Introduction

The Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) is an exciting program designed to train the participant in the essentials of caring for patients in the technical mountain environment. The DiMM is available for Standard and Premium WMS members to pursue and has set the standard for nearly 20 years in Europe and other parts of the world for the education of doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, and medics in mountain medicine and rescue.

The DiMM is an internationally recognized course certifying that the participant has undergone rigorous training and testing. The medical commissions of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR), together with the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM), established minimal requirements for these courses in 1997. The Wilderness Medical Society has partnered with the University of Utah in order to bring this exciting program to the USA and the WMS/University of Utah program meets requirements of and is fully approved by UIAA, ICAR, and ISMM.

                                                                        

Required Qualifications

The Diploma in Mountain Medicine is open to candidates that possess (or will possess in the near future) a nationally recognized professional medical certification appropriate to the level of the DiMM curriculum. These include Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), Registered Nurse (RN), Physician Assistant (PA), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), Paramedic (EMT-P), Advanced EMT (EMT-A). Other certifications may be eligible and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If you do not possess one of the credentials listed above, please send a note to [email protected] before applying to determine if you are eligible.

Progressing Through the Program

The program is divided into four week-long sessions that should be completed within a two to three-year time period and is intended as continuing education for doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, and medics who work in or aspire to work in austere environments. The required coursework is an ideal blend of didactic and practical education in wilderness medicine, technical rescue, and self-sufficiency in the backcountry. This skill set crosses a multitude of disciplines including expedition medicine, search and rescue operations, mountain guiding, ski patrol, and mountain recreationalists. Due to the demanding physical nature of the DiMM field sessions, some basic prerequisites are required to ensure a safe learning environment for all participants. Enrollees are expected to have experience with backcountry hiking, beginner/intermediate-level rock climbing safety systems, snow travel, and cold weather camping.

Definitive mountain medicine authorities serve as faculty at both the WMS Winter Conference and Summer Conference portions, and the other two week-long field sessions (Alpine & Rock) are aimed at acquisition of practical mountain rescue skills. The experts at Remote Rescue Training teach these dynamic technical courses. In these phenomenal settings, participants learn technical rescue skills necessary to access and transport patients in rugged mountain terrain.

Following attendance in each session, DiMM candidates are required to complete and pass an open-book online exam within 60 days. The academic nature of the Diploma requires participants to pass both written and skills examinations in order to complete the program. During skill sessions, instructors perform reasonable remediation for any participant that does not meet the minimum skill standards set by ICAR/UIAA/ISMM and the WMS DiMM. If the participant still has not passed these skills by the end of the session, as determined by the instructors, he/she will be required to re-take that session at their own cost. The participant will be given a maximum of two attempts to successfully complete any certain skill session and two attempts to pass a specific written exam. If the participant does not pass a certain written exam or skill session after these attempts, the Diploma cannot be awarded.

What Sets the WMS DiMM Apart 

The WMS DiMM is an aggressive introduction to mountain medicine and simultaneously offers students the opportunity to integrate into the academic society as they progress through the program.  Lectures correlate with biannual WMS conferences and allow students to interface and learn from world-renowned experts, in person, from all over the planet. WMS DiMM instructors have published the textbook used by our program (and others), and required materials also include current wilderness medicine guidelines published by WMS members.

Additionally, the WMS DiMM offers at least double the training and education hours required by the UIAA (including an avalanche Level I course).  Our fieldwork helps to create a community of learning, and DiMM students go on to be teachers and leaders in their own communities upon completion of the DiMM.

While there is a small amount of independent learning, most learning is in person.  The WMS DiMM aims to take the collective knowledge of the group and push and advance it further. Having others in the classroom means learning from everyone, as each student brings their own experience to the table.

If you are thinking about pursuing the WMS DiMM, it’s important to keep the mission of our organization in mind:

“We are the Wilderness Medical Society, a community of medical professionals devoted to facilitating high-quality care in the outdoors.  Our global membership and world-renowned experts affirm our collective authority to set clinical standards and disseminate the most comprehensive array of wilderness medicine knowledge.  Our innovative programs, publications, research, and certifications equip you with the tools to practice in any environment on (or off) the planet.”

The WMS DiMM positions you directly in the center of this mission.  The possibilities for continued growth, education and participation are truly endless!

DiMM Evaluation Policy
(Adobe PDF File)
                                       

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