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  • Health Care Jobs

    Hello-

    Does anyone know which contract company hires [American] medical personnel for Antarctica?
    I have looked through all the contracted recruiters listed on the USAP and can find no listings, or even mention of medical personnel beyond random Yahoo Answers postings saying they hire doctors.
    My field is medical laboratory science, and I know that someone must hire for those positions because I had a great chance to talk about it with a guy who came into the lab for all of his NSF-required screening tests (this is his 15th deployment) and he explained that they have a small medical laboratory at McMurdo.
    I am at the very beginning earliest stages of my research into doing this, though I have always been enamored with the idea of working in Antarctica. Right now, I just want to see job listings to get an idea of the level experience and skill set they are looking for in a lab employee.
    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Health Care Jobs

    Hi Sarai and welcome to the board.

    I don't know for sure, but I very much doubt that there are people employed as full time medical lab technicians in Antarctica. Yes there are doctors, but they don't spend much of their time on base with ill people usually having a research project to fill their time. Personnel who go down are screened and have thorough medicals before they go, if anything of significance is found or develops once they are in Antarctica, they are evacuated as soon as possible.

    The small medical lab you describe will almost certainly be run by the doctor on base in the rare event that it is required to carry out whatever tests are needed.

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    • #3
      Re: Health Care Jobs

      I think you might be surprised.
      Villages here in Alaska with the same population as McMurdo have labs that are sometimes actually bigger than the one I work at in a larger city, because of the isolation. Obviously, by screening everyone beforehand you avoid the need to do a lot of testing, but wherever people get injured they'll need blood transfusions, and there's never a med tech far behind. Whether it's a traditional rotating stock blood bank or McMurdo's "walking" blood bank, there's still got to be someone to crossmatch the blood and I'd be very surprised if doctor's knew how to do that.
      I can't even find which company (beyond the Australian Arctic Division, which doesn't list positions at McMurdo) is hiring for that doctor. So obviously I'm missing something.

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      • #4
        Re: Health Care Jobs

        The "tiny" difference is, I guess, that among general population (almost anywhere) you have people of all ages... from newborns to those older than 100 years. Some of them will, certainly, fall sick at some point. On the contrary, people who are part of expeditions to such remote locations such are South Pole station or other stations "down there" must be checked as well as astronauts to reduce the risk of health problems to the absolute minimum because any evacuation (or delivery of medical supplies for the particular problem) would cost tens (in some causes hundreds) of thousands of dollars. Number of serious health issues occurring probably doesn't justify having a large and well equipped medical facility.

        Note: I have never been there, but this is just my guess based on the research. I wish I am wrong but I guess I am not

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        • #5
          Re: Health Care Jobs

          You've hit the nail on the head flighter - the Antarctic population is very different to the population anywhere else, temperature is co-incidental here. Doctors are chosen partly for their ability to do anything medical that needs doing, checking blood types seems quite a straightforward task and I have never heard of a transfusion taking place in Antarctica. Having a doctor at bases is significant over-manning in terms of what they are needed to do.

          There is a reason people can't find jobs like medical technician / archivist etc. in Antarctica that I get asked about and then not believed when I answer.

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