A dream fulfilled

Mt Henderson sunset
Mt Henderson sunset (Photo: Dr John Smith)

The chance to practice my love of medicine on the Antarctic mainland was a dream fulfilled. Lucky to have had a broad medical training in a truly general country practice, and with a belief that I wanted to continue to expand the breadth of my medical experience, I could not conceive a better appointment than with the Australian Antarctic Division.

Pre-departure medical lectures, with a review of skills required to practice medicine in isolation, combined with dental, field craft, field first aid, survival and SAR training provided a rich learning experience far beyond the realm and norm of suburban general practice.

The opportunity to apply and test myself in a demanding, beautiful and isolated environment provided a real incentive for learning and reviewing my medical skills and physical status. Our year was blessed with safety, the blend of individuals and luck.

Dr John Cadden, Davis expedition medical officer, 2003