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.
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 & 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 & 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
- Fellows spend 2 weeks in Jackson, WY and the Tetons working with the SAR team and Medical Directors during the summer. The Medical Directors of Teton SAR are very active in the UofU fellowship, and one is Adjunct Faculty at the University of Utah. The fellow will do training and help teach members of Teton SAR. In the winter, Fellows spend time teaching members of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol.
- 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.
Past fellows have been medical volunteers for the HRA and performed research at these locations. Our fellows have volunteered at the Everest, Pheriche, and Manang medical posts.
Wilderness & Expedition Medical Specialists originated from a relationship with the Wilderness Medicine Institue of NOLS and the University of Utah Division of Emergency Medicine. Based within the Division of Emergency Medicine, WEMS provides medical direction and on-call emergency services to wilderness organizations in the US and throughout the world. The Fellow will be involved developing medical protocols, risk management, and fielding emergency calls for clients of EMS.
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 immediate past 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. Past fellows have undertaken projects such as: avalanche trauma and fatalities, ultrasound for diagnosis of mountain illnesses, education in wilderness medicine, epidemiology of mountain sickness, etc. The Fellow will participate in wilderness medicine research in an area of their interest.