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The Dr Who who stayed at home

7 September 2019

Extreme Medicine Fellow, Dr Rosie Alterman, explains why she is the Dr Who who stayed at home!

What’s your background?

I currently spend 80% of my time working as a Middle Grade Doctor in the Emergency Department at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and 20% studying for a Masters in Extreme Medicine at Exeter University. In my spare time I’m a keen triathlete, volunteer for the RNLI and am trying to conquer the South West Coast Path with my dog, Stan.

Why did you sign up for the Masters program?

I have always thought World Extreme Medicine was a fantastic organisation. Having attended the annual WEM Conference on several occasions I was incredibly inspired by the speakers and how they have used their medical degrees and WEM offers the perfect stepping stone for such opportunities. 2 years ago I had a job lined up in Australia, and in a desperate attempt to stop me from moving to the other side of the world, my boyfriend (who is based in Plymouth) found the Extreme Medicine Fellow job.

It’s the only job which would have kept me in the country.

To have a job where I can combine training in an outstanding Emergency Department with studying for a Masters with World Extreme Medicine was a dream come true!

Has it met your expectations?
Definitely. During the first two years of the course, I have had the opportunity to learn about expedition, humanitarian, conflict, pre-hospital and trauma medicine in locations varying from Costa Rica to Norway to the Lake District. The course is well organised and the assignments have allowed me to develop my own interests further. However, the best thing has been the inspiring people I have met including the faculty (often world-leading experts) and other students.

What are your plans for the future?
Inspired by WEM speakers, myself and Charlie (another Extreme Medicine Fellow and friend!) have decided to row the Atlantic next year. As well as being a great personal challenge, this will enable me to develop my specific interest in females undertaking ultra-endurance sporting events and why we are increasingly equalling or even beating the boys! Alongside this, I’m planning to continue my Emergency Medicine training and working with WEM on the Ocean Medicine Course.

Who is your favourite faculty member?
Impossible to say!


To support Rosie’s & Charlies row across the Atlantic 3000 miles from La Gomera to Antigua, often
considered as the world’s toughest rowing race thanks to its huge physical and mental challenges check out their Ocean Rowing website…

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