OnPoint Tactical’s off-grid medicine course is not your typical first aid class. It’s not EMT school. I mean no disrespect towards them at all, but those first responder classes are like baby aspirin. What Dr. Steve provides is more like dilaudid or fentanyl. (No, he does not sell these or tell us how to get them. It’s just for comparison between the types of courses. However, there does seem to be the possibility of developing an addiction of sorts. Three of the people from the February class repeated the August class and brought family members with them.)
The Man Behind the Course
A Special Forces Battalion surgeon, University of Utah Medical School faculty member, Utah Emergency Physician of the Year, paramedic– the list goes on. This is Dr. Steve Pehrson, the man behind OnPoint Tactical’s Off-Grid Medicine course. The list of credentials might be as intimidating as it is impressive and could scare some potential students away. However, what isn’t mentioned in his biography and course description is that Dr. Steve Pehrson is this kind of cuddly-looking grandpa with a great sense of humor and surprising lack of the God-complex that seems to afflict some doctors.
When asked what he likes to do for fun he replied, “Teach this class.” It must be true because Steve starts at 8:00 to 8:30, and he’s usually still going strong 12 hours later. Then he’s ready to start again the next morning! And the students are, too.
Dr. Steve somehow provides simple explanations of complex anatomical and physiological processes and chemistry. (If I’d had him as a professor in college, I might have followed through with the original plan of studying medicine.) But familiarity with medicine is definitely not a prerequisite. In fact, in the two classes I have attended, there has only been one person in each class with any formal training in medicine. The rest have been regular people—student, pilot, wilderness guide, computer guy, homeschool mom, et cetera. And while Steve’s experience includes extensive time treating people all over the world during humanitarian missions, as well as treating weekend warriors in the emergency room, parents too will benefit greatly from this class. This is because in addition to everything else Steve is also a family physician.
Before class, Steve emails links to lectures and articles to be reviewed prior to the start of class. This advance class material allows more hands on time. He tailors each class to the students. It is slightly different each time based on what worked in previous classes and the desires of the students. This course is designed for people who want to be prepared for a time when there is no doctor or other medical care available to be able to handle broken bones, disease, serious wounds and blood loss, and other acute and chronic conditions, ranging from infants to the elderly. At the start of class, Steve provides a binder of copies of almost every slide used in his presentation with space for note-taking.
Modern Medical Issues Without Modern Technology
Doctor Steve is not actually teaching brain surgery. He does show what you can do to save a person’s life and quality of life by means of suturing, splinting, anesthesia, supply acquisition, and other skills. He tries to help students accept that there are going to be deaths because the technology we take for granted today will someday disappear. Sstudents are taught how to manage modern medical issues without modern technology, without resupply, and at the same time how to address the communicable diseases that most doctors have never even seen. And because modern medicine isn’t always going to be here, and neither is our pharmaceutical industry, Steve also shares his personal experiences with the use of herbal medicines or brings in other experts in that field.
Beyond the Baby Aspirin Level
The vast majority of that 1-2% of the population who prepares for TEOTWAWKI does so at the baby aspirin level. They may have some OTC meds and antibiotics, some sutures, and maybe a surgical kit. Dr. Steve educates you on how to use those tools in your surgical kit and what else you are going to want to have and be able to use. Let’s face it. We know what’s coming, and baby aspirin ain’t gonna cut it.