of course contact Exile Medics at any time to ask any other urgent queries.

Q. I’m a nursing, physiotherapy or paramedic student. Can I be part of Exile Medics?

A. Yes and No. In order to offer you proper supervision, we are only able to offer physio, nurse and paramedic students places on our UK expeditions. Some of these are specifically tailored to early career grades and students. These aren’t any less adventurous- far from it- and you’ll get an amazing experience under your belt that will improve your successes in later applications not just to Exile Medics, but other expedition organisations.

Q. Will I have to transport medical equipment into the field?

A. Every expedition requires our kit to be transported into the field, and because our standards are high, we only rely on ourselves to do that. So yes, with all the necessary explanations and transparency, you are very likely to have to transport kit into the field.

Q. What is expected of me as a nurse with exile medics?

A. As a nurse, your skills are invaluable. Although you’ll never be asked to do anything outside your competencies, you’ll be an important part of the team. You will assess and treat patients within the limits of your own practice, and under the appropriate supervision of doctors or senior colleagues if required. You will make decisions, deliver care and participate in every aspect of the team. We operate on a flat hierarchy, so your input is as important as everyone else’s. We will sometimes have 2 nurses on a team, sometimes only one, so it may be that you are the only nurse, however we will put you in contact with other Exile nurses so that you feel supported and can ask any questions that you want to.

Exile Medics asks that you have at least 2 years experience in an acute setting (acute medical or surgical, emergency medicine or critical care) so that you are familiar with urgent treatment and critically unwell patients.

Q. What is expected of me as a nurse if i am not an enp or prescriber?

A. Your skills are still very valuable, and you are still invited onto the team. You will not be asked to practice outside your competencies, but will work alongside colleagues so that you can discuss diagnoses and treatments at any time. Just occasionally, this might be by radio or phone, but this eventuality will be discussed in your predeployment briefing.

Q. What is expected of me as a physiotherapist with Exile Medics?

A. Physiotherapists are the most often asked for specialist on our expeditions. You will be part of the wider medical team, but will, by virtue of your expertise and competencies, largely manage musculoskeletal complaints (which constitute a lot of what we see on ultra races and marathons). You will be able to talk through your plans with other team members, including the senior doctors, but you are as important as any other team member. Usually, you will be the only physio on a team, however we will connect you with other Exile physios before you head out to answer any questions or concerns.

Physiotherapists should ideally have experience of independent assessment (ESP or Community independent practice), though all experience would be considered.

Q. What’s my role as a paramedic with Exile Medics?

A. Paramedics are experts in the prehospital care of patients, and so that’s what we ask you to do alongside the rest of the team. You’ll form a key part of our teams, and be treated as a professional equal to everyone else. Within the limits of your competencies, you’ll diagnose and treat patients with the support of our multidisciplinary team. We usually have 1 or 2 paramedics on each team, but if you’re solo, we’ll connect you with our senior paramedics in Exile Medics to answer your questions prior to departure.

Q. Does Exile Medics ever treat children?

A. Very rarely. Our teams don’t go out with the expectation of offering care to children, but the world is big and dangerous place, so we make sure that we have a few bits of essential kit ready in case we come across a child who needs our help.

Q. What specialities are appropriate and useful for exile medics?

A. Most specialities have appropriate skills to join Exile Medics. You need to be comfortable diagnosing and initiating the treatment of patients in a resource constrained and challenging environment. Some specialities, particularly primary care and acute specialities lend themselves to this more obviously, but if you’ve made assessments of medical or surgical patients, initiated treatment and communicated your decisions effectively then you’re right for us.

If you are a nurse, we ask that you have at least 2 years experience in an acute setting (acute medical or surgical, emergency medicine or critical care) so that you are familiar with urgent treatment and critically unwell patients.

Physiotherapists should ideally have experience of independent assessment (ESP or Community independent practice), though all experience would be considered.

q. How do Exile Medics indemnify themselves?

A. This is the biggest admin challenge of being involved not just with Exile Medics, but with Expedition and Wilderness medicine in general. At present, all medics are required to indemnify themselves outside of Exile Medics. We have a product which we have access to via Saepio Insurance, but this is not an obligatory purchase- you can find indemnity anywhere you like. Exile Medics asks for evidence of your indemnity prior to heading into the field however. Indemnity is a movable feast, so keep an eye out on developments in this arena.

Q. Does Exile Medics have public liability insurance?

A. Yes. If you comply with our terms and conditions, you are covered by Exile Medics public liability insurance for your expedition with us.

Q. How can I make my application to Exile Medics be successful?

A. This isn’t easy to answer, as all of you will be individuals. Having said that, we are looking for people who are independent in their personal admin (i.e. can get themselves together and organised) in the travel environment, people with enthusiasm and appropriate experience in wilderness medicine and to understand that the work is long and hard, but that the team will deliver day or night, hot or cold, hungry or tired. We’re interested in team players, hard workers and people who’ll soak up the location and awesomeness of wilderness medicine with Exile Medics. Thos of you with sporting backgrounds or with experience in sports medicine, that’s another useful thing to note on your application, though it’s not make or break. Mention if you’ve been on wilderness courses, or the annual Exile Medics festival- it all shows that you know what the whole thing is about. Its ALWAYS worth mentioning that you’d be willing to collect and transport medical equipment to the country- this wins big points with the selection panel.

Q. How do I become eligible for last minute Exile Medic Team Places?

A. Most specialities have appropriate skills to join Exile Medics. You need to be comfortable diagnosing and initiating the treatment of patients in a resource constrained and challenging environment. Some specialities, particularly primary care and acute specialities lend themselves to this more obviously, but if you’ve made assessments of medical or surgical patients, initiated treatment and communicated your decisions effectively then you’re right for us.

If you are a nurse, we ask that you have at least 2 years experience in an acute setting (acute medical or surgical, emergency medicine or critical care) so that you are familiar with urgent treatment and critically unwell patients.

Physiotherapists should ideally have experience of independent assessment (ESP or Community independent practice), though all experience would be considered.

Q. How do I become an exile medics team leader or instructor?

A. Every Exile Medics team is assigned a team leader, and more people have walked on the moon than have led one of our teams. You need to be part of an Exile Team to be recommended by another team leader, and your performance is discussed amongst the team leader group and senior Exile Medics. If you meet our standards, then you’ll be invited to join the Team Leaders. Once you join the Team Leader group, you will rise through the ranks, leading on increasingly complex and challenging events, with recognised promotions on the way. Team leaders have their expenses paid for their expeditions and are given priority to our stand alone expeditions (Kili, Base Camp etc), so it’s the best way to earn whilst doing expedition medicine.

If you are so inclined, you can take on teaching on our schools too. Delivering high end training in the desert, jungle or the arctic is not for the delicate, so think long and hard to decide if this ultimate wilderness challenge is for you. Generally, you need to be a team leader before you take on a teaching role.

So to be a team leader or instructor join a team, perform as best you can in every domain and make sure your team leader knows that you want to become a team leader. Let us at Exile Medics know that you’re interested too, but you will have to have joined a team before you’re eligible.

Q. I have FPOS, am a military or offshore medic, a cardiacphysiologist, paediatric nurse or psychologist. Is there a role for me in Exile Medics?

A. Exile Medics recognises that there are many many ways to being a medical professional. Some of these are traditional, and some are less common, and we know that everyone has a role in managing the sick and injured. Having said that, we live in a world where paper counts, and so at the moment you need to be a registered medical student, paramedic, physiotherapist, nurse, dentist or doctor with the relevant license to exercise the rights of those professions to join the Exile Medics teams.

Q. We don’t have criminal record checks in my country. What evidence do Exile Medics accept instead?

A. It is likely that your country country will offer some verification of your criminal record status, so we ask for that. In the event that this isn’t possible, contact Exile Medics. It may be that a certificate of good standing from your licensing body is appropriate.

Q. Do I need my own medical equipment?

A. You only need to bring your own stethoscope, tarpaulin, paracord, alcohol hand gel and scissors. And your expedition kit. All other medical equipment is provided by Exile Medics.

Q. Can I apply as a couple or a group?

A. We will do our best to accommodate a pair or couple on our teams. When this cannot be achieved, it is more often than not because of operational reasons- the team needs the right mix of skills and experience. We would be lying if we said that we can accommodate groups of more than 2 on our expeditions, so we just come out and say that we can’t. Bigger groups are of course welcome to our Festival of Wilderness Medicine that happens each year.

Q. I’m American or Canadian. Can I join Exile Medics?

A. We really like everyone from every country in the world. Really we do. As you can see from our activities, we venture across the globe doing what we do. Everywhere....apart from the USA and Canada. Unfortunately, the legalities of both us working in North America and of American and Canadian colleagues joining our team are so convoluted, complex and difficult that we are unable to invite those professionals who are registered, working or living in the United States of America and Canada to join our teams. We are sorry about this, but it is to protect everyone involved. We suggest that if wilderness medicine is for you, you take advantage of the growing wilderness phenomenon taking place across North America. A great place to start is at the Wilderness Medicine Society for educational resources and global adventures. We hope that the situation changes in future, and we are monitoring it from this side of the pond.

Q. How do I contact Exile Medics?

A. Email is the best way- then your message won’t get lost. Other options are through the Facebook page, or the Exile Medics phone at +44 (7471) 505 430. But check these FAQs for any questions first!

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