Richard Villar

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Emergency Response Surgeon

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Synopsis

Richard served as SAS Medical Officer, operating in the field on soldiers and civilians alike. He is now a leading orthopaedic surgeon and a member of the Disaster Emergency Response Team – responding to events like the earthquake in Haiti and civil war in Libya. Richard describes arriving in a stricken area with the infrastructure destroyed: “Without water, power or the rule of law, you take nothing for granted - the challenges go beyond what most of us can imagine.”

Biography

Richard Villar is one of the country’s leading orthopaedic surgeons, and former Regimental Medical Officer to the Special Air Service. A former surgical leader of the UK’s Disaster Emergency Response Team, Richard has served in more than 30 countries, including Bosnia, Afghanistan and Lebanon, in Palestinian refugee camps and the Gaza strip, during the siege of Sarajevo, the Falklands War and the desert conflict in Libya.

After qualifying as a surgeon, Richard trained for the SAS and became their Regimental Medical Officer operating in the field on soldiers and civilians alike. He became a Surgical Team Leader for the UK’s Disaster Emergency Response Team where he was responsible for the evacuation of causalities from some of the most dangerous disaster zones, including the North Face of Mount Everest in the wake of an avalanche, the Great Earthquake of Kashmir and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Surgery is usually considered a high-pressure, stressful occupation. Carrying out surgery in the immediate aftermath of fire-fights, bomb attacks and natural disasters, where casualties are many and serious and where facilities are make-shift, heightens that stress and the need for precision, leadership and improvisation. In speeches, Richard tells his story of operating on the front-line, what he’s learned, and how the teamwork, decision-making and leadership required to operate in such high-pressure environments can be applied in any organisation.

He has recounted his many experiences in several books, Knife Edge, Winged Scalpel and Never a Straight Line: Travels through Chile and Bolivia. He has also written for The Spectator, The Telegraph, the Evening Standard and The Independent.

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Video

Motivational Speaker Richard Villar

Villar on Leadership

JLA Speakers Breakfast

Conference Speaker

Books