About this event

  • Date and time Thu 1 Jul 2021 from 8:30am to 5:05pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Sport and Exercise Medicine, Military Medicine

This event has been postponed. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

Athletes participating in extreme environments or endurance events can experience a range of pathology rarely seen within NHS practice. This unique conference will explore the physiology of participating in different endurance events and the common medical problems and life-threatening conditions that can occur.

Providing healthcare for athletes participating in these events can be challenging for multiple reasons. Therefore, the conference will also explore the provision of care to the athletes and the lessons that experienced clinicians have learnt from planning and organising healthcare provision during extreme environments and endurance events.

During this meeting you will:

  • Describe the different aspects of the limit of endurance
  • Describe considerations when planning the provision of medical cover for an expedition or mass participation event.
  • Understand the emerging technology that can facilitate medical care to athletes in the field.
  • Describe current best practice in the management of altitude sickness, heat illness, and cold injuries

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Key speakers

Major Natalie Taylor

Lecturer of Military General Practice, Academic Department of Military General Practice (ADMGP) and General Practitioner, British Army

Speaker's biography

Major Natalie Taylor is the lecturer of Military General Practice based at the Academic Department of Military General Practice (ADMGP) . A GP in the British Army who has deployed to Afghanistan, Oman, Uzbekistan, Estonia and other remote locations around the globe providing medical support to NATO forces and host nations. Being passionate about delivering quality patient care in any environment Natalie trains fellow medical staff in the army in Battlefield Advanced Trauma Life Support. While working as a full-time military GP Natalie co-organised and was assistant leader on Ice Maiden, the first all-female team to cross Antarctica coast to coast using muscle power alone. Natalie is on the Wilderness Expedition Medicine (WEM) Faculty and has been on expeditions around the globe. Naturally Natalie’s research interest has gravitated to optimistic soldiers’ performance in extreme environments to combine her knowledge of the extreme environment and interest in wearable technology. Natalie is a Nordic ski instructor and was fortunate enough to captain the Army Medical Services (AMS) Ladies team at the British Biathlon and Nordic Championships where they won the AMS first ever silver wear including gold in the team 10km classic race. Alongside Nordic skiing Natalie is also a Mountain Leader and training to become an Alpine Mountain Leader. Outside of work Natalie competes in Adventure racing with Team Endurnacelife and has won several ultra-marathons including the 6633, a 350 mile foot race in the Canadian Arctic. Having gained her expeditionary spirit and thirst for adventure as a Girlguide Natalie is a Girlguide leader and ambassador of Guirlguides in Powys, and developing a leadership training through challenges in the Arctic.


Natalie is most at home in the great outdoors and is working towards her Alpine Mountain Leader qualification in the army so she can enthuse more soldiers to get the bug for the wilderness. 

Benjamin Watts

Specialist Retrieval Practitioner (Paramedic), Emergency Medical Retrieval Service, Scottish Ambulance Service

Speaker's biography

Ben is a registered Paramedic, employed in Scotland as a Retrieval Practitioner with EMRS. Alongside HEMS/Critical Care retrieval work Ben is a Faculty member for World Extreme Medicine and is an expedition medic. Special interests include PHEM, remote and expedition medicine trauma care, human factors, performance and coffee.


View the programme

Tea, coffee and registration
Welcome and introduction

Dr Tom Axon and Dr Craig Sheridan, Council Members, Sports and Exercise Medicine Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Session one: Limit of endurance

Uniqueness of elite endurance athlete physiology

Professor Steve Harridge, Professor of Human and Applied Physiology and Head of Department, Centre for Human and Applied Physiological Sciences, Kings College London

Psychology of limit of endurance

Dr Tamsin Lewis, Lifestyle and Performance Medicine and Former Pro Triathlete

Ultra marathon experience from athlete and coach

Robert Britton, Ultra-endurance Coach and Athlete 

Panel discussion
Tea and coffee break

Session two: Lessons from expedition and extreme sports

Extreme sport athletes: Embrace The Chaos

Darren Roberts, Concierge, Action Sports Solutions

Exercise, endurance and the gut microbiome

Dr Owen Cronin, Consultant Rheumatologist, Western General Hospital

Planning expeditions

Dr Anna Marshall, General Practitioner, Sports and Exercise Medicine Registrar and Medical Lead, RAF Centenary Expedition 2017/2018

Human factors, CRM and performance: Lessons from the field

Benjamin Watts, Specialist Retrieval Practitioner (Paramedic), Emergency Medical Retrieval Service, Scottish Ambulance Service

Panel discussion
Lunch and poster presentations

Session three: Lessons from extreme environments

Altitude and Everest

Professor Daniel Martin, Consultant, Intensive Care Medicine, University of Plymouth

Wearable tech in Antarctica

Major Natalie Taylor, Lecturer General Practice, Academic Department of Military General Practice (ADMGP)

Acclimatisation to the heat

Lieutenant Colonel Dan Burrow, Consultant Occupational Medicine, British Army

Shooting on the edge

Stuart Kershaw, Filmmaker, In The Dark Productions

Panel discussion
Tea and coffee break

Session four: Lessons from event medicine

Mass participation events

Professor Courtney Kipps, Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine, Institute of Sport Exercise and Health, University College London Hospital

Applying the female filter to our support of female athletes

Dr Emma Ross, Co-Founder, The Well HQ


Pete Mitchell, Track Cyclist 

Panel discussion
Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Disclaimer:All views expressed are of the speakers themselves and not of the RSM nor the speaker's organisations. 

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