Undergrad Research Assistants
There is currently one medical course that is available through the Honduran expedition site; the expedition medicine experiential course is aimed at pre-med students looking to gain experience in the field.
Dr Dipak Mistry, who runs the pre-med course in Honduras has also set up a blog for them – you can find it here.
Expedition Medicine Experiential Course
(Start date 7 June)
This 4-week option in Honduras is aimed at giving Pre-Med students the opportunity to experience how to provide medical support to teams working on expeditions in remote areas. The first 3 weeks of the course are run in the Cusuco National Park cloud forest with the last week at the marine research centre on Utila Island. The Expedition Medicine experiential course provides formal teaching in the form of interactive lectures (core knowledge) coupled with mentorship by doctors working out in the field in various sites to gain experience in clinical diagnosis and treatment. The mentors will provide individual assessments for each of the students at the end of the placement. Note the course does not provide training in expedition medicine that can then be used as a qualification to practice expedition medicine.
- During week 1, the group complete the Jungle Survival and Neotropical Forest Ecology course so that they are accustomed to the forest conditions and the type of research being conducted.
- In week 2 the group will complete a training course in expedition medicine which will cover pre-expedition planning (e.g. how to identify risks, developing emergency evacuation plans), medical emergencies and trauma in the field (anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetic emergencies, heat & dehydration, gastroenteritis and hygiene), tropical infections (e.g. malaria, rabies, dengue fever and DHF), and snake bite and envenomation procedures.
- In week 3, the experiential medical students will be spread amongst the various core and buffer zone research camps in Cusuco Park in pairs to work alongside the medic at each of the sites. Generally, from a medical viewpoint there is not too much to do at these camps, so most of the time will be spent helping on the biodiversity surveys including emptying dung beetle pitfall traps, helping with point counts for birds, standard search times and spotlighting for reptiles and amphibians, tapir transects etc.
- In week 4, the group will move to Utila Island where they will be completing a PADI Open Water dive training course or doing the Caribbean reef ecology course if already qualified. During this week, they will have the chance to visit a hyperbaric chamber.