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A superlative setting

A cargo plane on an Antarctic landing strip

Antarctica is a place of superlatives—it is the world's highest, driest, coldest, and windiest continent. Ice covers 99% of the continent's surface. Yet despite the downright inhospitable climate, Antarctica is home to 16 major research stations, each operated by one of eight different nations, plus numerous small, remote field camps.

Dartmouth medical student Malcolm Schongalla got a chance to spend seven weeks in Antarctica, both flying planes among the continent's stations and camps (as part of his service in the Air National Guard) and observing how medical care is delivered in such a setting (as a DMS elective rotation).

As Schongalla explains—in a Dartmouth Medicine feature titled "Ice Pick"—Antarctica is "one of the few places I know that is simultaneously monotonous and unpredictable." Likewise, the photos he took while he was there offer a study in contrasts: outdoor shots of the continent's starkly beautiful scenery and indoor shots in the cozy confines of research stations and remote camps.

A number of photos are included with his article in the magazine. Click below for a slide gallery featuring more of Schongalla's photos.

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