Dr. David J. Peck, retired physician and author of  Or Perish in the Attempt-The Hardship and Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, was raised in Santa Barbara, California.  He worked for a multi-specialty medical group in San Diego in their Department of Urgent Care for 21 years.  Prior to practicing medicine, Dr. Peck attended Arizona State University, earning Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Biological Science and Secondary Education.  He is board certified in Family Medicine.

Dr. Marti Peck is a retired Clinical Psychologist and is certified by the American Psychoanalytic Society as an Adult Psychoanalyst. She had a private practice for 31 years. She became fascinated with the mental health aspects of Meriwether Lewis’s life from reading Lewis’s past biographies and careful consideration of the known historical facts concerning his death. Dr. Peck’s contribution to “So Hard to Die” include a detailed analysis of both his personality and how various influences from both the culture of early America and his family likely influenced his behaviors and ultimate fate.

Dr. Peck offers the following program: (It can be tailored to fit your time needs and can be augmented with more emphasis on medicine/science during the era of Lewis and Clark).

The Lewis and Clark Expedition-Wilderness Medicine in Early America

This program follows the formation of the Corps of Discovery, early American society and medical thinking and practice. It discusses the overall progress of the Expedition and the medical problems they encountered, as well as the treatments and amazing success and fortune of this nearly unbelievable accomplishment in American exploration.  The HD documentary film is also available for showing during Dr. Peck's presentation.

“So Hard to Die” The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis

This program is a fast paced, thoroughly illustrated journey through various theories of Lewis mysterious death, including both the key medical theories as well as Dr. Marti Peck analysis of Lewis’s life and times.

Program Receptions These are just a few of the comments we have heard about these two exciting programs:
I have attended the Chautauqua Institute for eight years and Dr. Peck’s presentation is the best class I have every attended! He is a great instructor!
Excellent- a great blend of history and medicine.
Gorgeous slides! Excellent delivery of very detailed historic information.
Outstanding lecture and presenter.
We have had many programs, but we received MORE favorable comments about your presentation than any other we’ve had.

Past Presentations
The Filson Historical Society, Louisville Kentucky
Expedition Days-Traveler’s Rest State Park, Lolo, Montana
National Meeting of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
Barlow Lecture-George Dock Society for the History of Medicine, Los Angeles County Medical Society, Huntington Library, Pasedena, California
Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, New York, Summers of 2014, 16
Missouri Humanities Council/National Endowment for the Humanities
Lane County Medical Society, Eugene Oregon,
Pacific Northwest Conference of the Medical Librarians Association,
Montana Bar Association Annual Convention,
American Cancer Society,
Montana Historical Society,
UCSD Wilderness Medicine Conference,
Idaho State University-Kasiska Health Care Annual Conference,
San Diego Natural History Museum,
San Bernardino County Medical Society,
Lewis and Clark College, Portland Oregon,
National Park Service Lewis and Clark Symposium, St. Louis, MO,
Los Angeles Academy of Medicine, 
San Diego Academy of Family Practice,
Sioux City Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Sioux City Iowa (Keynote on the Bicentennial of the    death of Sgt. Charles Floyd,)
Pacific Coast Colleges Health Care Symposium, Spokane, WA,
Explore the Big Sky-Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Signature Event—Great Falls, MT

Or Perish in the Attempt:
The Hardship and Medicine of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition

Oregon Public Broadcasting
Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Lewis and Clark College, Unfinished Journey, The Lewis and Clark Expedition is a 13 part series, narrated by Peter Coyote. This landmark series was carried nationally on over 80 NPR stations and covered a diverse number of topics relating to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Dr. Peck was a featured participant in two of the episodes. These episodes are featured here in their entirety for your pleasure, courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland Oregon.

Wilderness Medicine

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