Tom is a dual GP-ED trainee, event medic and the co-founder of Ascent Medical Support. Ascent provides medical cover at endurance and extreme sporting events around New Zealand including ultramarathons, long-distance triathlons and the legendary slopestyle mountain biking event, Crankworx. An experienced athlete himself, he spoke to us about his journey to becoming an event medic.
At medical school, I thought I wanted to be a sports physician. After PGY2 I wanted more experience and did a variety of SHO jobs in provincial hospitals before starting GP training.
During that time, I completed a post grad diploma in sports medicine and went on a few tours with sports team. I realised working 9-5 in a clinic wasn’t for me, and missed acute medicine. I returned back to the hospital and Emergency Medicine. I like the episodic nature - it is very much like Event Medicine actually. You are there, you have your team, you work, you finish.
I started working in Rotorua and met Ascent co-founder Ben. He had already started doing some work with an outdoor emergency management company, Peak Safety, working with them at endurance events. These events often require a specialist level of care, people can get really sick; it helps having doctors on site. Especially in the remote environments where they often take place.