commitment of the WMS to embrace academic excellence and
to deliver innovative services to its members shines through
in this dramatic initiative. The
Academy of Wilderness Medicine ties together the various
aspects of wilderness medicine academia and the Society’s
unique member services in new and creative ways.
Academy is a modular system of adult education that organizes
the broad range of information in the discipline of Wilderness
Medicine. It delivers them in a professionally packaged,
standardized fashion according to modern concepts of medical
education using objectives as the basis for learning experiences
and outcomes evaluation where appropriate.
backbone of the Academy is its core curriculum. This repository
of Wilderness Medicine topics is standardized for content
and format. While organizing the delivery of WM information
to our members, the curriculum is designed for growth and
employs a flexible cataloguing system to track both lessons
and learners. The curriculum is intended to serve all Society
educational activities through program design, curriculum
review, lesson and topic materials, and outcomes assessment
products. It encompasses written syllabus materials with
accompanying lesson objectives, electronic presentations,
as well as testing vehicles.
most visible of the Academy’s modular programs, and
the one that promises to be the most popular, is the Fellowship
program (Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine™
or FAWM). This initiative offers a means to identify those
who have achieved a demanding set of requirements validating
their training and experience in Wilderness Medicine for the assurances
of patients, clients, and the public at large. Society members
enroll in the Academy and, by completing lessons from a pre-established Wilderness Medicine curriculum as well as receiving credit for specific, identifiable experience; accumulate credit
toward becoming a Fellow. Any current member of the Wilderness
Medical Society who successfully completes the requirements
will have the distinction of being a registered member of
the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and entitled to use
the designation Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine
(FAWM) and may reference it on resumes, business cards,
Fellow Brochure (1.6 MB)
How it Works
To become a Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, a candidate must accumulate a minumum of 100 total credits according to the following table through participatation in eligible, credit-scored activities and acumulation of relevant experience:
* Effective 11/1/2015: At least 50% of Core Credits must be obtained from WMS Activities (WMS Conferences, Online Lectures and Journal Articles) or WMS Affiliates.
must complete a minimum of 55 to a maximum of 70 credits
from the list of "required" topics and earn a minimum of
5 to a maximum of 10 credits from the "elective" topics.
So the total credits earned towards the core curriculum
total 60-80. To reward candidates credit for Wilderness Medical Experience other
than attendance at reviewed events, completion of the Experience Report provides up to 40 credtis. Each candidate must accumulate at least 20 credits from the Experience Report. The report reflects the candidate's
experience in the following six categories:
- Board Certification &
- Publishing & Research
- Volunteer Teaching
- Public Service
- Service to WMS
Accounting for a candidate's accumulating credits is accomplished according to the following repeating sequence:
1) Verification by WMS staff of the candidate's attendence at an approved, scored activity.
2) Online designation of attended sessions related to each activity by the candidate.
3) Online completion and editing of Experience Report information.
4) Review of Fellow Status Reports.
In addition to accumulating the necessary credits, to be awarded your Fellowship you must:
1) have completed an initial qualifying, credentialing, or vocational degree-producing program in any recognized medical discipline or vocation or be a current student or resident of such a program.
2) have completed at least one year of professional practice in their medical vocation or discipline after completion of an initial qualifying program or school.
Fellow Advancement Recognition (FAR)
Fellows in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine are encouraged to advance their FAWM status. In addition to offering the Master Fellow program, the WMS recognizes the continued accumulation of core and elective credits after a member has become a Fellow. Awards will be presented to those Fellows who have been awarded the required levels of post-FAWM credtis as displayed below. The Credit Status report can be used to display your current credit summary.
- The date of Fellowship is determined by the official letter of notification from the WMS which confirms a candidate's Fellow status. Post-FAWM credits are those awarded to Fellows who participate in unique eligible activities which occur AFTER the date of Fellowship.
- Updates to a Fellow's Experience Report do not contribute to post-FAWM credits.
- The activity date for Online Videos is the date when the lecture was recorded.
- The activity date for Online Journal Articles is the date when the article was published.
Academy is based on a modular system of adult education
designed to enhance the overall academic quality and stature
of the WMS in support of organizational strategic goals.
The modules are building blocks that can be used to achieve
various outcomes. They may be applied separately or together
to take advantage of their natural synergism. When linked
by governance and leadership they form the components of
an academic academy.
Purpose & Mission
fundamental purpose of the Academy is to support the WMS
mission to advance healthcare, research, and education related
to wilderness medicine. The
Academy provides an organized mechanism through which the
Wilderness Medical Society contributes to the body of wilderness
medicine knowledge and its application in a high-quality
and evidence-based fashion.
Vision & Goals
to an unwavering set of core values, the Academy serves
the members of the Wilderness Medical Society by organizing
and presenting a program of adult education based on a standardized,
evidence-based core curriculum. This forms the bedrock of
quality upon which all Academy applications and WMS programs
are built. From this is derived an unrivaled reputation
for academic excellence. The
goals of the Academy are to provide:
Professional designation for achievement in wilderness
• Validation for the public, patients, and clients
of practitioner education in Wilderness Medicine
• Recognition for completing high quality standards
in wilderness medicine
• Continuing medical education (CME) credit for
acquisition of knowledge and hands-on experiences in wilderness
• The advancement of an internationally recognized
curriculum of wilderness medicine categories, topics,
Knowledge and policies that improve health in wilderness
and extreme settings
• Evidence-based products, policies, and decision
• Interdisciplinary, multifaceted perspectives
• Combining scientific, humanistic, and environmentally
• Reputation and prestige derived from quality
• Relevant to modern wilderness-related health challenges
A mechanism to coordinate and generate consensus statements
and reports by WMS expert committees.
• The generation of “White Papers” on
policy issues of special interest based on expert opinion,
research, review, and published evidence.
• Conduct round tables and forums on special topics
convened at WMS conferences resulting in published papers.
• Offer an audio-visual lecture series on CD using
electronic presentations with text, graphics, video, and
• Develop an internet-based distance learning system
of core curriculum topics that could be joined to form
Internet courses with various themes.
• Post a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) bulletin
board section on the web site that can be searched and
1. Knowledge and policies that improve health in wilderness
and extreme settings
2. Evidence-based products, policies, and decision making
3. Interdisciplinary, multifaceted perspectives combining scientific, humanistic, and environmentally conscious
4. Reputation and prestige derived from quality
5. Relevant to modern wilderness-related health challenges
1. Knowledge and policies that improve
health in wilderness and extreme settings
The Academy delivers
more than academically focused products. They are tailored
to a unique setting for a unique customer; the wilderness
and exotic traveler. Moreover, the Academy recognizes that,
like other healthcare delivery and improvement bodies, the
improvement and maintenance of health must lie at the core
of its purpose.
products, policies, and decision making
The Academy brings
the tools of evidence and research to the WMS in an organized
fashion. These are common to all Society programs thereby
setting it apart from other educational organizations in
the discipline. This lends legitimacy, relevance, and prestige
to Society programs. Society leaders foster an organizational
culture that champions modern concepts of adult education,
faculty and curriculum development, and evidence-based medicine.
many Wilderness Medicine educational programs have been
anecdote-based, poorly standardized, and often not developed
using principles of adult education. The WMS has set out
to set itself apart in this regard. While there remains
little high quality research in many areas of Wilderness
Medicine, the WMS embraces evidence-based medicine. The
Society pioneers a culture of “good science”
in the discipline.
The basic blueprint
for an evidence-based and academically focused Society is
Establish and foster an organizational culture ermeated
by principles of adult education, evidence-based medicine,
and high standards for academic quality.
Undertake a program to develop a cadre of faculty and
program chairs trained in planning, preparation, and presentation
of educational materials and curricula.
Develop an objectives-based core curriculum that can be
used as the foundation for all educational programs. This
would be specifically designed to support the mission
and strategic plans of the WMS and serve as the hub around
which all other academic development activities revolve.
Compile and/or establish evidence to support the core
curriculum. This means supporting clinical research in
an organized and directed fashion.
Train a cadre of researchers that are focused on applying
standard investigative techniques in areas and methods
unique to the discipline.
The WMS is comprised
of a broad international membership representative of all
medical specialties and disciplines. It is from this repository
of diverse experience and opinion, unified by the legitimacy
of evidence and academia, that the Academy draws strength.
Employment of administrative and organizational procedures
that ensure the expression of this diversity in policies
and products is standard procedure.
scientific, humanistic and environmentally conscious values
With the application
of modern ethical paradigms and investigative methodology
there remains no obstacle to the blending of science, humanity,
and environmental stewardship. Consciousness of our place
at a level above pure clinical science and academia is fundamental
to the practice of medicine in wilderness settings.
and prestige derived from quality:
Focus on quality
NOT quantity. High-quality adult education rapidly develops
a reputation. This leads to increased memberships, improved
attendance at activities, and more involvement by existing
members. Non-profit, volunteer-based organizations must
be creative and aggressive in order to compete and survive.
Quality, relevance, evidence, and academic prestige delineate
the high ground. Reputation, credibility, and service delivered
via high quality, evidence-based academics constitute a
road map to success. A universally embraced ethic of becoming
a prestigious society uncompromising in its standards for
quality of product and associations forms the heart of an
unbeatable organizational culture.
to modern wilderness and environmental health challenges
in stressful times. People plan recreation and adventure
travel on a different level of prioritization than ever
before. Concerns over personal, family, and national security
often dominate conversation. The WMS addresses this phenomenon
by ensuring that educational programs and curricula reflect
the real-time concerns of our members. We can do this by
addressing what weighs most heavily on the national conscience
(in a non-political fashion). In other words, our organization
must be relevant to what is most important to our members.
That is not to say that the role of combining recreation
and passion with the profession of medicine is any less
important, rather, it takes on a new dimension. Relevance
is a theme that winds itself like a thread throughout the
fabric of everything the Academy and the WMS do.