Student Education Committee

Updated March, 2014

The Student Education Committee serves to provide medical and other health students with educational opportunities within the realm of wilderness medicine. The committee maintains an up-to-date list of available medical clerkships/rotations, courses and other resources that can enrich your wilderness medicine knowledge base. Please do not hesitate to contact the committee with questions regarding educational opportunities.

Mika Hemphill (Chair)
Univ. of British Columbia - Island Medical Program | Class of 2014

Michael Codini
George Washington, Class of 2015

Christopher Bazzoli
The Ohio State University | Class of 2014

Michael McLaren
Quillen COM – Class of 2015

Geoffrey Comp

Wilderness Medicine Electives (for Medical Students & Residents)

Medical Students

Wilderness Medical Society & Academy of Wilderness Medicine Student Elective

February 2 - 28, 2014: Designed for 3rd and 4th year medical students, residents, and allied health profession students from accredited schools, this elective provides four weeks of instruction including:

• Small group discussions of wilderness scenarios
• Formal lectures of Wilderness Medicine principles and specific topics by leaders in the field
• Field and hands-on instruction in survival and pre-hospital patient assessment and evacuation
• Supervised five-day field-practicum incorporating medical assessment, treatment, evacuation, survival and improvisational techniques.
• 48 hour Wilderness First Responder Course
• Eligibility to sit for the Wilderness First Responder National Registry Examination (as applicable in home state)
• All this and more in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of Tennessee!

Website: elective.asp AND
Contact: Course Directors, Liz Edelstein MD ( or Tom Kessler MD (

Alabama Outward Bound School

March 24-April 11, 2014: The Alabama Outward Bound School offers a senior elective like no other. Our students will receive the industry standard 80 hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification through our affiliate, Longleaf Wilderness Medicine. Medical students will complete a wilderness skills checklist required of all Outward Bound Instructors. Our wilderness canoeing expedition is one week in duration and takes place in the famed Mobile Tensaw River Delta. Our course requires you to be in Alabama for three weeks, one week of the curriculum will feature on-line assignments through The University of South Alabama College of Medicine Sakai e-learning system.  


Contacts: Lynn E. Yonge, MD, FAAFP, FAWM
Executive Director 
Alabama Outward Bound School

Big Sky Resort, Montana


                Very popular! Receive a hands-on learning experience while working in a clinic where every kind of ski and snowboard injury is seen, often minutes after the injury has occured.  These musculo-skeletal injuries, along with a myriad of other medical problems (tourist-related and otherwise) give students an experience that they would not otherwise get in medical school.


                Course is designed for 4th year medical students and residents only.  Varying lengths (one month for students, 1-4 weeks for residents).


                Availability:  Throughout the ski season.  Must apply during November in the year PRIOR to your elective and we suggest you apply very early, online.  $150 ski pass plus $550/mo housing for students / $250/week for residents OR $250 administration fee if finding housing elsewhere.


                Contact:  Course Directors, Dr. Jeff Daniels ( and Dr. Jesse Coil        (


Cornell Medical College

Fall Semester: A combined four-week Emergency Medicine/Wilderness Medicine Elective with 2 weeks in New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Emergency Department, and 2 weeks backcountry in the Adirondack Mountains.

Spring Semester: Combined four-week program, with 2 week Wilderness Medicine Elective in New York, and Field Portion TBA.

3rd & 4th year students


George Washington University

A two-week elective consisting of lectures, practicals, skill sessions, and scenarios intended to expose students to the practice of medicine in extreme environments. Students will have the opportunity to practice skills and apply their knowledge in the nearby wilderness.  Open to 3rd/4th year medical students and all residents.  Takes place in Washington, DC along with a overnight trip in Virginia.

Course Duration: 2 weeks only (April 13 - 26, 2015)

Contact : Dr. Kris Lehnhardt

Johns Hopkins University

Held for 2 weeks each Spring in beautiful Catocin Mountain Park in western Maryland. A combination of didactic lectures, simulation training, practical demonstrations and outdoor group scenarios/exercises.


Medcor at Yellowstone National Park

2 to 4 week rotations for medical, PA and NP students available from June 1 to August 31 every summer. These electives are only for junior/senior students who have completed a medical and/or surgical clinical clerkship. Applications will be accepted from October 1st of the preceding year. For students interested in practicing in an austere setting seeing patients with primary care, emergency and wilderness related conditions in a national park setting (Yellowstone Clinics). For more information, contact:

Elective Director: Luanne Freer, MD

NOLS Medical Student Elective - Medicine in the Wild

The NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) and the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency (HAEMR) are pleased to partner for "Medicine in the Wild", an elective for third and fourth year medical students. Offered each spring, this elective utilizes an extended NOLS wilderness expedition in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico to offer an integrated curriculum focusing on wilderness medicine, leadership, outdoor skills and effective medical education. For more information please

Outworld Medical and Rescue

Wilderness Medicine, Expedition Medicine, Remote Medicine, International Medicine, ‘3rd-4th-5th’ World Medicine and Austere Medicine.


Bruce Hagen BA EMT-P 
Director of Training and Education 
Outworld Medical & Rescue Services

Southern Nevada Wilderness Medical Society- Wilderness Medicine Course
"Survivor Las Vegas"

An intense wilderness medicine experience will cover a comprehensive spectrum of topics including hands-on practical wilderness outdoor workshops, backcountry outdoor experiences, wilderness improvisation, rescue training, wilderness medicine scenarios, as well as interesting lectures and presentations. Course participants will have an opportunity to accumulate both core and elective credit to become a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Next Course: Pending 2014

Contact:  Dr Vicki Mazzorana;

UCSF Fresno

This course is a great introduction to wilderness medicine. The first week is spent in a didactic setting, covering the major topics in wilderness medicine.  In the second week, we head to the wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas to implement the knowledge we have gained to many practical scenarios, including basic preparedness, search and rescue, and wilderness improvisation.


Course is designed for 3rd and 4th year medical students.  2 week elective.


Upcoming Courses:  Fresno, CA and Yosemite NP -- Summer (9/1/2014 - 9/12/2014).  Application required, accepted 1/1/2014 through 3/1/2014, 14 slots.  $175 plus $200 if housing is required.


Contact:  Course Director, Dr. Rawnie Ruegner (



University of Massachusetts Medical School

Takes place in May each year. 3 weeks (evolutions): The first evolution will be Alpine and will take place on Mount Pfiefferhorn, the second will be White Water on the Green River/Desolation Canyon, and the last will be Desert in Canyonlands National Park. For 3rdand 4th year medical students, although 1st and 2nd year students may be accepted to a wait list in advance. Apply at least 1 prior to course dates. Approximate cost is $2200.00 for 12 students, excluding transportation to Utah. Must have 10 students to run the course.

Course contacts: 

Sara Nelson MD
Garreth Debiegun MD


University of New Mexico - Wilderness Medicine Elective

Wilderness, International, and Improvisational Medicine Elective. A course that will permit you to overcome preconceived ideas and notions, become better clinicians, and to believe in yourself and others; it is our intention to make this a mentally and physically demanding course. Designed for physicians, residents, and medical students. All participants must have completed six weeks of medicine, six weeks of surgery, and another month of a primary care specialty rotation. 4 week elective. Further information and course topics available on website.

Contact: Dr. Darryl J. Macias;


University of South Carolina- Wilderness Medicine Elective

The South Carolina Wilderness Medicine Course is now in its 14th year and continues to grow and improve. Open to fourth year students and residents of any specialty, the course involves several components including classroom instruction, outdoor laboratory sessions and a 4-5 day wilderness excursion involving rescue scenarios, canoeing, hiking, and camping. Fundamentals of search and rescue, survival training and wilderness emergencies will be practiced and reviewed. Plenty of leisure time is set aside for day hikes, rafting, canoeing, fishing, or just reflecting on the days adventures. By the end of the course the participants should have an understanding of the epidemiology, physiology and clinical practice of Wilderness, Environmental, and Travel Medicine.

Next Course: August 25 to Sept 19, 2014. 28 total (10-12 residents, 15-18 students).

Contact: Zach Kiker, MD          


University of Utah - Wilderness Medicine Elective

This course is taught both on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and in incredible Moab, Utah. Will include both lectures and practical skills sessions with scenario training. Students will certify in Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS). 2 week elective, but accomodations available for students requiring a 4 week experience (Ohio State, Michigan, others).

Contact: Dr. Richard Ingebretsen;, (801)-554-2129


University of Virginia - Wilderness Medicine Elective

This intensive course will introduce students to the epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical practice of Wilderness Medicine: the care of patients in austere environments lacking typical health care resources, often under harsh conditions. Course will be taught using traditional lectures, human simulation, course reading assignments, and multiple practical workshops. 2 week elective. Further information and course schedule available on website.

Contact: Dr. Nathan Charlton;


Wilderness Medical Associates – Canada

A medical school elective designed for students who are interested in learning about applications and research for remote and non-traditional patient care contexts. Our goal is to teach practical patient evaluations and treatments and focus on topics that are not routinely emphasized in medical school curricula. 1 week elective open to all levels of medical student; multiple course locations.


Residents (adapted from ACEP)

Big Sky Resort, Montana

Very popular - apply EARLY!  Elective opportunities throughout the year at the Medical Clinic of Big Sky Resort.  Selections are made each November one year prior to the ski season for which the elective is offered.  Currently taking more than 10 residents/fellows each year; must be PGY3/4 senior resident to apply.

Course contact: Jeff Daniels, MD


Grand Canyon Clinic

This is a 4-6 week rotation for 3rd year residents (EM, IM or FP) providing remote urgent and ambulatory care for canyon visitors. Recommended to take place between April and August (highest visitor volume).

Contact: Sean Clendaniel
Contact Phone:  (928) 779-7245
Contact Email:


Jackson, WY Emergency/Wilderness Medicine Elective

St. John’s Medical Center (SJMC) is a progressive, remote, rural 48-bed hospital facility, with a 5-bed ICU, state-of-the-art radiology department and surgical departments, as well as a 60-bed long term care center. Jackson Hole plays host to 3 local Ski Resorts, 2 National Parks (Grand Teton and Yellowstone), Class III/IV rafting, along with numerous square miles of National Forest. The local population of 20,000 provides the typical encounters seen in most emergency departments, but the unique location provides interesting cases of high altitude illness as well as unique trauma inherent to the local sporting activities (climbing, skiing, rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, etc.). Our 4-week elective rotations are open to senior EM Residents in good-standing only.

8 slots offered throughout the year (Jan, Feb, March, June, July, Aug, Sept, Oct).  Please contact Jamie Bockelman for open slots.

Rotation Supervisors:
Will Smith, MD, EMT-P 
AJ Wheeler, MD, FACEP 

Medical Staff Coordinator / Rotation Coordinator:
Jamie Bockelman (307)739-7503 (office)


Stanford University

Residents work in remote outposts in Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Ethiopia.

Contact: Kelly Murphy, MD

UCSF Fresno

A six week program offered every other January where residents are involved in training National Park Rangers from throughout the US to become park paramedics.  UCSF Fresno Parkmedic residents, other interested residents, faculty, and staff give lectures, hold small group sessions, and lead clinical rounds. Dr. Shalit and Dr. Stroh, both of whom are emergency medicine faculty at UCSF Fresno, are both SEKI and NPS EMS Medical Advisors and oversee this national Parkmedic training program.

Contact: Residency Program Office of Medical Educations


University of Virginia - Wilderness Medicine Elective

This intensive course will introduce students to the epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical practice of Wilderness Medicine: the care of patients in austere environments lacking typical health care resources, often under harsh conditions. Course will be taught using traditional lectures, human simulation, course reading assignments, and multiple practical workshops. 2 week elective. Further information and course schedule available on website.

Contact: Heather Collier, Administrative Assistant

Phone:  434-924-5185


Residencies (with a Wilderness Medicine Track)

Central Maine Medical Center- Family Practice

This 3-year longitudinal program allows residents to become skilled in clinical, research, and educational aspects of wilderness medicine. The program includes funding for textbooks, elective travel expenses, WMS membership, and the Wilderness Advanced Life Support (WALS) course. Electives may be done at with the local ski patrol (Sunday River, ME), or other locations with advanced planning. Residents also travel each year with the Himalayan Health Exchange

Contact: Bruce Kenney, DO


Montana Family Medicine Residency

Intensive 3-year wilderness medicine training track with rotation opportunities in Yellowstone National Park, Red Lodge, Big Sky and others locations in and outside the United States. Further opportunities include a WALS course, wilderness medicine conferences, research and writing.

Contact: Joseph Keel, MD



MedWARs, Medical Wilderness Adventure Race!

Race dates:  

Winter Races:

MedWAR Utah Race: Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spring Races:

Southeast MedWAR Race: Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mid-Atlantic MedWAR Race: Sunday, March 23, 2014

North Carolina MedWAR Race: Saturday, April 12, 2014 (NEW Race!)

MedWAR North Race: Saturday May 3, 2014

Summer Races:

MedWAR Pennsylvania: August 2014

Maine MedWAR: August 2014 (NEW Race!)

Fall Races:

Midwest MedWAR Race: Saturday, September 14, 2013

Southern California MedWAR Race: Saturday, October 19, 2013

MedWAR Tennessee: Saturday, November 9, 2013

New Expansion Races Coming Soon:

Colorado MedWAR: TBD

Massachusetts MedWAR Race: Spring/Summer 2014

Website =

RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts Series

Events are unique, rough country footraces over seven days and some 250 kilometers in remote and culturally rich locations around the world. Competitors must carry all their own equipment and food and are only provided with water for drinking, tents for sleeping, and access to professional medical and operations teams for support. RacingThePlanet is international; the events typically involve competitors from more than 40 countries. RacingThePlanet events consist of the 4 Deserts, a series which includes the Atacama Crossing (Chile), the Gobi March (China), the Sahara Race (Egypt) and The Last Desert (Antarctica), as well as a fifth event which roves to a new location each year. 

Wilderness and Emergency Medicine Fellows as well as Senior EM residents with an interest in providing sports medicine care in remote areas of the world would gain invaluable experience on the care of endurance athletes and logistics for coordinating such care. You must be willing to travel to remote areas of the world, fit enough to hike 10 to 20 km, camp for 7 days, and obtain your own malpractice insurance. Flight costs are supplemented, and lodging is paid.

Contact: Brian J. Krabak, M.D., M.B.A


Past Electives

Uganda Social Medicine Course

Month long on-site immersion course in social medicine offered at Lacor Hospital in Gulu, Uganda. This intensive course intersects the study of clinical medicine in a resource-poor setting with social medicine topics such as globalization, war, human rights, and narrative medicine, among others.

For more information, read the attached prospectus and view the short video about this year's course, available at:

If you have any questions or are interested in applying, please email

University of Nebraska School of Medicine & Belize Institute for Tropical & Wilderness Medicine & GMRS Ltd

Wilderness Medicine, International Health, Wilderness Rescue, Wilderness Survival Rotations in Belize and around the world. All are sponsored for credit by U of Nebraska Medical Center

Course contact:


Wilderness Medicine in Alaska

Sponsored by SUNY Upstate New York Medical College, Wilderness Education Association, and the Denali Education Center, AK. This course is open to anyone, and generally about half are medical students.

Course directors: Thomas Welch, MD (Lead Instructor) and Jodi Rodwell (Course Coordinator)