Become an Antarctic medical practitioner

Ice crevasse
Ice crevasse (Photo: Dr Peter Lovell)

Most Antarctic medical practitioners are appointed for a 15 month period spending a total of 12 months (including the period of the Antarctic winter) at a station where they are included in the group referred to as 'winterers'. Occasionally, short-term 'summer' appointments as ships' doctor or summer field doctors associated with a special project are available.

Potential medical recruits need general all-round medical expertise with at least several years post-graduate experience including some surgical experience.

In particular they must:

  • have the ability to singlehandedly manage a totally isolated practice and deal with any surgical, medical or dental emergency that might arise
  • possess the ability to train expeditioners in basic medical skills and supervise (semi-skilled/unskilled) expedition personnel assisting with medical procedures
  • be eligible for registration by any of the State Medical Boards in Australia
  • be rated as suitable for Antarctic service according to the personal qualities selection criteria
  • satisfy security and character checks
  • be certified as fit for Antarctic service.

Antarctic medical practitioners are required to undergo an appendectomy. For further information see application documents.