Stuart is the founder and Chief of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Division of Wilderness Medicine, and the Director of the MGH Wilderness Medicine Fellowship. He is a full-time clinician (attending physician) in the MGH Emergency Department and an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He graduated from the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency in 2003 – and despite the best of intentions, was having so much fun, he has been at MGH since.
Stuart’s research focuses on investigating the pathogenesis and treatment of high altitude illness and on the interplay between climate change and human health. He has been conducting research with the Himalayan Rescue Association in the Mt. Everest region since 1999 and the U.S. Army’s Research Institute for Environmental Medicine since 2004. His research teams are active on/in the Himalayas, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Andes, Alaska, and far Eastern Siberia. In 2011, he worked a Denali National Park climbing ranger patrol where he performed the first ultrasound imaging on the summit of N. America. He doesn’t recommend this unless required (too bright even with two sleeping bags piled overhead).
Stuart is co-creator and faculty on the month-long medical student course, Medicine in the Wild with NOLS Wilderness Medicine–now more than a decade old. Stuart created and leads the multi-specialty group, High Altitude Medical Associates, within the Harvard Teaching Hospitals. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. DOD, MGH, and HMS. He is a National Fellow of The Explorers’ Club.
Prior to medical school, Stuart was a NOLS student (FSR ‘Dave’, ’87), worked entirely too briefly as a NOLS Instructor (wilderness and sea-kayaking in the Lower 48 and Alaska), was the first gaijin (foreigner) to teach English in his rural village of Iwaizumi, Iwate, Japan, earned his Black belt in Shodokan Judo, was Bronze Medalist in U.S. Whitewater Open Canoe Slalom Nationals, a commercial fisherman in Alaska (long-lining for black cod and seining for salmon), and earned his Masters in Fine Art at the Iowa Writers Workshop.
In 2011, he deployed to the devastated town of Kesennuma, Japan, three days after the Tohoku tsunami disaster. He has been nominated for the MGH McGovern Award for Clinical Excellence and awarded the 2010 NOLS Alumni Service Award, Symbols of Hope Award at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel, and the John E. Thayer III Award by the Japan Society of Boston. On a good day, he gets on his mountain bike.
He is the father of Walker, Emma, and Elizabeth, and husband of Malinda Polk.