Mountain Doctors, Profession and Challenge at Aconcagua Peak

Three young and brave mountain doctors, Javier Soverhild, Guillermo Arevalo, and Gabriela Silicato, share their passion and experience in the Extreme Medicine team of professionals, which provides medical services on Mount Aconcagua (6,962 meters), the highest mountain in America, located in the county. Mendoza, Argentina.

His work in this challenging and unpredictable environment goes beyond conventional medicine, combining clinical skills with a passion for adventure and the mountains.

On the heights of Mount Aconcagua, where the majesty of nature meets medical challenges, the three doctors are part of an extreme medicine team, doing work that transcends the conventional boundaries of medicine.

Dr. Gabriela Silicato: Dr. Silicato, who has more than ten years of experience in mountain medicine, tells how her fascination with peaks led her to unite medicine with the mountain. “I started my first season in the garden in 2009-2010. I recently got my degree here at the University of Aconcagua, in Mendoza, and so I sent myself in without really knowing what it was, just me, the only thing on my mind was that I wanted to. To go mountaineering.. In Mendoza, we are so happy and honored to have the mountain in our backyard, so being able to combine medicine and the mountain has been a huge success..

Dr. Guillermo Arevalo: Avid climber Dr. Arevalo shares early on his story of how mountaineering intertwined with his medical career. “I started climbing when I was studying medicine in Mendoza, and I liked it very much. On one of the hikes to the mountain to climb, I met him in Bern and met him, I knew he was a mountain doctor, he gives courses, he works in Aconcagua. I wrote to him one day, and asked him if He could have taken me to work in Aconcagua, once I graduated as a doctor It was the best day of my life when he told me after 5 minutes he was going up“.

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Dr. Javier Sofferhold: Dr. Sofferheld, whose love of the mountains ran in his family, shares how he decided to focus on mountain medicine. “I have a very close family history of mountaineering. My parents were climbers when they were children. My siblings and I had been in contact with the mountains since childhood and loved mountains above all. When I was in my fourth year, I was in a crisis because I didn’t know where to shoot… Once I found out that there was a branch of medicine, mountain medicine, I focused 100% on it.“.

Challenges on the rise

In a work where medicine and the mountains meet, these doctors face not only medical challenges, but also climatic adversities and loneliness. Dr. Arevalo shares his thoughts on the summit of Aconcagua: “It’s very difficult to get along there. More so when there’s a lot of work, a lot of people, harassment. It’s very appreciated that when the potatoes are burning, when there are very big problems, you work very well as a team.”“.

The 2022/2023 season brought a huge change for these professionals. company severe medicine He was responsible for providing medical services in the Protected Area of ​​Mendoza. Dr. Silicato highlights: “A very positive balance on a personal level. Last season was beautiful from the human side, especially from the human side. It was very positive”.

The combination of medicine and mountains translates not only into medical care, but also into a deep connection to the environment. “For us, this is very important. The human work group next to you is very good, it makes you stand up a lot”Dr. Arevalo confirms.

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This high mountain action is beyond season. Dr. Silicato shares her dreams for the future: “I hope the passion I feel now will last a lifetime. I hope it never runs out… That would be amazing”. With their unwavering commitment and shared love for medicine and the mountains, these doctors continue to challenge boundaries and nurture life in the highlands of Aconcagua.

high career

Mountain medicine is not just a profession, it is a profession rooted in a passion for the mountains and caring for people. Dr. Sofferhold talks about the impact of his work on his medical career: “One also reveals oneself a lot in this job, although it doesn’t seem like it because most of the time we are in the base camp. We expose ourselves to the ordeals that are in the mountains. And really, the fact that you have to come back“.

These doctors face medical and emotional challenges. Loneliness, fatigue and the balance between professional duty and personal life intertwine in this unique work. Dr. Arevalo shares his personal view: “For those of us who are parents and have left our families, it gets tough. More than anything in the last days, when you are really tired the most.”.

Extreme Medicine’s commitment to sustainability and care for the environment is an aspect highlighted by Dr. Silicato. “Something that makes me proud. That to me is a 10.”, put a line. Integrating mountain medicine with environmental responsibility creates a more holistic and mindful approach to providing medical services in a protected natural area.

As the seasons progress, these doctors feel that their work is constantly evolving and improving. Dr. Sofferhold offers a positive assessment of the direction in which mountain medicine is headed. “I think we’re on the rise, we’ve brought back a lot of enthusiasm in what we’re doing and that gives us joy“.

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With unwavering passion and relentless dedication, these mountain medics embody the true essence of medicine in a challenging environment.

Their commitment to medical excellence and their love of the mountains drive them to overcome obstacles and save lives in one of the most extreme places on the planet.

In the highlands of Aconcagua, where medicine and the mountain meet, these physicians find their purpose and leave an indelible mark on the history of mountain medicine.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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