Mike Stroud (physician)

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Mike Stroud
Born Michael Adrian Stroud[1][2]
(1955-04-17) 17 April 1955 (age 61)
Alma mater University College London and St George's Hospital Medical School
Occupation Physician
Known for Polar expeditions
Human endurance expert
Spouse(s) Thea (née de Moel) m. 1987
Children 2
Website http://www.cunningham-management.co.uk/artists/stroud.html

Dr Michael Adrian Stroud, OBE, FRCP (born 17 April 1955) is an expert on human health under extreme conditions. He became widely known when he partnered Ranulph Fiennes on polar expeditions.

Early life[edit]

Stroud was educated at Trinity School of John Whitgift in the London Borough of Croydon. He obtained a degree (intercalated BSc) from University College London in anthropology and genetics in 1976, before qualifying as a medical doctor from St George's Hospital Medical School, London in 1979.[1]

Medical career[edit]

After qualifying, and working junior hospital jobs, Stroud specialised in nutrition and gastroenterology. He became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1984. He has studied human endurance under extreme conditions based on personal experience - running marathons in the Sahara, and trekking across polar ice. He has worked for the Ministry of Defence researching the nutritional needs of soldiers in action. Since 1998 he has been Senior Lecturer in Medicine, Gastroenterology and Nutrition, at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust. He has taken time out from his medical career over the years to participate in various expeditions.

Expeditions and endurance[edit]

Stroud was the doctor on the In the footsteps of Scott Antarctic expedition in 1984-1986. He joined Ranulph Fiennes in 1986 to attempt to journey on foot to the North Pole unsupported. In 1992/3 Stroud and Fiennes made the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic continent, though they were unable to cross the Ross Ice Shelf to reach the open sea. Drinking isotope labelled water and collecting regular blood and urine samples, Stroud discovered that their energy expenditure exceeded 10,000 calories per day [3]

Stroud, together with Fiennes, is a supporter of rigorous exercise to help slow down the aging process. He points out that historically the human body is pre-tuned to undergo bouts of hard work and in particular can cope remarkably well with endurance events in hot climates. He argues that our current sedentary lifestyle conflicts with our body's design and is leading to the health issues that an increasing proportion of the Western world is experiencing today.

In 2003 Stroud and Fiennes both completed seven marathons on seven continents in seven days in the Land Rover 7x7x7 Challenge for the British Heart Foundation.[4][5]

On Tuesday 22 July 2014 Stroud joined four others (Chris Buckton, Barry Robson, Mark Harding and Ian Smith) in kayaking 77.3 miles across the English Channel on sit-on-top kayaks helping to raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support and Heroes on the Water UK. This took 19 hours 21 minutes during which he never left the kayak. It is believed that this is the first time this has been done before in this direction as paddling South is notoriously difficult. [6] [7]

Other work[edit]

Stroud has featured as the main participant in the BBC programme Through the Keyhole hosted by Sir David Frost.

Personal life[edit]

Stroud married Thea (née de Moel) in 1987, and they have a son and a daughter.[1]


Stroud was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 1993 Queen's Birthday Honours "for Human Endeavour and for charitable services".[2] On 20 December 1994, he was awarded the Polar Medal "for outstanding achievement and service to British Polar exploration and research".[8][9]

In 1995, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.