Jonathan (Joe) Starke is a South African doctor with a keen interest in emergency medicine. He is currently on his first mission with MSF and is working in an emergency room and inpatient department in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. So far he has encountered cholera, endured sweltering heat, monsoon rains and survived a bout of dysentery. He finds the entire experience exhilarating and this is his blog…
“Working with MSF has been a long standing dream for me. In many ways, the previous jobs I have chosen to do have been, in part, a preparation for going on an MSF mission.
The time I spent practicing emergency medicine has prepared me well for my current position, but even more important has been my Remote Site experience. I spent 15 months on mainland Antarctica and a total of 12 months on two sub-Antarctic islands, (Marion Island and Gough Island) over the past few years doing medical support for the researchers of the South African National Antarctic Expedition.
The challenges of the isolation and restricted living environment in those beautiful places have prepared me rather well for the isolation and restriction that we face in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province. But it also prepared me for the vital role that team work plays in all MSF projects.
Outside of medicine, my interests orbit mostly around questions of the future of humanity and what role the individual has within the unfolding of this challenge.
I like to read, enjoy writing and find great pleasure in spending time in nature – something that it is a little difficult at the moment, but which I look forward to finding time for as soon as possible.”