Dr Lucy Obolensky

Dr Lucy Obolensky

Associate Professor of Global Health & Remote Medicine

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



Programme Lead Global Health Masters

Module lead Remote and Rural 



I am medical doctor with 17 years experience. 

I balance my clinical work in Emergency Medicine and General Practice with my academic role as programme lead for the Global Health Masters. 

My expertise in Global health, a field I have worked in for over 15 years, lies in developing health care partnerships and initiating primary and public healthcare programmes in remote areas. 
As an International consultant I work with Ministries of health, NGOs and private foundations providing technical assistance in how to improve health outcomes through delivering culturally appropriate, sustainable health system improvement. 

I have a passion for education: whether this ranges from advising international companies in global health policies, through to giving pain relief in remote environments I believe in sharing knowledge and skills that impact on daily practice. 

My ambition is to see increased recognition of opportunities for reciprocal learning and the integration of global health education throughout all undergraduate and post graduate training.

I believe that global and remote healthcare are strongly intertwined, and therefore have always tried to bring a global health element to my expedition roles. I have worked as an expedition doctor since I qualified from medical school and completed over 20 expeditions to date including polar, altitude, desert and jungle. 

I have supported the BBC and Sir David Attenborough on the Planet Earth and Blue Planet II series and more recently worked with Sir David on the Our Planet series. I deliver advanced first aid courses for remote settings and teach the Expedition medicine course based at the Royal Georgraphical Society. 

I am the senior medical advisor for British Exploring Society, a role that I thoroughly love for the people that I work with and get to meet. 

I give motivational lectures at a variety of medical schools, universities and companies, combining my academic background with personal experience in the field. 

I love exploring both within the UK and further afield with my two young children in tow. 
 I'm a rubbish cook so never take me up on a dinner invitation!

Professional membership

Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh 2007

Member of the Royal College Emergency Medicine 2011

Member of the Royal college of General Practitioners 2013

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society 2015

Fellow of British Exploring Society 2017

Professional Certificate International Health Consultancy LSTM 2014

Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine Cardiff Metropolitan University 2011

Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene LSHTM 2005

Postgraduate certificate in Medical Education University of Plymouth 2017

Diploma Immediate Medical Care RCSEd 2020

Roles on external bodies

Senior Medical Advisor British Exploring 

External Examiner for Remote Medicine Bsc Imperial College London 



Teaching interests

I have had an active role in teaching throughout my career both in the UK and internationally. 

My main teaching role now is as the programme lead for the Global and Remote healthcare masters here at Plymouth University. I have the privilege of meeting fascinating individuals undertaking the course and learning from their experiences in global and remote medicine. 

Clinically I am an ALS instructor which I teach in the UK, and a Primary Trauma Care Course instructor which I teach in East and Southern Africa. 
I have been a Training Programme Director in General Practice and a mentor for Foundation doctors. 
I am currently completing my instructor training for the European Trauma Course. 

I am an associate lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan university and a module lead for the Expedition and Wilderness medicine diploma at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and appreciate the opportunity to teach and other universities meeting a variety of lecturers and students. 

I am a senior instructor for Wilderness Medical Training teaching both doctors and expedition participants advanced first aid in remote environments. 

As an RNLI crew member and lifeboat doctor I enjoy setting up medical scenarios both on and off the water. 

Staff serving as external examiners

I am External Examiner for Imperial College London Remote Health BSc. 

I advise on curriculum and assessment quality and delivery and support their programme lead in course development. 



Research interests

I have published work on global health competencies in post graduate curricula and my goal is to see increased recognition of opportunities for reciprocal learning and the integration of global health education throughout all undergraduate and post graduate training.

I am now working with a wider team to create a framework for Global health Fellowships to be used by Royal Colleges and Hospital trusts to ensure safe, effective and ethically sound overseas Fellowships. 

I have recently worked with a team at the Faculty of Prehospital care to publish guidelines on Medical Provision for Wilderness Medicine and am pursuing this work with the Royal Geographical Society. 

In 2012 I co-founded Future Health Africa (https://www.futurehealthafrica.org), previously called EGHO. FHA functions as an umbrella body for many projects, bringing together people with an interest and passion for global health. The charity works with hospitals, rural clinics and communities in Kenya to improve healthcare through education programs and initiatives for better treatment. 

We have published work in many of our projects: trauma, family planning, education and training and improvement science. 

My current area of research lies in developing primary care and public health facilities in remote areas of Northern Kenya. We are also looking at how to work with communities to initiate social and cultural change to improve the livelihood of women and girls. 

Grants & contracts

Large PIP DFID grant through THET for development of trauma services in Laikipia, Kenya. 



  • Time to go global: a consultation on global health competencies for postgraduate doctors. International Health
    May 2016
    • Lucy Obolensky
    • Walpole S, Shortall C, Merriel A, Ellis J, Allen S
  • The Kenya Orthopaedic Project. Surgical Outcomes of a Travelling Multidisciplinary Team Cousins G, Obolensky L, MCallen A. British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
    December 2012
  • UK Charity Trauma Surgery Missions to the Developing World: Low Complication Rates can be achieved. Beebeejaun Trauma
    May 2012
  • Kenya Orthopaedic Project: Experiences of Trauma Surgery in the Developing World Trauma
    June 2012
  • Iatrogenic Radial Head Dislocation Shoulder and Elbow
    April 2011
  • Patients’ Positive Experiences of Treatment Escalation Plans – a replacement for the Do-Not-Resuscitate process. British Journal of Medical Ethics
    August 2010
  • The importance of close surveillance for Charcot arthropathy in diabetic patients presenting to the Emergency Department with low-energy foot injuries. Emergency Medicine Journal
    July 2010
  • Treatment of the first known case of acute upper and lower airway obstruction caused by retropharyngeal bleeding secondary to acquired haemophilia’ Anaesthesia
    May 2007



Reports & invited lectures

1.  2020 Royal Geographical Society Conference chair and Invited Speaker

2.  2020 Northern Rangelands Trust Kenya– Improving health outcomes in rural Kenya

3.  2019 Plymouth University Medical Students – Global health in medical education

4.  2019 Discover GP Conference: Opportunities in a career in General Practice

5.  2019 The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford

6.  2019 Liverpool Medical Institute: Ethics in Media Medicine

7.  2018 University College London: Medical School Christmas Lecture

8.  2018 Royal Society of Medicine Expedition Medicine Conference Global health in Expedition medicine

9.  2018 National Students Wilderness Medicine Society: Opportunities in Global and Remote healthcare

10. 2017 Doctors Updates Conference: France

11. 2017 Plymouth Medical Institute: Global Health Challenges

12. 2017 Wilderness Medical Training Insight Talk 

13. 2016 Wessex General Practitioners Conference 

14. 2014 Cardiff University Sports Medicine Conference

15. 2013 Royal College General Practitioners Global Health Conference. 

Conferences organised

Southwest Global Health Collaborative 2019 
RCGP Junior International Committee Global Health conference 2015
Primary Trauma Care course 2014
Global Surgical Frontiers Conference 2013
Junior International Committee Global Health Conference 2013
Exploring Global Health Opportunities October 2010

Other academic activities

  • Associate Director Phoenix Expeditin Medicine
    June 2012 – Present (4 years 10 months)

    In working with Phoenix Expedition Medicine I work with a highly experienced team who teach and train advanced first aid skills for remote locations. 

    We also offer services in accompanying expeditions as doctors to support the team both as a medic, and part of the wider expedition team. 

    We work with a number of organisations including the Royal Geographic Society, London, and the BBC Natural History Unit, Bristol.

    My passion for teaching, positivity and enthusiasm ensures that each participant gets the most out of their learning experience. I have been privileged to meet some exceptional people through my work who have inspired me to take on new challenges in my own life. 

Additional information

I am a water sport enthusiast and keen long distance triathlete. 

Family time is mostly spent wild camping on Dartmoor.