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Faculty

Andrew Luks, US
Dr. Andrew Luks works in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care Medicine, and Sleep Medicine at the University of Washington. He performs clinical duties at Harborview Medical Center where he cares for patients in intensive care unit services. He also provides consultative services to individuals seeking advice about travel or high altitude. He has served as a co-author of the recent edition of High-Altitude Medicine and Physiology and is the lead author on the recent Wilderness Medical Society guidelines for the prevention and treatment of acute altitude illness. Beyond his clinical duties, Dr. Luks has an active scholarly program in the area of high-altitude medicine and physiology with a particular focus on travel to high-altitude with underlying medical conditions.

Ben Clark, UK
Doctor in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospitals North Staffordshire Helicopter Emergency Medical Services, Ben has been lecturing on the DiMM course since its first year in 2011. As well as working in theatre, ITU, and the pre-hospital environment, he also lectures at several medical schools. Ben also works for the British Army teaching remote and field medicine and is currently working for a Medical Evacuation Regiment. He also regularly teaches and presents at international conferences. Ben is the clinical director of the Pre-hospital Surgical Skills Course at Keele University, which is one of the longest established in the UK, and which uses fresh-frozen cadaveric specimens to ensure realistic training. Ben’s specialist interest is in training individuals in improvised trauma and prolonged field care. Ben loves dogs, steak, Game of Thrones, old cars, and 1980s disco.

Beth McElroy, UK
Dr. Beth McElroy is currently working as a respiratory registrar in the UK and is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians. She has a broad background in acute care specialties and in February 2020 will be taking up an Anaesthetics post in Cardiff where she aims to continue her interest in Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine. She has previously spent a year working within the mountain rescue team in the Lake District, UK, and has an interest in high-altitude trail running, expedition medicine, and women’s health at altitude. Beth completed the DiMM in Nepal in 2014 and has since worked with the Himalayan Rescue Association in both Pheriche and Manang. She is currently midway through the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and therefore has a very current understanding of the hard work you will all be doing! Beth’s love of dogs and knowledge of the risk of rabies in Nepal are currently very much at odds with each other. 

Buddha Basnyat, Nepal
Dr. Basnyat is the past president of the International Society of Mountain Medicine. He currently leads the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit- Nepal based at Patan Hospital and is the medical director of the Himalayan Rescue Association. He holds a Master’s degree in respiratory physiology from the University of Calgary, Canada, and did his Internal Medicine residency training at the Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, US. Having lectured hundreds of medical students at the Institute of Medicine, TU Teaching Hospital as a professor of physiology for over a decade, his research interest lies in working with young clinicians in the study of high altitude illness and undifferentiated febrile illness in the tropics.

Jez Hunter, UK
Dr. Hunter is an Anaesthetic Registrar working in the Southwest of England. In the 1990s, Jez left Exeter University, UK, and joined the Royal Marines as an officer. During a decade’s service there, his thirst for adventure was well served with thirteen expeditions – ranging from high-altitude climbing in the Pakistani Himalayas to deep-sea diving in the Philippines. On leaving the forces, he established a rope access and rescue company – training the emergency services in rope-related disciplines including mountain rescue. He was one of the founding members of the International Rescue Instructors Alliance and authored “Swiftwater and Flood Rescue – a field operations guide”. On selling his company he retrained as a doctor at the Peninsula Medical School, UK. His interest lies in pre-hospital medicine, austere environment anesthesia, and hepatitis E transmission.

John McCall, Canada
Dr. John McCall is an assistant professor at Mcmaster University and lecturer at the department of surgery, University of Toronto, Canada. He is a trauma consultant for the Canadian military and a member of the UIAA medical commission. Dr. McCall is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Toronto in 1974. He specializes in trauma, sports, and knee and shoulder reconstruction, and is a fellow of the royal geographic society. Interestingly, he served as the team physician at four Olympic Games for Canada. As an avid mountaineer, he has been on many expeditions to the Himalayas, Baffin islands, China and Antarctica.

Ken Zafren, USA
Dr. Ken Zafren is the Associate Medical Director of the Himalayan Rescue Association (Nepal) and Vice President of the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM). He is a retired member of the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group. Dr. Zafren has also served as the Emergency Programs Medical Director for the State of Alaska. He serves as an emergency physician at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage and at Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California USA, where he is also a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine.

Linda Keyes, USA
Dr. Linda Keyes is an Emergency physician in Boulder, CO. She is an expert on pregnancy at high altitude and has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles on high-altitude medicine, with a current research focus on hypertension in high altitude. She has worked as a volunteer physician at the Himalayan Rescue Association clinic in Pheriche, Nepal and as a co-physician advisor/rescue member for the Rocky Mountain Rescue Group in Boulder. She is a member of the High Altitude Medicine and Biology editorial review board and was a member/associate editor of the Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Journal Editorial Board. The WMS Founders Award, the WMS Education award and the WEM Outstanding Peer Review award are a few of the many accolades she has won. Besides high-altitude medicine and rescue, she loves writing, backcountry skiing, and climbing with her family.

Maniraj Neupane, Nepal/USA
Dr. Neupane is currently an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He established the Nepalese Diploma in Mountain Medicine program alongside Dr. Suzy Stokes in 2011 and continues to oversee it from the US. As the vice president of the Mountain Medicine Society of Nepal, he mentors young members of the society and fosters international collaborations. His interests are in the health effects of household air pollution, mountain medicine, respiratory medicine, and global health.

Prativa Pandey, Nepal
Dr. Prativa Pandey is the Medical Director of CIWEC Hospital in Kathmandu and Pokhara – a center that deals mainly with travel-related problems including altitude illness. She is a Past President of the International Society of Travel Medicine and is currently serving her term as President of the Nepal Society of Travel Medicine. Dr. Pandey obtained her Medical degree from New Delhi, India, and did post-graduation in Internal Medicine from Boston, USA. She has worked as a volunteer doctor at the Pheriche aid post and remains a member of the medical advisory board of the Himalayan Rescue Association. She has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and has authored several book chapters.

Reto Pezzoli, Switzerland
Dr. Reto Pezzoli is a sports physician based in Minusio, Switzerland. After graduating from the University of Zürich, he specialized in Family Medicine and sports medicine. He played an integral part in creating the Swiss Olympic Medical Center at the Regional Hospital of Locarno and has been working there since. He is a member of the Swiss Society of Mountain Medicine and has instructed in mountain medicine courses organized yearly by the society. He served as a NepDiMM instructor in 2012, 2014, and 2017. His fields of interest are sports nutrition, outdoor medicine, endurance training, and physiology. He has summited many peaks in South America, has trekked through remote parts of Nepal, and has done rock and ice climbing in the Alps.

Ramesh Sharma, Nepal
Dr. Ramesh Sharma is a consultant dermatologist, venereologist, and leprologist working at the Greenpastuers Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal. After graduating from the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuwan University, he completed his residency in the same institution in Dermatology in 2015. He has worked as a lecturer in the Department of Dermatology at Chitwan Medical College. His interests lie in leprosy and skin ailments seen in high altitude. Apart from spot-diagnosing skin diseases, he loves trekking, writing poems and stories, and playing football.

Subarna Adhikari, Nepal
Dr. Subarna Adhikari is an Orthopedic Surgeon practicing in Pokhara, Nepal. He graduated from Medical School in 2011 and completed his residency in Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery in 2015, both from Tribhuwan University. He worked as an Orthopedic Surgeon in Kathmandu and in Male, Maldives for a few years. He acquired his Diploma in Mountain Medicine in 2015. He has undergone multi-phase Mountain Rescue training in Bolzano, Italy, and in Nepal. He is also a PADI-certified scuba diver. He was one of the coordinators during the pilot DiMM course and believes that the course has taken a great leap forward over the years. He looks forward to accompanying everyone to Manang and the Glacier for a fabulous season of NepDiMM!

Suvash Dawadi, Nepal
Dr. Suvash Dawadi is a general practitioner currently working at CIWEC hospital and travel medicine center. He graduated in 2013 and did his residency thereafter at the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuwan University. His interests apart from high altitude medicine include sports and expedition medicine. He is a DiMM graduate from the year 2014 and did a FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine in 2017. Dr. Suvash has worked as a volunteer doctor for the Everest ER and as a race doctor for the Manaslu and Mustang Trail Races. He has been working as an expedition doctor for a few high-altitude trail-running events in Nepal with Trail Running Nepal.

Suzy Stokes, UK
Dr. Suzy Stokes is an Emergency Medicine Registrar, who currently works at John Radcliffe, University of Oxford, UK. In 2010, she was one of the co-founders of the Nepalese Diploma in Mountain Medicine course, alongside Dr. Maniraj Neupane. Dr. Stokes has been practicing wilderness and altitude medicine for over 10 years, including working at the HRA Pheriche aid post in 2010 and at the Everest ER in 2014. She holds UKDiMM, FAWM, and FIMC degrees. She regularly flies with HEMS and is enthusiastic about education in pre-hospital care. She is the lead instructor of the Nepalese Diploma and oversees the evaluation and awarding of the final diploma to the candidates.

Tom Darton, UK
Dr. Tom Darton is a Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology currently working for the University of Sheffield. His clinical interests are in imported febrile diseases and in pre-travel vaccination. He undertook his postgraduate training in Oxford, developing human challenge models for enteric diseases, and their application to the evaluation of vaccine efficacy and diagnostic discovery. His most recent research work has focused on enteric infections, antimicrobial resistance, and population Sero epidemiology in Vietnam. He has been involved with the NepDiMM course since its inception and has lectured in a number of other Diploma and Masters courses. His outdoor interests include mountain biking, trekking, and photography – and therefore he seizes any opportunity to return to Nepal!

Tom Odbert, UK
Dr. Tom Odbert works as an Emergency Medicine consultant at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust. He returns as faculty to the NepDiMM for the second time, having completed the diploma himself in 2013. Tom is a pre-hospital emergency medic with Magpas air ambulance in Cambridgeshire, where he works regular shifts both as a doctor and supervisor for trainees. Tom has specific interests in simulation training, human factors, trauma in the pre-hospital environment and point of care ultrasound. In addition to the DiMM, Tom also holds the DipIMC and is an ALS, and APLS, instructor. He has completed courses in Polar Medicine and Expedition Medicine. Away from work, he enjoys skiing, hiking, and marathon running – his last marathon was the midnight marathon in arctic Norway in June 2017. He also enjoys camping, kayaking, sailing, and climbing.

 

 

List of instructors and guest speakers in our prior courses:

 

  • Dr. Amit Arzyal, Nepal
  • Dr. Andy Clark, UK
  • Dr. Annalisa Cogo, Italy
  • Dr. Cornelia Kjellgard, Sweden
  • Mr. David Breashears, USA
  • Dr. David Hillebrandt, UK
  • Dr. Gabi Fischer, Germany
  • Dr. George Pollard, USA
  • Dr. Hamish Reid, UK
  • Dr. Helen Clements, South Africa
  • Dr. Henrik Hedelin, Sweden
  • Dr. Jacqueline Hefti, Switzerland
  • Dr. Jim Milledge, UK
  • Dr. Joerg Schneider, Germany
  • Dr. John Ellerton, UK
  • Dr. Kami Sherpa, Nepal
  • Mr. Krishna Bhakta Manandhar, Nepal
  • Dr. Larry Smith, USA
  • Dr. Luanne Freer, USA
  • Dr. Matiram Pun, Nepal
  • Dr. Niranjan Sharma, Nepal
  • Dr. Pranawa Koirala, Nepal
  • Dr. Rainald Fischer, Germany
  • Dr. Ryan Patterson, USA
  • Dr. Scott McIntosh, USA
  • Dr. Urs Hefti, Switzerland
  • Dr. Wolfgang Schaffert, Austria

 

 

List of mountain guide instructors in our prior courses:

 

  • Claude Raillard, Switzerland
  • Dorjee Lama Sherpa, Nepal
  • Gelje Sherpa, Nepal
  • Lakpa Sherpa, Nepal
  • Ngawang Nima Sherpa, Nepal
  • Pasang Tendy Sherpa, Nepal
  • Phill Thomas, UK
  • Prem Gurung, Nepal
  • Richard Peart, UK
  • Tulsingh Gurung, Nepal
  • Ulrich Schwingshackl, Italy