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Photo essay: A summer at Philmont

Philmont Scout Ranch is a 200-square mile, high-adventure camp in northern New Mexico owned by the Boy Scouts of America.

Landscape view of Philmont Ranch

For more than 60 years, University of Kansas School of Medicine students and faculty have been providing health care for the thousands of scouts and their leaders visiting the ranch each summer. The relationship between Philmont and the KU School of Medicine has been formalized into a four-hour elective in adolescent pediatrics for fourth-year medical students from all three campuses of the KU School of Medicine.

The medical students serving at Philmont treat everything from severe blisters, sprained ankles, strained calves and gastrointestinal trouble to altitude sickness and dehydration from exertion or illness. Once in a while, someone has chest pains, a broken bone, anaphylactic shock, diabetic pancreatitis or even the rare high-altitude pulmonary edema. The students agree it is great training for future physicians.

KU Medical Center photographer Elissa Monroe visited Philmont in the summer of 2017 and captured some of what it’s like to serve a rotation at the ranch.

A wood sign outside with several directional labels including where to go to find the ranger office, welcome center and more.
Students with backpacks rested on their outdoor cots, begin packing up
A large wooden entrance sign covered in hiking shoes that have been thrown over the sign and tied by shoe laces
Men showing off their muddy boots in a circle
Several backpacks full of hiking gear lined up in rows outside
Two female students reviewing paperwork printed in a binder
A student pointing to a trail on a large map hung on the wall
student kneeling down speaking to a young person out in the woods with a prescription in his hands
Male and female student posing outside with a Suture kit box in one hand
Student checking a man's eye sight
Student listening to and checking a woman's pulse with a stethoscope
Student checks blood sugar of a patient outside
Four students posing in front of a red medical cross with stethoscopes around their necks
Three men posing together in front of a red medical cross

KU School of Medicine

University of Kansas Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160