Being Your Own Doctor - From Diagnosis to Surgery - Resources Needed
March 17, 2018 11:59 PM   Subscribe

So, someone is living on a deserted island, far in the jundgle, manned with everything they need to set up a small clinic - from microscope to morphine. They would like books and resources on how to diagnose and perform simple procedures that require one set of steady hands, how to do microscopic analysis and much more. Think Albert Schweitzer but with 2018 technology. Please post the definitive books and resources on the subject. TIA
posted by watercarrier to Science & Nature (8 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook has been going since the '70s and is available freely in PDF form.

It's worth reading this JAMA review of the book, which broadly discusses its popularity and flaws.
posted by zachlipton at 12:07 AM on March 18, 2018 [14 favorites]

Thirding WTIND. It's what all our grad students (and my colleagues) take with them into the field.
posted by lollusc at 1:43 AM on March 18, 2018

Came here to post WTIND. Looks like it's already well-covered. I might add the Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy to the library, assuming that your isolated clinic has a stock of medication.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:42 AM on March 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

How much money does this hypothetical clinic have, and does it have (satellite, perhaps?) internet access? A subscription to the incredibly popular database Up-to-Date would be nice to have.
posted by mskyle at 4:38 AM on March 18, 2018 [5 favorites]

In addition to what has been suggested above:
The WHO has a toolkit for mental health designed for where there is no (or little) mental health service - you might be focussed on physical health, but it does include epilepsy.

Before you go doing anything, you'll want to know where you're going, so a good book of Clinical Anatomy is pretty essential.

Diagnosis: Oxford Handbook of Clinical Diagnosis
Simple procedures: Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills
In fact, a shelf of most of the Oxford Handbooks wouldn't go amiss (I'm not sponsored by OUP, more's the pity).

Since you've said you have medication, a copy of the British National Formulary.

Medical care in these sorts of circumstances is generally called "wilderness medicine" (also expedition medicine) - searching these terms will find you more resources.
posted by Vortisaur at 4:39 AM on March 18, 2018 [3 favorites]

If we're doing 2018 technology, then they definitely have internet access and they would definitely be using Up To Date (frequently updated review articles that cover every topic in medicine written by experts in the field). That covers the clinical side of things but they would need other resources for how to do labs, micro, and pathology.
Also not covered would be the actual step-by-step instructions of how to perform procedures. For that there is YouTube. No seriously, want to do a procedure that you've read about but never done? Watch a YouTube video. For real.
posted by bobobox at 4:57 AM on March 18, 2018 [4 favorites]

If you want real world examples from isolated fields, there's the doctor who treated herself for breast cancer in Antarctica, and more recently the outback nurse who treated his own heart attack.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:50 AM on March 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

The definitive book is Auerbach’s Wilderness Medicine. 7th edition.

Other things to Google would be “prolonged field care” and “austere medicine”. But Auerbach is the one.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 7:32 AM on March 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

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