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Patient-centred mountain medicine
  1. Piotr Szawarski1,
  2. David Hillebrandt2,3
  1. 1Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Wexham Park Hospital, Wexham, UK
  2. 2Holsworthy, Devon, UK
  3. 3UIAA Medcom, Bern, Switzerland, Devon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Piotr Szawarski, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Wexham Park Hospital, Wexham Road, Wexham SL2 4HL, UK; piotr.szawarski{at}


Venturing into the mountains, doctors have accompanied expeditions to provide routine care to the teams, undertake research and occasionally take on a rescue role. The role of doctors practicing mountain medicine is evolving. Public health issues involving concepts of health and safety have become necessary with the coming of commercial and youth expeditions. Increasingly individuals with a disability or a medical diagnosis choose to ascend to high altitudes. Doctors become involved in assessment of risk and providing advice for such individuals. The field of mountain medicine is perhaps unique in that acceptance of risk is part of the ethos of climbing and adventure. The pursuit of mountaineering goals may represent the ultimate conquest of a disability. Knowledge of mountain environment is essential in facilitating mountain ascents for those who choose to undertake them, in spite of a disability or medical condition.

  • mountain medicine
  • disability
  • professionalism
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