Mission and Philosophy

Mission
To advance healthcare, research, and education related to wilderness medicine.

Philosophy

Founded in 1983, the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) is the world's leading organization devoted to wilderness medical challenges. Wilderness medicine topics include expedition and disaster medicine, dive medicine, search and rescue, altitude illness, cold- and heat-related illness, wilderness trauma, and wild animal attacks. WMS explores health risks and safety issues in extreme situations such as mountains, jungles, deserts, caves, marine environments, and space.


Society members have a long-standing commitment to education and research. WMS sponsors accredited continuing medical education conferences that combine exceptional educational presentations with a variety of hands-on workshops. The Society publishes a peer-reviewed medical journal, a quarterly newsletter, educational presentation series on wilderness medicine topics consisting of slides and a text, and practice guidelines for wilderness emergency care. Each year the Society awards research grants, advancing academic careers and expanding the knowledge and understanding of wilderness medical issues. WMS also fosters Student Interest Groups (SIGs) on seventy-one medical school campuses.

In addition to practicing, investigating, and teaching wilderness medicine, WMS members share a sense of adventure—from exploring deserts to climbing mountains, from scuba diving to white-water rafting, from skiing to windsurfing, from adventure travel to volunteer-relief work. The Society's members love the outdoors, have deep respect for the environment and our precious natural resources, and actively support an Environmental Council.

WMS is a 501(c)3 organization, designating it a charity for public good with a responsibility to educate and serve the public, and indicating that donations are tax deductible. To fund the unique WMS programs and publications, the Society relies on members (new and renewing), fundraising events, and charitable gifts and donations. Only with member and public support, can WMS continue to meet the Society's responsibilities and serve the world beyond its membership.