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 Wilderness Medical Society is partnering with the University of Utah and University of Colorado to introduce this exciting program in the USA. 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 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 WMS/University of Utah/University of Colorado program meets requirements of and is fully approved by UIAA, ICAR, and ISMM.
The program is divided into four week-long sessions that should be completed within a two to three-year time period.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The program is divided into four week-long sessions that should be completed within a two to three-year time period. Two of these week-long sessions are primarily didactic and offered in conjunction with the WMS Winter and Summer Conferences.
Attendance at pre-conference workshops and selected conference lectures is required.
The definitive mountain medicine authorities serve as faculty at both the Winter Conference occurring each February, and at the Summer Conference each July (or the World Congress in select years).
The other two week-long sessions are aimed at acquisition of practical mountain rescue skills. The experts at Remote Rescue Training teach these dynamic technical courses. The Alpine session takes place on the glaciated slopes of Washington’s Mount Rainier and focuses on rescue techniques in typical alpine mountaineering terrain. The Rock session is located in Utah’s Wasatch Range with a focus on cliff and crag rescue. In both of these phenomenal classrooms, 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.
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. Doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, or medics enrolling in this program of study must have experience with backcountry hiking, beginner/intermediate-level rock climbing safety systems, snow travel, and cold weather camping.
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 three 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.
Jenn Dow, MD, FAWM, DiMM
Jamie Lieberman, MD, FAWM, DiMM
Scott McIntosh, MD, FAWM, MPH, DiMM
Terry O'Connor, MD, FACEP, DiMM
Emily Sagalyn, MD, FAWM, DiMM
Technical and Rescue Advisory Board:
Andrew Rich, WEMT-Advanced, AMGA certified guide