About Phoenix Expedition Medicine
Phoenix Expedition Medicine is the collective vision of four close friends and UK based expedition medics, all of whom are hugely experienced experts in different areas within the fields of expedition medicine, travel health, mountain medicine, and global health. Within our number we can boast two of the authors and editors of the OUP Handbook on Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, as well as one of the UK’s leading authorities on expedition and mountain medicine.
Individually we bring a varied and unique set of life skills born out of our universal passion for travel and adventure in remote places. We believe expedition medicine and the health of host countries are intrinsically linked and our enthusiasm for the provision of health care training in these places is testimony to this fact. This ethos is backed up by a vast amount of knowledge and decades of personal hands-on involvement with expedition medicine, and the implementation of global health projects. Our hope is that in passing on our knowledge we might inspire, motivate and equip non-medical people with the practical skills, confidence, and awareness of ethical considerations, that they need when operating in remote areas.
Dr Jon Dallimore
MRCGP MSc MCEM FFTM RCPS (Glasg) DCH DRCOG Dip Mountain Med (UIAA)
Since his first expedition to Kenya in 1988, Jon has had a passion for providing clinical medicine in remote and challenging environments. Following this trip he recognised that in an era of technology focused medicine, there was still a need for acute clinical skills un-reliant on equipment and labs, as demonstrated during his 26-year career as an expedition medic and leader.
Working as a GP and Emergency Medicine Specialty Doctor, he is able to demonstrate to medics and lay-people alike how the simple application of sometimes complex medical theory can and does make a difference. As the medical consultant for a number of UK based companies he has consistently used this theory to ensure the safety of those on expedition.
Jon resolutely believes that practical skills should be founded upon a sound academic platform and, after attaining the MSc in Travel Medicine, he continued on to become an International Mountain Leader and complete the Diploma in Mountain Medicine, of which he is now a senior instructor. Jon’s numerous publications and academic work led him to become an editor of the OUP Handbook on Expedition and Wilderness Medicine, the ‘must have’ accessory for every medic’s rucksack.
However, it is not the combination of academic attainment and clinical field experience that sets Jon apart. It is his ability to teach these skills to anyone with an interest in caring for themselves and others in remote environments. Over the last 30 years Jon has encouraged more people to develop knowledge and skills in expedition and wilderness medicine than anyone else in the United Kingdom. Many career pathways have been shaken and sent on new and exciting tracks, as Jon consistently inspires and reminds those around him that life is not a dress rehearsal and you can combine a passion for medicine with a life of adventure.
Dr Lucy Obolensky
MSc MRCGP MRCS MCEM DTH&M
Lucy’s passion for Global Health, adventure and the outdoors began many years ago. In 1998, prior to her medical training, she help set up a rural clinic in Kenya and since then her passion for international health has gone from strength to strength.
Lucy is the founder of the charity Exploring Global Health Opportunities. This is an umbrella charity for a host of projects including hospital partnerships, three rural clinics and community led programs, all with the aim of achieving Millennium Development Goals in their villages and health centres.
These ongoing rural outreach programmes have enabled her to form firm friendships in many Maasai villages, where she enjoys the experience of working within very different cultures. Motherhood has been no barrier to this and she recently spent six weeks with her 4-month old son within these communities.
As an expedition and sports enthusiast Lucy undertook a Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine and there found her niche, working with challenging groups. Lucy has worked with Help for Heroes, Catch 22, Back2ski and a variety of other charities in various expeditions to the Himalayas, Africa, Central and South America. Lucy has found it a great privilege to support individuals such as these and help them achieve the immense challenges they set themselves, simultaneously finding how they inspire her to set new goals in her own life.
Lucy firmly believes that as health care professionals we have an enormous amount to give, and this is something many of us do not recognise until we push ourselves outside our comfort zones. Through opening our eyes to new experiences, learning about different cultures, sharing stories over a cup of chai, working side by side with colleagues from developing health care systems, we can bring a new depth to our own personal and professional skill base and through this enhance patient and colleague relationships.
James Moore RN
BSc (Hons) Dip TravMed Dip TN MFTM RCPS (Glasg) FRGS
Something you will notice when you first meet James is his un-paralleled enthusiasm for getting the most from life. One defining aspect of his character is his passion for travel and adventure alongside providing healthcare in new and interesting environments.
After qualifying as a nurse (and with an understanding that money is not the most important thing in life) he spent a year travelling across the globe, learning about other cultures and working in different environments.
On returning to the UK James recognised that learning from field specialists would enhance his ability to shape his career outside the normal pattern of ‘earlies, lates and nights’. Taking every opportunity to develop himself he obtained diplomas in tropical nursing and travel medicine and, recognising the importance of autonomous working, he became an Emergency Nurse Practitioner and nurse prescriber. These valuable skills were enhanced by gaining his Mountain Leader award.
Following a very rewarding Emergency Department career, James set his energy to developing a successful business. Travel Health Consultancy was founded on the principle that clients should receive advice from someone not only qualified in travel medicine, but who had travelled extensively. This he has achieved and the Exeter Travel Clinic is now a formidable resource in the Southwest.
Alongside his day-to-day work James’ expedition career is equally as exciting. It has taken him from the Deserts of Sudan, to the Jungles of Papua New Guinea, with film crews, TV celebrities, ultra-athletes and students. Recognising his experience he was invited to join the Royal Geographical Society Medical Cell and is now an editor and author of the 2nd Edition Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine.
Throughout his professional and personal life, James has fostered a talent for teaching and education and has taught expedition medicine to hundreds of individuals. Whether it is Advanced Life Support, bushcraft, navigation and mountain skills, travel or wilderness medicine, he always ensures whoever he teaches comes away filled with the knowledge and enthusiasm required to practise that skill.
Perhaps one of the most important features of James’ individuality is that throughout his career he has never lost sight of his nursing background. It is this that has enabled James to communicate across all levels, bringing a dose of common sense and purpose to his every-day practice and the reassurance that, if you set your mind to it, you can have an amazing career.
Dr Patrick Avery
BSc MRCGP MRCS (2009) DTM&H
Born and raised in Kenya, Patrick’s childhood camping trips, in his adventurous family’s faithful old Land Rover, took him to a huge variety of East Africa’s fabulous wild places. It also exposed him to a myriad of different tribal peoples and cultures, and generated in him a deep love and understanding of Africa, in particular its wild places, traditional peoples, and wildlife. It also gave him an acute awareness of the health care inequalities and environmental challenges that exist in East Africa.
A very practical person, operating in these remote areas has taught Patrick to be completely self reliant. He is a knowledgeable mechanic, and twice winner of the Rhino Charge; a legendary annual off-road driving event held in Kenya. Through this event he has been involved in raising well over £200,000 for conservation. One of his favourite camping destinations has always been the Olkiramatian conservancy in the Rift Valley.
Patrick is a great naturalist and is very knowledgeable about Kenyan bird life and animal behaviour. His love for African travel has extended into adult life and has included a 20,000 kilometre return overland trip from Nairobi to Cape Town.
Patrick went to school in Kenya then studied Medicine at Bristol University. A free spirit by nature, and never one to follow the trodden medical path, Patrick was inspired by portfolio doctors like Jon. He has always been determined to return to use his medical skills in Kenya. His diverse training reflects this and includes several years of surgery, and a diploma in tropical medicine. He is currently loving life as a locum GP, splitting his time between Bristol, Kenya and various expeditions. His expedition doctor experience includes work with the BBC, Help for Heroes, and on the trans-Siberian express.
Patrick firmly believes that it is still possible to express our individuality within medicine, and to carve our own niche despite the homogenous nature of modern medical training. Taking this step is empowering and liberating. Medicine provides us with a huge opportunity to travel and use our skills to teach, and inspire as well as to try to improve the well being of people less fortunate than ourselves.