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 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.
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.
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.