The Medical Volunteer’s role is to understand each Participant’s medical history prior to the program and to assess the medical well-being of each individual and the group as a whole. They are an additional layer of safety and risk management at all times. Additionally, Medical volunteers are asked to support the reinforcement of state, local, and organizational health and safety measures on programs.
The Medical Volunteer plays a supportive role to FD Lead Staff and should contribute to staff and outfitter meetings. In addition to using their medical expertise to support participant safety, Medical Volunteers are expected to support the staff in the kitchen with dishes, and with any other general needs during the week.
Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Paramedics, EMTs, and Mid-Level Providers
FD welcomes any of the above-mentioned medical professionals to apply as a Medical Volunteer. These medical professionals provide the necessary medical expertise and background to ensure a safe program experience. FD provides basic medical supplies, including emergency medical kits at programs. Additional medical supplies can be brought at the Medical Volunteer’s discretion.
*Medical Volunteers are responsible for monitoring the group and acting as a first responder in the event of an emergency situation. Because of this, FD asks all Medical Volunteers to ensure they’re acting within their training and expertise. Good Samaritan laws typically apply. That being said, FD expects its Medical Volunteers to understand the limitations of their license as it pertains to volunteering in a different state. For questions, exceptions, or further information, please contact Michael Neustedter at michael.neustedter@
Depending on the type of program the number of staff and volunteers may differ. Here are some of the staff and volunteers you may have on your program:
All volunteers are expected to show up for the program ready to support the Lead Staff in facilitating the safest and most impactful experience possible to participants. Volunteering requires long hours, LOTS of dishes, hard work, and does not guarantee participation in any of the activities.
FD uses an online, pre-program screening process to best-fit applicants with a specific program. We are always looking for qualified medical professionals to support this process. If interested, please review the Medical Reviewer Volunteer Description and apply!
Larry O. Smith, MD, FACEP
Medical Director, First Descents