Ice and Medicine at the end of the earth

McMurdo General Hospital

I am a physician in the three bed hospital located at McMurdo station.  I have now been on the ice for one week and I am adjusting to dorm living, cafeteria dining and seeing patients in our lovely clinic.  On my way to clinic in the morning, I have amazing views!

The clinic/hospital is small, has a definite military influence, and has very little privacy.   But, I am working with a great group of people.  We are expecting increased clinic volumes when the base increases from 500 people to 1200 people.   We will be seeing approximately 50 patients per day for a variety of acute and chronic medical issues.


You enter near the lobby area.  We have two curtained rooms for seeing patients and one exam room for more private matters.

We each have a small office space with a computer.    My desk is in the back in the inpatient area.  We do have the ability to have three inpatients if needed. 

We have greats people working in pharmacy lab and xray, who help with clinic duties as well.   The physical therapy office is connected and available to assist with rehab. 

I am looking forward to learning more from all of the people working with me down here.   I am slowly adjusting to the different way of practicing medicine in this environment compared to the big city of Seattle. 

I want to thank the AFSA students for following along during my adventure.  They have asked some excellent questions which I am slowly answering.  You can find their questions and answers on the right hand side of the home page or under the AFSA tab at the top of the home page.

Hopefully I will have another hike report this weekend (hope for better weather!)

9 responses

  1. dana

    How are you outside without a hat? Isn’t it like -40 outside? Love you

    September 30, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    • It was probably -10 at lunch today. But, the key thing is no wind! It makes it feel so much warmer when it is calm and sunny. Don’t worry, I was not out for very long 🙂

      September 30, 2010 at 5:43 PM

  2. Kelly

    I am debating……Dr. Chocolate or Dr Penguin….two great names!

    October 1, 2010 at 2:01 AM

  3. Mom

    you do have a great view! Am I the only one that thought Antarctica was flat??!

    October 1, 2010 at 3:33 AM

  4. There are a couple mountain ranges. It will be flat in the center of the continent where T.J. will be. And, Kelly – I think it was Dr. Cocoa 🙂

    October 1, 2010 at 7:59 AM

  5. Hannah

    Do you have the capabilities, as a clinic, do deliver a child?

    July 30, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    • No. Children cannot be born at US bases in Antarctica.

      December 6, 2013 at 1:03 PM

  6. Briana

    Hi there, this sounds incredible!
    It’s a dream of mine to go to Antarctica but being a nursing student from New Zealand there isn’t much opportunity for me to get there.
    Very jealous over here anyway!
    Enjoy your time!

    March 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

  7. Pingback: McMurdo Station's Hospital - Jeffrey Donenfeld

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