Armageddon Medicine – Why?

What if the unthinkable happens? World War III? Total economic collapse? Worldwide plague? An asteroid collision? Biblical Armageddon?
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Assuming you’re fortunate enough to live through the initial event, will you be able to care for yourself in an era of no doctors, no hospitals, no pharmacies? Perhaps a few physicians will survive as well, but where are they? Can the few remaining assume care for the devastated population?

2012. It’s upon us. (Now come and gone.) Is it a real or imaged threat? What about our not-so-friendly nuclear neighbors? Or a flu pandemic reminiscent of the Andromeda Strain? Or a depression so deep the power grid collapses?

I am not an alarmist. My lifetime has been one of prolonged American prosperity. But I have often wondered how long it can last, and have come to doubt the continued stability of our nation and society. Although I am not an expert on end-of-world survival, I do have decades of practical experience as a family physician. If such an unthinkable event occurs, how will people care for themselves? The young and healthy have little know-how when it comes to self-care for injuries, infections, childbirth, and nutrition. Millions of middle-aged souls suffer from diabetes, depression, heart disease, asthma, arthritis, back pain, and ulcers. What about the elderly with poor eyesight, poor digestion, poor mobility, and a poor prognosis? Who will care for them?

If the power grid is destroyed there will be no water, no food, no social services, at least not with the abundance and availability with which we’re accustomed. What will you do if you come down with pneumonia? Can you survive if you have diabetes? Will your child die of scarlet fever? These are just a few of the questions I’ve asked myself. Though it sounds grim, there is hope.

Although others have written excellent books regarding surviving the end of the world as we know it, the medical information contained therein is limited. If society is to continue, those who remain must know how to care for themselves. The common maladies will continue to plague mankind. No doubt new threats will emerge.

This web site is intended to help the survivors – and those who hope to survive. How can you prepare if you have children? What will you do if you’re diabetic? Is there any hope for your parents with heart disease and arthritis?

You’ll find articles on preparedness, acute injuries, infections, childbirth, chronic illness, mental health, and nutrition. Checklists will help you know what to do before the big event and how to prepare for life afterward. Detailed instructions on common illnesses will tell you what a physician would do and how you can care for yourself. Practical advice on managing chronic disease will assure those with serious problems of continued survival.

Even if nothing happens (and let’s hope it doesn’t), the information contained herein is valuable advice. The human body will not have changed. Knowledge is power and it’s always a good idea to learn how best to care for yourself.

Cynthia J. Koelker, MD
September 2010

[Updated 5-22-2016]

9 Responses to Armageddon Medicine – Why?

  1. Shelley F says:

    I am 55 and have been trying to decide the best way to help my family medically if there is a catastrophic event. I thought about nursing but have to take anatomy 1&2 w/labs as well as Microbiology w/Lab. This will take some time and then 2 years of nursing and at the end of that time would I be prepared to take over the medical care of my family. It seems like the things you are teaching would be much better than nursing because they don’t do sutures, set bones, etc… What would be your recommendation? Thanks for any help.


    [Doc Cindy replies – If you become an RN, I’d suggest working in an ER or Urgent Care to gain practical experience. Of course, that takes a LOT of effort, and may not be what you are looking for. I’ve had many nurses and EMTs attend my classes, and all have agreed they have learned a great deal from the experience, specifically in procedures they don’t normally perform in their professions. I would consider my classes a “jump start” for those without medical training, and a great addition for those who do have training. The courses are taught from the perspective that no other medical help is available – to learn how to be your own doctor when there’s no other choice. For the quickest results, I’d say attend my classes. Then you could consider whether you’d like to proceed with further training. Hope to see you soon!]

    • Satori says:

      I’d give some consideration to taking a first aid class, a CPR class and also look into taking an EMT course at the local community college (start with the Basic EMT and follow up with the advanced classes)

      also getting a copy of Doc Cindy’s book
      as well as others such as Where There Is No Doctor
      and Where There Is No Dentist will be of tremendous help

  2. Andrew J says:

    It is now the end of July in 2011. Do you have a update on when your book will be released? I have read a lot of the posts and love the site but would like a copy of the book to reference now with China developing a EMP weapon as reported by Drudge last Friday. I believe that this is the biggest threat to the US right now and would like a hard copy of the book as the website will not be available if this weapon is used.


    • Doc Cindy says:

      I’m aiming to release my book/instruction manual entitled Armageddon Medicine, How to be Your Own Doctor in 2012 and Beyond in Sept./Oct. as part of a resource packet.
      Stay tuned for the announcement.

  3. LR says:

    A teleseminar sounds interesting, when will you decide or when will you try it?

    [I can set one up if there’s enough interest. Anyone else interested, and if so, on what topics? – Doc Cindy]

  4. D Man says:

    When will your book be released?

  5. Bradlkb says:

    What are some good broad spectrum antibiotics to use for common type infections? Could you please list antibiotics and treament?

    • Dr. Koelker says:

      Brad asks an important question. My new book, Armageddon Medicine, will explain this in great detail. For now let me say that amoxicillin, erythromycin, cephalexin, tetracycline, trimethotrim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin are all excellent broad-spectrum antibiotics, among others. In an age where people did not take antibiotics at the drop of a hat, all would be effective for common bacterial infections of the skin, respiratory tract, and urinary tract. When to use them when an on-going supply is not readily available is another question altogether. In general they should be reserved for life-threatening or severe infections. I’ll be addressing much more on this in future blog posts and in the book. And maybe in a teleseminar, if people are interested.

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