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Volume , Issue

August 2013

Fellow Students!

It was so great to see so many of you in July at the Annual Meeting and Summer Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. The energy was definitely flowing high and it was invigorating to see so much enthusiasm for wilderness medicine. I don't ever remember a larger showing of students and faculty for the student reception!

I'd like to take an opportunity to thank the students who put on our first fundraiser: a climb up a Colorado 14er. We raised money for our Student Fund that will be generously matched by the Society. I'd also like to thank the board of directors, each of whom has personally donated to our Student Fund. This 100 percent participation truly demonstrates their commitment to students interested in wilderness medicine. The Student Fund is to offset conference fees for students attending national Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) conferences. It also can be accessed by Student Interest Groups (SIGs) proposing initiatives to further wilderness medicine education.

The Society is also invigorating support for student research in wilderness medicine. Below is a note from Dr. Sanjey Gupta, chairman of the WMS Research Council: 

Part of the primary mission of the Research Council of the WMS is to support research in our field. Research expertise and wilderness medicine expertise begins with the interested medical students. We invite interested medical students to apply for one of two research grants: The Charles S. Houston Grant, which is exclusively for medical students, and a new grant, the Hackett-Auerbach Grant, which is available for a young investigator with an independent project.

The Research Council understands that research mentorship in wilderness research may be difficult to find. Students who may be in need of help with research proposal writing, grant writing, research methodology or editing can contact the chair the Research Council.  A member of the Council may be able to offer a virtual mentorship to the student in need.

On a separate note, I'd like to implore all students to try and attend the upcoming Environmental Change & Human Health Conference at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab near Mobile, Alabama. As young physicians, we are entering a profession that aims to keep people healthy. We also joined the WMS because we love the world’s remaining wilderness. The fact that wilderness is diminishing globally and environmental change has an immense impact on human health itself should be a call to action for us all. Come learn more about how human health suffers because of environmental changes so you can be a more informed advocate for both your patients and the wilderness. There will be more information on both volunteer and scholarship opportunities that will fully or partially waive conference registration fees. 

Please continue to contact me to become more involved in the WMS student sector. We are 320 strong in number with almost 50 SIGs. Let's continue to grow and build momentum. With student membership only $10 per year for students, encourage others in your school to join also! Contact me with questions, ideas and comments. I am here to represent your interests and help you build your ideas to further our sector. 


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