Well I have done it! I have officially embarked on my new career as a Wilderness and Expedition Medicine physician. And maybe even more remarkably, I have created my own domain and started a blog. For a gal who is not even on Facebook, this is no small feat.
Let’s back track a little here, and get to the “about me” section. So I’m a small town Midwest girl who recently became a board certified Emergency Medicine physician. I love all things outdoor and have an insatiable appetite for seeing the world. After less than a year at an inner city ER, I decided that this was not the big life that I had envisioned for myself. So I applied to Wilderness Medicine fellowships and was luckily enough to snag one in Upstate New York. First order of business as a fellow — acting as part of the medical team for a multi-staged foot race in Cambodia.
It was overwhelming to get all of my equipment and supplies together, but next thing I knew, I was flying to Cambodia via China. I figured that if I could get through China on my own okay, I should be fine the rest of the trip. After 35 hours of travel, I finally arrived in Phnom Penh. The next few days were a blur a checking racers in, and getting brief medical histories of all 43 racers. The race started at the gateway of a Buddhist Monastery. The race was 220km over the course of 6 staging days. I could not have been more impressed with the mental and physical toughness of the racers. The first night, 14 runners got sick with food poisoning. It was 90 degrees and humid, even at night. There were no toilet facilities, let alone a comfortable place to lie down and get cool. I was starting to get worried that we were going to have to get some of the participants out of the Jungle. But everyone toughed it out with the help of copious amounts of zofran and finished the 29 km stage the next day! After that rough first night, it was smooth sailing. It was mostly some continued nausea in the heat and lots and lots of blisters. I’ve never popped and taped so many blisters in my life! It was emotional to watch the group cross the finish line at the historic and iconic Angkor Watt the final day. I really got to know everyone on the staff as well as all 43 runners. The travel, the camaraderie, along with amazing and exotic new experiences definitely made me confident that I have made the right career choice.