Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Review: Wilderness Medicine


As a physician and a Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, I have to admit that I am a bit biased about this book.  It is the "bible" of Wilderness Medicine.  Let me be up front about it, this is a medical textbook.  This is a book written for physicians by physicians and Ph.D.'s.  It is not light reading.  It is over 2,300 pages without references - those were put on a disk in the back flap of the book!  I am not saying that this book cannot be read by a non-physician.  Please!  Physicians are just people.  They have studied for years to speak "medical", but it is not an entirely different language.  Besides, this book is written in a bit more laid back style than traditional medical textbooks.  There are tons of great photos and illustrations as well!

The book covers in great detail just about any topic dealing with medicine for the outdoors.  For example, and in no means all-inclusive, here are some topics: splints and slings, animal bites, plant induced skin rashes, high-altitude medical issues, underwater medical issues, travelling overseas, care for the elderly and very young in the wilderness, combat medicine, head injuries, broken bones, pain management, psychiatric issues in the wilderness, living off the land, cold-exposure injuries, heat-exposure injuries, and the list goes on and on and on.  While it is geared for the "wilderness", if you can imagine an injury or medical issue that could arise on a farm, then there is probably a chapter covering it in great depth.

Dr. Paul Auerbach, one of the co-founders of the Wilderness Medicine Society, besides being a great and approachable guy, has amassed a large collection of chapter writers who are experts in their fields.  I have been very fortunate to meet many of them, hear their lectures in person, discuss medical topics with them, and become friends with a few.  I really don't think you can get better information anywhere else.

If you are interested in living in a more rural area (or very isolated), or you visit these places, or you are just interested in having a great medical textbook on hand "just in case", and you have the ability and/or desire to work your way through a chapter that is not written at a fourth-grade reading level, then I highly recommend this book.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a nurse and I'd like to read this book too. I'm pretty sure that I'll learn more than what I expect here.