What is Dive Medicine?

18 March 2024

Ever wondered about the human body’s response underwater? Curious about how medical professionals ensure diver safety?

Welcome to the captivating world of dive medicine!

What is Dive Medicine?

Dive medicine is a specialised field dedicated to diagnosing, treating, and preventing health issues associated with underwater diving. It uniquely merges the thrill of diving with essential healthcare expertise, offering a rewarding pursuit in medical science.

Professionals in dive medicine possess extensive knowledge of immersion physiology, diving physics, and the treatment of diving-related ailments and injuries. They play a vital role in safeguarding the health and safety of recreational, professional, and military divers

What to Expect from Dive Medicine Courses

Dive medicine courses are designed to provide comprehensive and hands-on learning experiences.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Dive Physiology: Learn about fascinating aspects of how the human body adapts to the underwater environment, such as changes in circulation, gas exchange, and pressure effects on tissues.
  • Decompression Theory: Understand the origins and practical applications of decompression theory in planning safe dives and preventing decompression illness (DCI).
  • Dive Gases: Learn how divers choose and handle gases for various diving situations, and grasp the benefits and drawbacks of each gas when subjected to pressure.
  • Diving Related Injuries: Master the skills to handle diverse scenarios from common ailments like seasickness and minor injuries to critical situations like emergency evacuations in remote areas. Also, gain expertise in identifying and managing rare conditions like arterial gas embolisms (AGE) and barotrauma.Specialisations: Explore technical and saturation diving, hyperbaric medicine, and the historical evolution of diving.
  • Fitness to dive: Discover how medical conditions influence diving, both recreationally and professionally, through interactive small group sessions. Gain insight into the nuanced decisions made by diving doctors regarding dive fitness.”
  • Simulation: Gain hands-on experience managing casualties in water and onboard in low-resource, remote settings.

And don’t forget, you’ll likely be living aboard a boat for the entire trip!

→  Join our leading Dive Medicine training courses!

Where Can Dive Medicine Take You?

The world of dive medicine opens up a sea of opportunities for healthcare professionals:

  • Hyperbaric Medicine Centres: Operate in cutting-edge facilities, delivering vital care to divers with decompression illness and individuals undergoing elective hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
  • Dive Operations: Serve as a medical advisor for dive operations, ensuring diver safety and well-being in diverse environments. Opportunities include remote or on-site consultation, with potential to get involved with diving yourself!
  • Research: Contribute to dive medicine advancement through research on diving’s physiological challenges and development of innovative treatment protocols.
  • Global Opportunities: With the global popularity of diving, dive medicine specialists are in high demand, presenting opportunities to work in exotic locales, collaborate with international teams, and explore unique career paths, including roles in underground systems development.
  • Diving Medical Referee: Dive physicians are in high demand for conducting medical assessments, enabling individuals to engage in recreational and professional diving activities.

Further Learning Opportunities

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in dive medicine, there are several renowned organisations and institutions that offer comprehensive training programs:

  • Learn to prevent, recognise and treat dive-related illnesses and injuries through our leading Dive Medicine courses. 
  • In partnership with Exeter University, our Dive Medicine courses are included as a module as part of the MSc in Extreme Medicine. Our medical graduate courses set the standard for comprehensive, hands-on training in this field and can prepare you for any situation you may encounter.
  • The Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Society (DHMS) provides various courses and workshops for healthcare professionals interested in dive medicine.
  • The South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS) organises annual scientific meetings and courses, fostering knowledge exchange and networking opportunities.
  • The Diving Disease Research Centre offers a junior doctor position that involves training in examining + treating divers, handling elective hyperbaric oxygen patients, responding to emergency calls, and conducting medical assessments for recreational and commercial divers.

Key Takeaways

As you embark on your journey into dive medicine, it’s essential to understand the unique physiological challenges of the underwater environment.

This knowledge is crucial for providing expert care to divers. Careful planning, adherence to dive tables, and familiarity with decompression protocols are paramount for diving safety. Recognising the signs and symptoms of diving-related illnesses is a critical skill for dive medicine professionals.

Dive medicine offers a fulfilling and impactful career path, combining the thrill of diving with the satisfaction of providing specialised medical care.

Are you ready to dive into the world of dive medicine?

→  Join our leading Dive Medicine training courses!

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