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Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Curriculum

Overview and Goals

The goal of our Wilderness Medicine Fellowship program is to give you the skills and knowledge to become leaders in the field of Wilderness Medicine.

There are four components to the fellowship program:

1. Knowledge Base

Learn and understand the wealth of knowledge and its application to both basic and advanced wilderness and remote medical problems. You will be given monthly reading assignments as well as writing multiple choice questions to add to our Wilderness Medicine Question Bank. Must attend one WMS Annual Meetings (July or Feb.)

2. Hands-On Skills

Learn the hard skills needed to set up rescues through different electives based on the fellows area of interest. These may include: High
/ Low Angle Rescue, Avalanche Training, Swift Water Rescue, Climbing / Rescue Knots, Scuba and Hyperbaric Medicine, Splints & Carries. You will be evaluated on your expertise during your apprentice instructorship as an Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) instructor.

3. Research

Complete a wilderness medicine research project and/or scholarly activity. Attend our faculty development and departmental research meetings. The fellow will also be required to participate in our quarterly journal club activities.

4. Lecture/Teaching

Develop lecturing and teaching skills by creating a Wilderness Medicine lecture portfolio and contributing to the program’s educational mission. This may include medical student lectures, resident lectures and small group work-shops, Baystate Wild Med Interest Group lectures and work-shops, participating in various Wilderness Medicine conferences with Wild Med Adventures, and becoming certified as a Wilderness First Aid & Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) Instructor. Complete requirements for FAWM - Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Required Activities

Requirements may include but aren't limited to:

  • Participate and help organize elective for medical students / AWLS conference
  • Search and Rescue - Baxter State Park, White Mountains, Green Mountains
  • Mt. Washington backcountry Ski Patrol, Vermont/Western Mass Ski Patrol
  • High Altitude experience on Mt. Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Himalayan Rescue Association
  • Dive/Hyperbaric Medicine
  • Swift Water Rescue
  • Attend at least one major national / international conference on Wilderness Medicine
  • Apply for FAWM, Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, WMS Society
  • At least 3 Core lectures to residents regarding wilderness medicine
  • Journal Review
  • Scholarly Project with focus on original research

Reading List

Download the reading assignments (pdf) for the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship

Curriculum

Core Content

Lecture Series

Lectures cover basic and advanced applications of wilderness medicine, given at a monthly conference every 2nd Tuesday. Topics include but are not limited to:

First Four Months

  • Special Carries, Splints, and Hemorrhage Control
  • Altitude Medicine
  • Envenomations
  • Dive Medicine

Second Four Months

  • Frostbite
  • Hypothermia & Non-Freezing Injuries
  • SAR and Navigation
  • Survival Skills and Knowledge

Third Four Months

  • Animals and Zoonoses
  • Wilderness Toxicology
  • Heat Related Illnesses
  • Special Topics in Wilderness Medicine

Journal Club

Sessions held every 4 months. These sessions will review articles within wilderness medicine and other current topics.

Teaching

As a fellow, you will provide both didactic and hands-on education to various groups within the emergency department and interest groups. These groups include but are not limited to:

Residents

You will give one or two core lectures per year in Wilderness Medicine.

Medical Students

Monthly lectures/workshops for rotating medical students should be focused on the monthly reading assignments.

Baystate Wild Med Interest Group

You will be responsible for setting up topics and speakers for monthly meetings of this interest group. Meetings are held on the third Thursday evening each month and the focus is on the discussion of different topics within Wilderness Medicine.

Intern Wilderness Day

Fellows help set up and teach the annual Intern Wilderness Day. Your responsibilities include lectures, hands-on workshops, and scenario training.

Physician Assistant Educational Day

You will organize and set up lecture schedules for PAs/NPs during their educational activities day.

Research

Wilderness Medicine fellows are encouraged to design a research project to be completed during the fellowship year.

You will carry out all steps, including study design, IRB submission, data acquisition and analysis, write-up, and abstract submission with the help of the fellowship director and Baystate’s Research Department.

The research project may be a poster presentation, case write-up, or protocols for future education.

Technical Skills

  • Swift Water Rescue Certification
  • AIARE I/II Avalanche Training
  • Technical Rope Technician: High/Low Angle
  • Scuba Certification
  • Wilderness First Aid Instructor
  • Advanced Wilderness Life Support Instructor
  • Glacier Travel: Rope Skills and Self Arrest Skills
  • Crevasse Rescue: 3:1 and 5:1 Pulley Systems

Milestones

First Four Months

  • Demonstrate proficiency in treatment of basic wilderness injuries
  • Become certified in AWLS and/or become AWLS instructor
  • Plan and initiate a year-long schedule for Interest Group Meetings
  • Sign-up and begin earning credits towards FAWM
  • Plan elective time and initiate ideas for scholarly project
  • Help run work-shop at Clinical Controversies and Consensus Meeting
  • Complete and submit quarterly multiple-choice questions

Second Four Months

  • Instruct one of our AWLS & Wilderness First Aid (WFA) courses
  • Schedule regular WFA courses to strengthen teaching skills
  • Teach at a national/international conference with guidance from Fellowship Director or Associate Director
  • Attend WMS annual conference
  • Meet with Director to discuss scholarly project and its progress
  • Schedule skills elective (ie. AIARE Level 1 Avalanche course or Level 2 if already completed)
  • Protected Elective Travel Time
  • Complete and submit quarterly multiple-choice questions

Third Four Months

  • Become Scuba certified and/or take Advanced Hyperbaric Course
  • Finish write-up and presentation of wilderness medicine project
  • Complete high altitude experience
  • Complete all credits for FAWM and submit
  • Protected Elective Travel Time
  • Complete special skills/experience training in topic of choice
  • Complete and submit final multiple-choice questions