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Wilderness Medicine combines our passion for the outdoors with the practice of medicine. So what better way to continue our education than by taking classes that include all the fun aspects of a wilderness adventure? If that sounds like your particular cup of tea - read on. And if you are up for a particularly unique experience, check out the Mars Desert Research Station wilderness CME event (Note: this event is now fully booked), sponsored by the WMS. To say the least, 'Space, the Final Frontier' would be the ultimate austere environment!

Who can take adventure CMEs? Are they open to any health care profession/provider?

TM: Yes, the WMS Adventure CMEs are open to all physicians and any other health care professionals, at all levels of training. They are also open to participants' friends or family members, whether healthcare professionals or not. 

What /where are some of the upcoming offerings?

TM: The 2015 WMS Adventure CMEs kick off with Utah's Canyon Lands, held in the seldom visited Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, along with visits to iconic Bryce and Zion national parks. Day hikes, backpacking, and slot canyon explorations will alternate with classes held with stunning desert backdrops. Come fall we'll enjoy peak fall foliage colors while canoeing the Adirondacks. The 2015 WMS Adventure CMEs will wrap up with a return to the tropical jungle and Pacific beaches of Costa Rica, where in addition to classes and scenarios, we'll whitewater raft, snorkel, zip line, and sea kayak.

What is the advantage of an adventure CME vs. the more traditional approach?

TM: WMS Adventure CMEs offer authentic learning in some of the most spectacular and beautiful locations on Earth. In addition to gaining rock solid skills and state of the art knowledge, participants will get to backpack, canoe, rappel and zip line, sea kayak, canyon scramble, and a lot more. Another advantage of WMS CMEs is the outstanding faculty, chosen from the top WMS leaders from across the country.

Do adventure CME courses cater to certain skill sets (i.e. mountain medicine on a trekking trip, dive medicine on a sailing trip, etc)?

TM: Yes, certain CME courses emphasize topics and skills appropriate to the location and season. However, all of the courses provide a solid basic foundation in wilderness medicine appropriate to a wide variety of environments and activities. 

What are some things previous adventure CME participants have raved about afterwards?

TM: Watching a rattlesnake slowly swallow a kangaroo rat, twice as big in diameter as the snake. Learning about marine medicine the night before snorkeling amongst coral reefs, flying rays, and stunningly colorful tropical fish. Listening to a lecture around a crackling campfire, while the last cry of a loon echoes across an otherwise silent Adirondack Lake. Holding such a realistic scenario at the foot of a 50-foot waterfall, surrounded by thick tropical jungle, that most participants thought it was the real deal!

How long do the courses last?

TM: Most are conveniently scheduled to be a week long with the weekends on each side. A short but totally unforgettable week!

Keep an eye on our Conferences page for all the latest information on Adventure CMEs and other upcoming WMS events!

Posted on April 8, 2015

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