Dr. Katharine Ganly - Antarctic Doctor 2019-2021 (South Georgia, Bird Island & RRS James Clark Ross)


Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Kat spent her early years in France and England, and has lived and studied in the Middle East (Syria, Egypt) prior to studying medicine, Kat gained a BA in Arabic and Law.

During this episode Kat shares more about why she decided to change careers to become a Doctor and the challenges she overcame to make her dream become a reality, from going back to night school to get science A’levels to dealing with imposter syndrome.

Kat shares more about her recent challenge of spending 18 months living and working in the remote and isolated Bird Island, in South Gerogia, which is only accessible via a 4 day boat journey and what it was like coming back to a different world to the one she left behind in October 2019.

Kat shares more about being part of a small team and community, how the expectations compared to reality and the lessons she has learned from that experience. We learn about the wifi and living situation, food, money and what she did in her down time. This is an insightful and open conversation about this unique experience.

Kat is also a keen endurance runner and has completed many ultra races from the Spartathlon race in 2017 where she ran from Athens to Sparta! Kat has also done the Dragons Back Race in 2017, plus the Grand Union Canal Race 2016 - where she placed 2nd female, and the Centurion 4x100mile "Grand Slam" 2014 - where she was the first female. Kat shared more about her passion for running on the Tough Girl Podcast episode 367. That episode was released today (24th June) at 7am UK time. By hitting the subscribe button you won’t miss out on any bonus content!

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Show notes

  • Who is Kat

  • Coming back from Antarctica to a different world

  • Not wanting to become a Doctor

  • How medicine was a second career

  • Moving to France when she was 12/13

  • Studying Arabic and Law for her first university degree

  • Heading back to study medicine in 2007

  • Working in Malaysia and Egypt

  • Going back to night school to get science A’Levels

  • Going into medicine at an older age

  • Dispelling the myths about being a Doctor in Antarctica

  • How the job came about

  • Being ready to commit 2 years of her life

  • 6 months of training with the British Antarctic Survey

  • Being single and taking the opportunity that came available

  • Heading to South Georgia, Bird Island

  • Wanting to live and work in a small team in a small community

  • Expectations V Reality

  • Being on call all the time

  • Helping each other out with the running of the station

  • Downtime and learning how to weld

  • Wifi and connection with the outside world

  • Setting up a running club

  • Team dynamics with a group of strangers who may or may not get on with each other

  • Having her own room for the 7 months of winter

  • Feeling guilty about not being in the UK and not being able to help with the pandemic

  • Missing cuddles and physical contact

  • Romance?!

  • Best memories from the trip

  • Money - not having to pay for rent and food

  • Would she go back?

  • Salads, cheese, fresh fruit & vegetables

  • Advice and top tips for those people wanting to go to Antarctica

Social Media

Instagram - @katganly

Twitter - @katganly

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You can listen to our previous conversations with Dr. Katharine below.

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