Burning Man Physician. I recently worked at the Burning Man event. What an experience! I doctored in the main medical tent on the main Esplanade.
It was a refreshing experience as the patients were thankful and had varied medical ailments and the paperwork side of doctoring was minimal. To make the experience even better the medical care (including physician care, x-rays, tetanus vaccines, and medications) were given free!
The medical tent was staffed with both family medicine and emergency medicine attending physicians, resident physicians, and a few medical students. There was always a full time pharmacist and x ray technician. Nurses and EMTs started many IVs to help patients receive IV fluids and medications. Many of the first-aid workers at the outlying minor medical tents were physicians themselves in other states and gave excellent care “in the field/playa.”
I worked four 12-hour shifts at Burning Man and I was known as “Dr. Leslie.” I went from cot to cot treating abscesses, dehydration, corneal abrasions, fractures as well as routine medical issues that any town of 70,000 people would have. It was an excellent experience for all involved. The patients frequently thanked all the members of the medical tent for providing their services. And, I think they also appreciated the clean and cool environment as a respite from the austere Black Rock Desert with the associated heat and dust storms.
I definitely enjoyed my first Burn.
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