Note: This site is no longer updated and is ARCHIVED as Dr. Gary Podolsky left it on October 24, 2009 when he passed away suddenly.  It is maintained in his memory and for information purposes only.





I would like to thank all of our attendees, speakers, and displayers for their interest in our meeting. This group is a little different from what you normally may attend and is indeed the first Wilderness Medicine Conference in Winnipeg.


Wilderness Medicine can be explained as medicine and training for dealing with problems and emergencies in the great outdoors., or at least unusual situations. The circumstances may be out of the ordinary but approaches to dealing with them are still the medical standards, but applied to apply to the situation.


All of our speakers will use evidence-based support for their statements. But Wilderness Medicine is not just Medicine - it is also prevention of accident and injury through preparation and training. That is why this meeting is geared towards all healthcare providers; safety services (including police, fire and ambulance service) conservation group - Natural resources, parks and recreation and forestry; commercial and professional travelers; and most importantly also the general public.


We have strived to make all of our lectures understandable for everyone with key points emphasized. For the person wanting to know more, many links to published matter - books, journals, multimedia, websites, and local groups are provided. We can only scratch the surface on some of the interesting topics.


I suspect the discussions that follow our speakers may be equally as interesting as the talks themselves. Unfortunately I did not schedule more than a few minutes for questions, but have also invited speakers and guests for a reception at my clinic (264 Tache at 5:00 pm) following the talk.


Many fellow women professionals have expressed concern over their limitations to attend meetings such as ours, due to child care responsibilities. We have contracted a licensed daycare service for all our attendees (nearby at Coronation Park and inside approved space of my clinic, 264 Tache which are both 1 city block away from the Norwood Hotel). We are offering this to make life easier for parents. I propose that other medical meetings adopt similar ideas. Additionally I have prepared optimal exercises for the daycare personnel that are related to conservation and health and age appropriateness.


I am very grateful to our speakers who I believe all give something unique to our forum. Their topics were chosen based on surveys, interviews, and perception of which issues we reunited to include in an introductory meeting.


We had only scratched the surface on the breach of discussion and I welcome your feedback on what lectures and workshops you wish to attend for our next meeting.


I would like our meeting to be the beginning of a sustainable philosophy in Manitoba. Everyone who attends will be given a year subscription to a newsletter We are planning - Wilderness Medicine in Manitoba - which I will be looking for submissions and attempt to send out on a quarterly basis.


We also plan to involve medical students in our plans. During this conference, students will be helping organize the day and some have planned to display annual Poster Displays of their foreign experiences. We have likewise invited International Development Students to participate as their experiences and opinions are worthwhile to communicate to others. We would like these discussions to continue and propose to have regular: slide nights" at my clinic. Regularity is pending but will be announced in our newsletter. These "Slide Nights" will not be only travel vacation photos but something more as I plan only to get people who have either worked abroad or makes some sociological observation of overseas conditions.


We have also organized two workshops on "Casting and Injury Stabilization" and Athletic Taping" performed by local athletic therapists.


" Casting and Injury Stabilization " will show people how to apply simple orthopedic principles to stabilize injuries. We will be showing physicians and others proper casting techniques. This is open for everyone. We do not imply or advocate anyone aching beyond their capabilities or licensing in treating orthopedic injuries but their session is meant to be a simple instruction of basic stuff. Our expert Instructor Mary Kate Turner will also be able to import much of her skills and tricks in casting to individuals already proficient in casting techniques and we feel they would benefit from this.


" Athletic Taping " will demonstrate the use of athletic taping to stabilize known strain for a variety of common conditions - ankle sprain, thumb injury and others. Participants will be shown how to perform their skill and use it appropriately by licensed athletic therapists (called trainers in the U.S). Athletic therapy is a very useful rehabilitative profession that is under-appreciated in Manitoba and one of our small goals is to let people know about these resources available to them.


3M have, generously supplied supplies for both workshops. Several of the products demonstrated in the workshops are relatively new and easier for the novice cast applier to use. More advanced workshops are planned for the future.


Our exhibition hall has a few advertisers that may interest you. We hope to include many general interest groups as well.


During our meeting all of our exhibitors are invited to attend our lecture as well as the attendees and join our lunch. I believe it is not important to stratify or separate our groups and this will also make for a much stronger meeting.


Lastly we have named our meeting 'Wilderness Medicine in Manitoba'. The existence of wilderness - in our parks, undeveloped areas, or even green space is essential to human physical and mental health.


The old sports medicine adage that "exercise is medicine" is particularly true. But exercise in its most pure form only approaches wilderness. Fresh air and lack of pollution are frequently ignored and need to be specifically addressed.


The regular release of stress and maintenance of resistance training/cardiovascular training in gyms only approximates a wilderness experience and is still a poor substitute for the real thing. We prefer to be proactive.


"Preventative medicine " implies a reaction to a process of disease after it has started while being proactive implies maintaining Health and avoiding disease and disability.

Exercise as a means of pro-active health is much more desirable. This paradigm shift is essential since - it is cheaper, easier to implement suffering and disease rather than wait for it to happen. It also makes people feel good.


All of our speakers have something important to say about proactive Health and will develop these concepts further.



Gary Podolsky M.D.


May 3, 2003