Ken Kamler

Adventure physician
Ken Kamler has served as doctor on some of the world’s most daring expeditions, but also performs delicate microsurgery when at home in New York.

Why you should listen

Ken Kamler has practiced medicine in some of the most extreme conditions on Earth -- from the Andes mountains to the Antarctic ice to the Amazon rainforest. Many of his expeditions have been in concert with National Geographic, helping teams to carry out geological research and precision mapping less traveled areas of the world. He has also served as the chief high altitude physician in research by NASA, helping examine the human body’s response to high altitudes.

When not on expedition to a remote corner of the globe, Kamler practices microsurgery, specializing in hand reconstruction and finger reattachment. He has also chronicled his adventures in the books Doctor on Everest and Surviving the Extremes: A Doctor's Journey to the Limits of Human Endurance. His treatment of the climbers in the largest disaster to happen on Mount Everest was portrayed in the book Into Thin Air and in the IMAX film documentary, Everest. He has been active in promoting the Boy Scouts of America and currently serves as their Founders District Chairman in Queens, NY.

What others say

“Medicine is probably the biggest adventure in the world. There are more mysterious forces in the human body than anywhere.” — Ken Kamler

Ken Kamler’s TED talks

Ken Kamler on the TED Blog

TEDMED

Medical miracle on Everest: Ken Kamler on TED.com

March 18, 2010

When the worst disaster in the history of Mount Everest climbs occurred, Ken Kamler was the only doctor on the mountain. At TEDMED, he shares the incredible story of the climbers’ battle against extreme conditions and uses brain imaging technology to map the medical miracle of one man who survived roughly 36 hours buried in […]

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Quotes from Ken Kamler

The [Everest] climbers passed him by, and Beck lay there for a day, a night and another day, in the snow. Then he said to himself, ‘I don’t want to die. I have a family to come back to.’ The thoughts of his family, his kids and his wife, generated enough energy, enough motivation in him, so that he actually got up.
Ken Kamler
TEDMED 2009 • 536K views Mar 2010
Inspiring, Courageous