Desert Medicine Course


04 December 2022 10:00 - 09 December 2022 18:00


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Conquer extremes of temperature and hone the skills required to care for people in stunning yet often desolate desert landscapes.

This stimulating six day course in the deserts of Oman focuses on the medical and survival skills you’ll need to thrive in this challenging environment.

Embark into the desert with our expert team of expedition leaders, medics and camels – and emerge with a new motivation.

Key Facts

You must be a:

  • Medical or Allied Health Professional
  • Student in your last two years of study
  • We highly recommend that you take our Expedition and Wilderness Medicine Course first.

You need:

  • To be a competent navigator
  • Have a good level of fitness
  • Basic knowledge of expedition planning

Dates: 4 December 2021 – 9 December, 2022
Location: Sharqiya Sands, Oman

CPD Award: We estimate 30 hours CPD will be awarded for the completed course
Awarding organisation: Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

What’s included:

  • Tutoring, accommodation and meals
  • WEM care package full of essential kit
  • Safety equipment

What’s not:

  • Travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment

Desert Medicine

The remote majesty and wilderness of the world’s deserts require a special kind of medicine.

This demanding yet stimulating six day course allows medics to develop a particular expertise in coping with the demands of such an inhospitable environment.

You’ll learn how to survive in the sand and discover how to keep your team fit and thriving despite the challenges of the landscapes.

The desert medicine course delivers everything you’ll need for successful future exploration and adventure in the driest places on earth.

What to expect

You’ll fly into Muscat and make your way to the Outward Bound Oman offices for 0800 where you’ll meet our hugely experienced Desert Medicine team.

The desert in Sharqiya Sands (formerly Ramlat al-Wahiba) will be your home for the following week in which you’ll embark on a two part expedition on foot, supported by camels and vehicles.

With only a brief stop mid-way through the course for a shower and to freshen up, you’ll learn how to make the desert your home and overcome the obstacles of the environment to keep your team healthy and deliver the clinical skills you’ll need in an emergency.

You’ll cover heat related medical issues, how to deal with trauma and life threatening emergencies, find out about endemic disease and envenomation before getting to grips with navigation, communication, travelling, stretchers and carries in this unique and desolate environment.

This unforgettable course is run by a team with extensive experience across the world’s deserts and who will share their knowledge and skills enabling you to go on to lead and provide medical cover on desert expeditions of your own.

Course Content

  • Introduction to Desert Medicine
  • Essential Desert Kit
  • Medical Kits for the Desert
  • Public Health
  • Food, Water and Sanitation in the Desert
  • Navigation
  • Heat Related Illness
  • Communications
  • Leadership
  • Managing Trauma in the Desert
  • Fracture Management
  • Vehicle Incidents
  • Primary & Secondary Survey
  • Pain Management
  • Water Treatment and Hydration
  • Managing Life Threatening Emergencies
  • Endemic Desert Diseases
  • Envenomation
  • Wound Management
  • Temporary Stretchers
  • Medical Scenarios

What you need to know

Travel insurance is absolutely essential and therefore, for your safety and security, we reserve the right to refuse access to an expedition until we have details of adequate insurance cover provided to us. A suitable policy can be booked through

You’ll need to pack extensively for your trip, bringing your own sleeping bag and mat, a personal first aid kit and a number of other specific items – so check out the full kit list.

Kit List

As a minimum we recommend you bring:

  • Day sack – 30l
  • Duffel bag
  • 2 season sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Lightweight trekking boots / approach shoes
  • Trekking socks
  • Crocs / sandals
  • Lightweight long-sleeved t-shirt / shirt
  • Wicking t-shirts
  • Lightweight trekking trousers
  • Lightweight fleece for evening
  • Shorts
  • Casual clothes
  • Comfy footwear
  • Hat (tie cords are a good idea)
  • Buff
  • Culturally sensitive clothing; if invited to meet Bedouin, long sleeves/covered shoulders/long trousers are appropriate.
  • LED Headtorch & spare batteries
  • Compass
  • Water bottles or bladder 3l or more
  • Plastic bags / dry bags
  • Walking poles – optional
  • Camera
  • Duct tape
  • Sun glasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Water disinfection kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun protection SPF30 min
  • Toilet paper and lighter or matches
  • Personal toiletries
  • Personal first aid kit, comprising:
  • Painkillers (avoiding those that include aspirin)
  • Ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory (not for asthmatics)
  • Imodium
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Plasters
  • Gauze pads
  • Crepe bandage
  • Zinc oxide tape
  • Adhesive tape
  • Moleskin and/or Compeed for blister treatment
  • Dehydration mix such as Dioralyte
  • Small tub of Vaseline
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins

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