Dr. Ken Kamler – “How to Fix a Broken Astronaut”

Kenneth Kamler, M.D., is an orthopedic microsurgeon trained at Columbia- Presbyterian Medical Center who practices surgery of the hand in New York, but practices extreme medicine in some of the most remote regions on Earth. He has treated bear bite in the Arctic and frostbite in the Antarctic.  He has set fractures in the Andes and cared for out-of-breath scuba divers in the Galapagos.  He has performed surgery in the mud of the Amazon rainforest and in a NASA undersea analogue space capsule.  He has flown in zero-gravity aboard NASA’s C-9 “Vomit Comet”, testing robots for eventual use in emergency surgery on the International Space Station or on Mars.

Dr. Kamler himself has climbed to within 900 vertical feet of the summit of Everest and was the only doctor, high on the mountain, during the infamous 1996 storm that claimed twelve lives.  His treatment of the survivors was portrayed in the best selling book, Into Thin Air, and in the IMAX film, Everest.

Dr. Kamler is the author of two books on the physiological and psychological effects of extreme environments, both based largely on his personal experiences: Doctor on Everest, published by Lyons Press (2000), and Surviving the Extremes: What Happens to the Body and Mind at the Limits of Human Endurance, published by St. Martin’s Press and Penguin Books (2004 and 2006).