Click the event name for full details.
    Sahara Race Jordan 8 Mar 2015
    Gobi March China 31 May 2015
    RacingThePlanet: Ecuador Ecuador 26 Jul 2015
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Staff & Volunteers

1 of 8Avinash Patil, M.D.
Medical Director
United States

2 of 8Julie Brahm, M.D.
Medical Doctor
Canada, Resident in Australia

3 of 8Carolyn Anderson, R.N.
United States

4 of 8Richard Yoon, M.D.
Emergency Medicine Physician
United States

5 of 8Val Vigil, M.D.
Emergency Medicine Physician
United States

6 of 8Jonathan Alke, M.D.
ER Physician
United States

7 of 8Thomas Forney, M.D.
Medical Doctor
United States

8 of 8Nicholas Kanaan, M.D.
Emergency Medicine
United States

Rumour has it that white water rafting guides are slightly crazy, but we don’t agree. Avinash Patil is one and he strikes us as being perfectly sane. He is also a doctor, so he must be ok. We certainly hope so, as he is the medical director for RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012.

Seriously though, Avinash from Lafayette, California, is simply a guy who has managed to successfully combine his two great passions – medicine and the outdoors. When he is not working as a doctor with Stanford University, he is scaring the life out of people as a commercial white water rafting guide. He is administered health care in some pretty remote places around the world and led expedition style rafting trips too. So, he is clearly a guy who can take the rough with the smooth and stay very calm under pressure.

A graduate of the University of California Davis, Avinash completed his residency at Washington University and undertook a fellowship at Loma Linda University, California.

He will not encounter much white water in Jordan, but it is going to be quite a ride regardless.

Dr. Julie Brahm is a graduate of emergency medicine from McGill University in Canada. Dr. Julie joins RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 from Queensland, Australia, where she is currently working as a flight registrar with CareFlight Medical Services. This is Dr. Julie's third time working at a RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts event.

Dr. Julie's medical interests currently revolve around emergency and wilderness medicine, but her personal interests broaden to pretty much anything outdoor-related, whether it be via land, sea or sky.

We are exciting to welcome medical volunteer Carolyn Anderson, R.N. to Jordan 2012, her seventh RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts event. She has previously volunteered at Namibia 2009, Gobi March 2008, 2006, and 2005, Sahara Race 2006, and Atacama Crossing 2004. As a travel enthusiast, Carolyn says she loves working with athletes from around the world.

Since graduating from the University of Colorado Denver, Carolyn has logged over 15 years of emergency and general nursing experience. She recently completed her Master’s degree at Seattle Pacific University as a nurse practitioner, and currently works at Swedish Medical Center in Edmonds, Washington.

The medical teams at RacingThePlanet events often involve those who are conducting vital medical research in the field, and RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 is no exception.

Dr. Richard Yoon will be joining the medical team from his base in California where he is an Emergency Department Physician and Vice Charmin of the Emergency Department for the Hemet Valley Medical Center and the Menifee Valley Medical Center in Sun City.

Dr. Yoon earned his degrees at Boston’s Tufts University and the University of California at Berkeley, and has held residencies at Boston City Hospital and the University of California at Irvine. The American doctor will be conducting medical research on hyponatremia, a metabolic condition in which there is not enough sodium or salt in the body fluids outside the cells. Dr. Yoon is a great team player and an avid mountaineer who will be a great addition to the medical team.

His great love in life—apart from his wife of 21 years and their three children—is wilderness medicine.

Following her volunteer experience at the Sahara Race 2009, Dr. Val Vigil is excited to bring her motto, "blisters are Rad" back to RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012.

After living and studying all over the United States, Dr. Vigil currently works at California Emergency Physicians in Half Moon Bay. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at New Mexico State University in 1994, and then travelled north to get her Doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 2003 and complete her internship at the University of Wisconsin. After studying general surgery at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Dr. Vigil completed her emergency medicine residency at Stanford University in 2009. She is also a fluent Spanish speaker.

Dr. Vigil loves spending time with her five-year-old son. She is a true outdoorswoman who worked for two years as a wildlife biologist in the Grand Canyon. She is an avid hiker and runner, hobbies that helped her perfect what she calls the “art of foot care.” She’s excited to share that knowledge with competitors.

Dr. Jonathon Alke of San Francisco is a physician with the Emergency Associates of Yakima. He brings a racing background, including collegiate track and cross country, and extensive worldwide trekking experience to RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012, his first medical volunteer experience.

Dr. Alke earned his Doctorate at the Stanford University Medical School and completed his residency at the University of Washington’s Stanford/Kaiser Emergency Medicine program. He speaks English and Spanish.

A graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, resident at Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, and member of the American Medical Association, Emergency Medicine Resident Association and American College of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Thomas Forney has done a lot inside the doors of hospitals. But he is also pushing those doors open, bringing medicine outside – way outside. Dr. Thomas acted as the director of the Medical Wilderness Adventure Race in Georgia, which tests doctors’ medical skills while they are racing on foot, canoes and bikes.

He’s also put his Spanish to the test on medical missions to Honduras and the Amazon Basin and is currently the associate medical director of Triple Crown of Surfing in Oahu. An avid surfer himself, Dr. Thomas also enjoys cycling, snowboarding, hiking and travelling.

As an undergraduate at University of San Diego, Dr. Thomas studied biology and graduated magna cum laude in 2001. He is currently an emergency physician at Hawaii Emergency Physicians Associated in Waialua. He comes to RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 as a second-time member of the medical team, after attending the Sahara Race 2011.

Dr. Nicholas Kanaan is currently the chief emergency medicine resident at Stanford University, where he also earned his Bachelor’s degree in 2004. He earned his Doctorate in 2009 from the University of California San Diego Medical School, where he was the class speaker, class president, and was honoured with a leadership award and the SAEM Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award.

Dr. Kanaan has BLS, CPR, AED, First Aid, WFR and PADI certifications. He is a member of the American Medical Association, California Medical Society, American College of Physicians, Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society, and American College of Emergency Medicine. He has researched and written extensively for various publications, including medical journals, the Stanford Chaparral, and the Stanford Travel Journal.

Dr. Kanaan’s outdoor pursuits include hiking, skiing, rock climbing, and kayaking. He has travelled to over 30 countries, and also keeps himself busy with computer animation, video production, photography and wood carving.

Although Dr. Kanaan joins RacingThePlanet for the first time at Jordan 2012, he isn’t travelling far from his native Lebanon, where he’ll be staying prior to volunteering. As an emergency wilderness specialist, Dr. Kanaan brings an excellent set of skills to the course. He also speaks English, Spanish, Arabic and French, and has explored Wadi Rum and Petra.