Emergency Department

Wilderness Medicine Fellowship


The University of Utah offers a diverse and exciting fellowship in the fields of Wilderness Medicine. The program is one year in length with the option of extending to two years if the Fellow wishes to pursue an advanced degree such as the MPH or MSPH. The Fellow will be given a junior faculty position with the Division of Emergency Medicine and will supervise and instruct EM Residents. The University of Utah program site is uniquely situated for the discipline of wilderness medicine. 

Since Wilderness Medicine is tightly linked with emergency medical services (EMS) in Utah, we also offer extensive opportunities in EMS.  The fellow has the opportunity to train with both ground and air services.  Because the breadth of knowledge is extensive in both Wilderness Medicine and EMS, our fellowship does not offer a path to board certification in EMS.

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Wilderness Medicine

Physicians are increasingly being requested to practice medicine in remote and austere environments. The field of Wilderness Medicine encompasses disaster relief, travel, and expedition medicine and prepares physicians to practice in these unique environments. Utah offers an ideal location in which to learn and practice this specialty. High-altitude mountains, desert, and river environments surround the University of Utah.

Mountain Medicine

Seven major ski resorts are located within a 45 minute drive from the University, with two additional resorts within a one and one half hour drive. University faculty instructs educational programs, runs mountain-based medical clinics, and participates in ski patrol for many mountain resorts. In addition, AirMed provides on-mountain support and air evacuation for ski accidents at winter resorts.

The Wasatch Mountains are a summer and winter destination for backcountry users. Search/Rescue and avalanche medicine opportunities are abundant. The Fellow will be involved in all the above aspects of Mountain Medicine.


Rescue Training and Education

The fellow will be trained in specific environments to become proficient as a rescuer, not just an academic in Wilderness Medicine.

Time and funding is given to complete the DiMM during their fellowship.

  • Swift Water Rescue Training

This training is operated by our partners, Remote Rescue Training at the University of Utah.

Fellows are welcome and encouraged to undertake other rescue trainings as well, through Remote Rescue Training or other venues. 


Specific Teaching and Educational Opportunities

The fellow will become a reviewer for research papers submitted to WEM

Opportunities for teaching and education are abundant through WMS conferences and other activities.

The fellow will have the opportunity to work directly with WMI/NOLS on training, practical sessions, and research

The fellow will take and become an active instructor for AWLS

  • Center of Wilderness Medicine: provide medical direction to wilderness organizations in the US and throughout the world, develop medical protocols and risk management for clients of the CWM
  • Search and Rescue – Wasatch Backcountry Rescue, Summit County, SLC
  • Teton Search and Rescue
  • Telluride High Altitude Research Center
  • Denali Search and Rescue
  • Himalayan Rescue Association 
  • The Medical Directors of Teton SAR are very active in the UofU fellowship, and the fellow will do training and help teach members of Teton SAR.
  • The Medical Director of Denali National Park is adjunct faculty at the University of Utah Emergency Medicine.  Opportunities include elective time in Alaska and participating in Denali SAR.


Center for Wilderness Medicine

The Center for Wilderness Medicine originated from a relationship with the National Outdoor Leadership School and the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Based within the Division of Emergency Medicine, the Center provides medical direction to wilderness organizations in the US and throughout the world. The Fellow will be involved in developing medical protocols and risk management for clients of the Center.

Wilderness Medicine Research

The Division of Emergency Medicine is actively involved in wilderness medicine research. Opportunities in avalanche medicine, wilderness medicine epidemiology, sports injuries, and other mountain and wilderness topics are available. The Fellowship Director is the Editor-In-Chief of the Wilderness & Environmental Medicine Journal. The Division is actively involved with research activities with NOLS/WMI and other wilderness medicine organizations. The Fellow will participate in wilderness medicine research in an area of their interest.

Emergency Medical Services

Salt Lake City is the major urban region in Utah with semi-rural and rural areas surrounding the city. This interface creates an exceptional opportunity to study all types of EMS practice. The medical directors of AirMed, Salt Lake City Fire Department, Summit County EMS, West Salt Lake Valley EMS, and University of Utah Paramedic School are all University of Utah faculty. The Fellow will have the option of completing the NAEMSP Medical Director course during the year. Frequent opportunities to teach and interact with EMS personnel are provided.


The University of Utah operates the AirMed flight service which transports patients within Utah as well as the five surrounding states. The flight service utilizes four helicopters and two fixed-wing airplanes and performs over 2000 flights per year. AirMed serves the largest referral area of any academic center in the United States. As a result, the flight program transports a large number of medically complex patients. AirMed was awarded the Program of the Year by the Association of Air Medical Services in 2006 for its excellence and dedication to the air medical industry. The Fellow will have the opportunity to fly as a team member and serve in a role as an assistant medical director. Educational opportunities include medical education of flight crew and oversight of AirMed curriculum.

Salt Lake City Fire Department

The SLC Fire Department employs 115 Paramedics and 204 EMT Basics. There are 14 fire stations. The Department is a two-tiered EMS response system and responds to approximately 20,000 calls per year.

Summit County EMS

Summit County includes Park City, South and North Summit Counties and serves as the rural model of the fellowship program. The Fellow will participate in the role of assistant medical director and will be involved in medical control as well as provider education.

West Salt Lake Valley EMS

West Valley City is a suburban area adjacent to Salt Lake City. West Valley City EMS is a division of the West Valley City Fire Department. EMS providers include 50 paramedics and 31 EMT-Intermediates. West Valley City EMS provides mass gathering medical support for the E-Center and USANA concert and venue stadiums.

Structure of Fellowship

The program is one year in length with the option of extending to two years if the Fellow wishes to pursue an advanced degree such as the MPH or MSPH. Participants will be given a junior faculty position with the Division of Emergency Medicine and work an average of 8 shifts per month. The Fellow will experience Wilderness Medicine and EMS through a variety of different mediums and will be guided by the Fellowship Directors, but also be self-directed and tailored to career interests.

By the end of the Fellowship, we would like you to have completed a number of academic activities:

  • Practical WM and EMS experience – both at the University and nationally/internationally; tailored to Fellow career interest
  • Research project in Wilderness Medicine and/or EMS
  • Wilderness & Environmental Medicine Journal Reviews
  • Complete the WMS Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine
  • EMS teaching sessions – approx one/month (Summit Co. and/or University of Utah Paramedic School)
  • AirMed teaching sessions
  • Wilderness Medicine teaching sessions
  • WMS conference teaching

How to Apply

To apply, send the following to Scott.McIntosh@hsc.utah.edu:

  1. Letter of Intent/Personal Statement
  2. CV
  3. Three Letters of Recommendation

We begin to accept applications on July 1 for the following year. Top applicants will be invited to interview with us in the Fall.