2020 Altitude Medicine course and Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek
Hello Applicants! Thanks for your interest in the 2020 Virginia Tech Altitude Medicine Course and trek to Everest Base Camp, March 23-April16, 2020. This trip will focus on learning about Altitude Medicine in one of the most beautiful, extreme environments on Earth. In addition to trekking and exploring the Himalayan Mountains, we will also be touring several of the medical clinics and outposts in the Khumbu Valley on our way to Everest Base Camp. Due to the extreme nature of the trek itself (Over 70 miles of trekking at altitudes as high as 19,000 ft.), we would like to know about prior experiences backpacking at altitude and what symptoms you experienced then. Also, we would like to know any pre-existing health conditions and have a pre-trip evaluation by your primary doctor should you be able to attend. Of course, all information will be kept confidential.
Spaces are limited so please submit your information as soon as possible. Also please include your CV and a personal statement explaining why you would like to make this trek. We are preferentially accepting students, residents and fellows (Medical, PA, NP, Paramedic, etc.) however if space allows, we are open to all healthcare professionals.

Total cost is $3200

Includes:
Lodging/ camping fees
Flight to and from Lukla
Porter services as needed
TIMS and Sagarmatha National Park Fees
VTC Wilderness Medicine Course Fee

Not included:
Food/Drink
Flight to/from Kathmandu (usually $1500-2000 if bought early)
Visa ($40)
Taxi services to/from airport ( usually $8-10 per trip)
Gear

Virginia Tech Carilion Wilderness Medicine Elective- Altitude Medicine and Everest Base Camp Trek

Course Description:

This elective will focus on Altitude Medicine, a sub-specialty of Wilderness Medicine. This elective will be a 3 week immersive experience in which students will prepare for and trek to Everest Base Camp, visiting several of the rural medical clinics along the way. Students will learn about Altitude Physiology, Pathophysiology and Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness. They will also have an opportunity to participate in, and help teach a wilderness medicine workshop to medical students from Tribhuvan Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu as well as to Girls In Action, a group for secondary school aged girls in Kathmandu. The course will be offered in late Spring (April) during peak summit season for Mt. Everest, in which Everest ER is functional. Students will trek to Everest Base Camp and visit Lukla Hospital, Khunde Hospital, the Medical Clinic at Namche Bazaar, the HRA clinic at Pheriche,and of course Everest ER.

Clinical Preceptors: Dr. Jessica Gehner
Prerequisite(s): Clearance by primary doctor, approval of institution
Co-requisite(s): None
Duration: 3 weeks

Course Objectives:
Demonstrate knowledge of physiologic changes occurring at altitude, including the pathophysiology of acute mountain sickness and related conditions
Prepare for a trek into high altitude terrain including compiling gear and a medical kit which includes items to treat and prevent altitude related conditions in the backcountry.
Teach Nepali Medical students from Tribhuvan Institute of Medicine basic wilderness medical first aid in a hands on workshop.
Discuss the Nepali rural medical system and the limited resources available at these remote location, this includes evacuation from the backcountry.

Detailed Course Description:
This course will be a totally immersive high altitude experience in which participants will learn about Altitude Physiology, Pathophysiology and Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness. Students will prepare for a trek to Everest Base Camp (elevation ~5400m) in which they will travel 70 miles on foot in the gorgeous and rugged Himalayan Mountains of the Khumbu Valley. They will learn about expedition preparation, medical kit compilation, medical prophylaxis of acute mountain sickness, and management of medical emergencies in the backcountry.
On this trek, students will visit Lukla Hospital, Khunde Hospital, the Medical Clinic at Namche Bazaar, the Himalayan Rescue Association Medical Clinic at Pheriche and of course Everest ER. While in Kathmandu, students will also have the opportunity to participate and teach portions of a hands on Wilderness Medicine workshop with Medical Students from Tribhuvan Institute of Medicine.
Requirements for this rotation include clearance by the student’s primary physician, international travel insurance with evacuation insurance, and provision of basic backpacking and cold weather gear.

Textbook/ Course materials:
Auerbach’s Wilderness Medicine, Chapters 1-3

Estimated Costs:
Course Fee: $3200

Includes:
Lodging/ camping fees
Flight to and from Lukla
Porter services as needed
TIMS and Sagarmatha National Park Fees
VTC Wilderness Medicine Course Fee/ Materials

Not included:
Food/Drink
Flight to/from Kathmandu (usually $1500-2000 if bought early)
Visa ($40)
Taxi services to/from airport ( usually $8-10 per trip)
Gear

Gear Requirements: (please contact jrgehner@carilionclinic.org with questions and to arrange sharing of certain gear items)

Cold weather bag ( 0F minimum-- I carry a -20F, but I get cold.)
Tent
Sleeping pad
Stove ( can buy fuel in KTM easily, esp if you have a pocket rocket, jet boil or similar)
Water purification method ( I use chemical, Aqua Mira is my preferred, but whatever you feel comfortable with, I consider all water to have enteric pathogens in it!)
Food - can be bought along the way at tea houses, but if you have special dietary needs ( i bring protein bars, tea and a few other staples just in case)
First Aid Kit ( with any of your home meds, ibuprofen, diamox, dexamethasone, etc.)
Thermal base layer
Rain gear ( pants and shell)
Down or other insulated jacket
Warm hat
Buff ( for dust and face protection)
Sunglasses
Sunscreen
Toiletries ( recommend some type of biodegradable soap)
Hand sanitizer
Camera/ phone/ chargers ( wifi is surprisingly accessible in the Khumbu, do usually have to pay for it though and charging as well)
Sun hat
Trekking poles ( if you use them)
Camel back or similar
Warm/ hiking socks
Boots


Partners:

Virginia Tech Carilion Wilderness Medicine Fellowship
Roanoke, VA
Director: Dr. Stephanie Lareau
salareau@carilionclinic.org
(540) 759-4724

Tribhuvan Institute of Medicine
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr. Sanjeeb Bhandari
thesanjivbhandari@gmail.com


Khunde Hospital
Khunde, Nepal
Dr. Sushil Pant
pantsushi@gmail.com


Mountain Medical Society of Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal
Dr. Pawan Karki
pawankarki01@gmail.com


Girls in Action
Kathmandu, Nepal
Sudeep Kandel
Country Director
Wide Open Vistas
+977-9855053896
Sudeep@wideopenvistas.org
www.wideopenvistas.org






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What is the highest altitude to which you have traveled? How long were you at this altitude?
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Did you have any symptoms when at altitude? If yes, please explain?
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Do you have any pre-existing health conditions? Do you take any regular medications? If yes, please explain, this will not necessarily affect your eligibility, and all information is kept confidential.
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Please write a brief explanation of why you would like to attend this trip and what you hope to gain from the experience.
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