The following is a compilation of wilderness medicine resources as they relate to medical professional trainees and align with our mission to provide WM education and promote wilderness safety in our region and beyond. We provide these links as an aid to our community, however PNWM is not endorsing these organizations or its activates, nor do we claim to have verified the data on these web sites. If you have a link or edits you would like to submit, please contact us for review.

Scroll through or click on the following links.

Student Electives

Several 2 and 4 week electives are held every year for senior level students. The majority are offered through medical universities and residencies and take visiting student applications through VSAS.

For more details, and for additional electives not in VSAS, see the listing below. Much of the following information can also be found on the EMRA Wilderness Electives for Medical Students page and the SAEM Medical Student Rotations in Wilderness Medicine page.

Breckenridge Wilderness & Environmental Medicine Elective

  • In association between the WMS and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.

  • 4 weeks in the Spring.

Carilion Clinic Wilderness Medicine Electives

  • 2 week WM elective in the Fall.

  • 4 week WM elective in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

Cornell Wilderness and Environmental Medicine Electives

  • 4 week EM/WM elective in the Fall.

  • 2 week WM elective in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

Duke University Diving & Hyperbaric Medicine Elective

  • 4 week dive medicine elective through the dept. of anesthesiology.

  • Apply through VSAS.

Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine Wilderness Medicine Elective

  • 2 week WM elective in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

Icahn Wilderness Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital

  • 2 week WM elective in the Fall.

  • Apply through VSAS.

Maine Medical Center (Tufts University) Wilderness Medicine Elective

  • 4 weeks in the Spring.

NOLS & HAEMR Medicine in the Wild Elective

  • 4 week WM elective in the Spring.

  • Open to MS3 and MS4 students.

U of Arizona Tucson Wilderness Medicine & Advanced Wilderness Life Support

  • 2 week WM elective in the Spring.

  • Includes the opportunity for AWLS certification.

  • Apply through VSAS.

UC San Diego Sub-internship in Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine

  • 4 week dive medicine elective.

  • Apply through VSAS.

UC San Diego Medicine in the Wild: A Fourth-Year Student Clerkship in Emergency and Wilderness Medicine

  • 4 week WM elective.

  • Apply through VSAS.

UC San Francisco Fresno Wilderness Medicine Elective

  • 2 week WM elective in the Fall.

  • Applications open Jan 1st, deadline mid March.

U of Colorado Climate Medicine

  • 2 week climate medicine elective in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

U of Michigan Wilderness Medicine MS4 Elective

  • 2 week WM elective in the Fall.

  • Apply through VSAS.

U of Nevada Reno Wilderness Medicine Elective

  • 2 weeks in the Spring.

U of New Mexico Wilderness & Austere Medicine Elective

  • 4 weeks in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

U of South Carolina Wilderness Medicine Elective

  • 4 week WM elective in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

  • Also open to residents.

U of Utah Wilderness Medicine in the Alps

  • 2 weeks in the Summer.

  • Held in Chamonix-Mt. Blanc, France.

  • Students apply through VSAS.

WMS Student/Resident Elective (East)

  • In association with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.

  • 4 weeks in late Winter.

  • Open to residents, MS3 and MS4 students, and senior PA and RN students.

Zucker SOM Hofstra/Northwell Wilderness Emergency Medicine Elective

  • 2 weeks in the Fall.

  • 2 weeks in the Spring.

  • Apply through VSAS.

Student Events

Northwest Wilderness Medicine Conference

  • Pacific Northwest in January.

Southeastern Student Wilderness Medicine Conference

  • Southeast US in March.

See the More Opportunities list for events that are not specifically designed for students but available to trainees and providers.

Resident Electives

Some student electives listed previously are also available to residents. Also refer to EMRA’s Wilderness Committee, ACEP WM Opportunities for Residents, and the SAEM Resident and Fellow Opportunities in WM pages for more information.

McGill University Resident Physician Elective in WM

  • 4 weeks in the Spring.

  • Canada’s only resident WM elective.

  • Applications open a year in advance.

WMS Advanced Resident Elective

  • 2 weeks in late Winter.

Fellowships

WM fellowships in the United States are on the rise. They are typically open to graduates of EM residencies, however some are available to FM resident graduates as well. Refer to the EMRA WM Fellowship Directory for a detailed map of current WM fellowships in the US, as well as the ACEP WM Fellowship and SAEM WM Fellowship pages.

For more background on WM fellowships, refer to Core Content for Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Training of Emergency Medicine Graduates published by Lipman et al in 2014:

Abstract: Wilderness medicine is the practice of resource‐limited medicine under austere conditions. In 2003, the first wilderness medicine fellowship was established, and as of March 2013, a total of 12 wilderness medicine fellowships exist. In 2009 the American College of Emergency Physicians Wilderness Medicine Section created a Fellowship Subcommittee and Taskforce to bring together fellowship directors, associate directors, and other interested stakeholders to research and develop a standardized curriculum and core content for emergency medicine (EM)‐based wilderness medicine fellowships. This paper describes the process and results of what became a 4‐year project to articulate a standardized curriculum for wilderness medicine fellowships. The final product specifies the minimum core content that should be covered during a 1‐year wilderness medicine fellowship. It also describes the structure, length, site, and program requirements for a wilderness medicine fellowship.

Grants & Scholarships

Matt Curley M.D. Wilderness Medicine Scholarship Fund

The scholarship will be awarded to one EM Resident annually, who, like Matt, has a particular interest in wilderness medicine. The fund is administered by the St. Luke’s Roosevelt Emergency Medicine Residency in NYC and The Wilderness Medical Society. Scholarship recipients will receive $1000 for travel expenses and accommodations to attend the national Annual Wilderness Medical Society Conference. Registration fee for the conference will be waived for the scholarship recipient. The recipient will have the option to deliver a 30 minute lecture at the national conference on a wilderness medicine topic. This experience will be pivotal for residents hoping to begin a career in wilderness and/or academic EM, and will provide access to mentorship by nationally recognized leaders and wilderness medicine faculty.

WMS Research Grants

In order to foster and promote research on health and medicine in extreme or austere environments and to advance the field of wilderness medicine, the WMS offers the following grants:

  • Charles S. Houston Grant for medical students. $5000

  • Research-in-Training Grant for residents and fellows of an accredited graduate medical education program or doctoral candidates working towards a PhD. $5000

  • Herbert N. Hultgren Grant for a member of the WMS at any stage in their career in support of research that advances the field of wilderness medicine, which may be interpreted broadly. $10,000

  • Peter Hackett-Paul Auerbach Young Investigator Grant for a young investigator (physician or non-physician, who is either a resident, fellow, or less than 5 years out of training) in support of research that improves wilderness medicine practice. $10,000

NOLS Financial Aid & Scholarships

Scholarships: Every year, NOLS awards more than $1.7 million in need-based scholarships. Our scholarships take into account unusual expenses, and special or changing circumstances. Scholarships can range from a small portion to larger amounts of the course cost. 

Financial Aid: NOLS understands that many students utilize these options to make college or university a possibility for them, and we want you to have access to those funds for your NOLS course. NOLS cannot accept federal aid or loans directly, as we are not a Title IV, degree-granting institution, but we do offer the possibility of a consortium agreement to make the transfer of this aid possible.

VA Benefits: NOLS is not a traditional school, and your benefits work a bit differently here than they do at other universities or colleges. Benefits can be used for NOLS according to the Title 38 United States Code.

Professional Societies

American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Wilderness Medicine Section

Founded in 1968 by a small group of physicians who shared a commitment to improving the quality of emergency care, ACEP set out to educate and train physicians in emergency medicine to provide quality emergency care in the nation’s hospitals. Today, ACEP represents more than 38,000 emergency physicians, emergency medicine residents and medical students. ACEP promotes the highest quality of emergency care and is the leading advocate for emergency physicians and their patients, and the public.

If you love the outdoors or have special expertise in wilderness medicine, join this section for the opportunity to share your knowledge with others. You’ll develop tools to identify the unique challenges of patient care in remote settings and find resources for continuing medical education and training programs. With your expertise, your membership can provide resources to other ACEP members.

Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine (CSMM)

A long time ago (circa 1969), before the creation of a BC Provincial Emergency Program and the North Shore Rescue team, when a climber (almost exclusively climbers in those days) was in trouble, folks like George Zilahi and Bruce Brink would join a very loosely knit group of civic minded climbers to go out and do what they could. The goal of the CSMM is to be the framework to deliver regular ICAR/UIAA Diploma Courses, future advanced rescue module, to include a research arm, and to collaborate with operational Mountain SAR assets such as Ski Patrols, PEP Teams, Heli and Cat Skiing, and the aviation community in a research, advisory and advocacy role.

Emergency Medicine Residents Association (EMRA) Wilderness Committee

The Emergency Medicine Residents' Association is the voice of emergency medicine physicians-in-training and the future of our specialty. EMRA is the largest and oldest independent resident organization in the world. EMRA was founded in 1974 and today has a membership over 16,000 residents, medical students, and alumni.

Interested in dealing with high altitude and dive medicine, splinting a leg with sticks and parachute cord, or medicine in remote and wild places? The wilderness medicine committee has resources to get you involved! Our goal is to help you explore educational opportunities like wilderness adventure races to hone your skills and to foster a community to support lifelong learning in wilderness medicine.

International Commission on Alpine Rescue (ICAR)

ICAR (Internationale Kommission für Alpine Rettung IKAR / Commission Internationale pour le Sauvetage Alpin CISA) was founded in 1948, and currently has 103 member organizations in 37 countries worldwide. ICAR provides a platform for mountain rescue and related organizations to disseminate knowledge with the prime goal of improving mountain rescue services and their safety. ICAR is an independent, worldwide organization that respects its members and promotes international cooperation.

International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM)

The ISMM was founded in 1985 by the medical commission of the Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme. These doctors, involved in mountain rescue in the Swiss and French Alps, took the initiative of exchanging experiences and joining together in the teaching and research of all aspects of mountain medicine. The society's goals are to bring together physicians, scientists and allied professionals interested in mountain medicine, to encourage research on all aspects of mountains, mountain peoples and mountaineers, and to spread scientific and practical information about mountain medicine around the world.

Mountain Rescue Association (MRA)

The MRA was established in 1959 at Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood, Oregon making us the oldest Search and Rescue Association in the United States. MRA is an organization of teams dedicated to saving lives through rescue and mountain safety education. We do so by improving the quality, availability, & safety of mountain search & rescue. With over 90 government authorized units, MRA has grown to become the critical mountain search & rescue resource in North America.

National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP)

NAEMSP is the organization of physicians and other professionals providing leadership and fostering excellence in EMS. As part of its ongoing commitment to improving out-of-hospital emergency medical care, the NAEMSP promotes meetings, publications and products that connect, serve and educate its members. The Association also serves as resource and advocate of EMS-related decisions in partnership with organizations and federal agencies.

National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR)

NASAR has been in existence since 1972. Originally started to represent the State Search and Rescue Coordinators, NASAR grew to represent all SAR volunteers and continues to support the State Search And Rescue Coordinators Committee (SSARCC). NASAR uses standards developed by ASTM, NFPA, DHS, FEMA, and other respected bodies to build education courseware, publications, and certifications. Government agencies and non-profit Search And Rescue Teams use NASAR’s material and certifications to build credentialing programs for their organizations and produce highly skilled searchers that work within their communities and are available for mutual aid regionally and nationally.

Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Wilderness Medicine Interest Group

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) is dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by improving research and education. To achieve this mission, SAEM influences health policy through forums, publications, interorganizational collaboration, policy development, and consultation services for physicians, teachers, researchers, and students.

The mission of the Wilderness Medicine Interest Group is to focus on the practice of resource-limited medicine in austere environments. The skills of wilderness medicine are applicable to any setting defined by the use of limited equipment and extreme environmental conditions: from remote wilderness settings, to developing world outposts, to urban disaster settings.

Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Wilderness Medicine Professionals

Wilderness Medicine is the practice of medicine in austere resource limited environments. Given the increasing popularity in this subspecialty, several institutions and organizations have flourished in the field. Wilderness Medicine Professionals aims to support partnerships and collaboration between these groups to help streamline and disseminate academic wilderness medicine educational and research opportunities.

Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS)

The UHMS was formed in 1967. It is an international nonprofit association serving some 2,000 physicians, scientists, associates and nurses from more than 50 countries in the fields of hyperbaric and dive medicine. The UHMS is an important source of scientific and medical information pertaining to hyperbaric medicine involving hyperbaric oxygen therapy and diving through its bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, symposia, workshops, books and other publications. It organizes an annual scientific meeting at different U.S. and international locations to permit review of the latest in research and treatment and to promote the highest standards of practice.

Wilderness Medical Society (WMS)

Great things have been accomplished since Paul Auerbach, Ken Kizer and Ed Geehr conceived the idea for the Wilderness Medical Society in 1983.  Early leaders identified areas of interest that have become pillars of the curriculum for wilderness medicine education, including CME programs, medical school rotations, and outdoor programs. They have formed the foundation for advancement and recognition in academic wilderness medicine fellowships around the globe. The commitment of the WMS to embrace academic excellence and to deliver innovative services to its members shines through with the Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). In addition to the Society’s regular, annual summer and fall conferences, it also sponsors topic-specific medical conferences (Desert, Dive, Global Health, Disaster, Sports, etc.) and the quadrennial World Congress in Wilderness Medicine. Additionally, the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM), the Diploma in Dive and Marine Medicine and the Diploma in Disaster Medicine are offered.

Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) Student Sector

The commitment of the Student Sector of the Wilderness Medical Society is simple: to serve the students. From providing the infrastructure and support to start a Student Interest Group at your medical school, to connecting you with a plethora of educational opportunities to learn Wilderness Medicine, to introducing you to a mentor for a research project, our student sector is here to help you connect your passion with your future profession. If you are a student interested in Wilderness Medicine, we encourage you to join us! Please do not hesitate to contact the Student Representative to find out more on how the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) can help develop your interest.

More Opportunities

Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS)

The AWLS certification course has grown significantly since its development at the University of Utah School of Medicine in 1997. The increasing demand for the certification resulted in the creation of a new organization, AdventureMed, to promote the responsible growth of the AWLS program. The mission of AWLS is to create competence in medical professionals, enabling them to prevent and effectively manage emergency medical situations outside traditional medical facilities. The AWLS certification is appropriate for any licensed medical professional, or medical professional in training, who has an interest in wilderness activities. Our graduates include outdoor enthusiasts, expedition participants, US Army and other military medical personnel, wilderness medicine academicians and Wilderness Medical Society Fellowship candidates.

American Alpine Club (AAC)

Whether you’re new to climbing or have been at it for decades, the AAC is your single best climbing education resource. We have been at the leading edge of climbing education since we began publishing Accidents in North American Climbing in 1948. And today our education team is working with the UIAA and institutions around the country to establish national curriculum and safety standards to improve climbing knowledge and reduce accidents.

Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine

The Center is a regional non-profit organization dedicated to promoting quality medical care in limited resource ("wilderness") environments. The Center serves as a regional resource to southern Appalachian states -- North and South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, and Alabama. The Center promotes collaboration in wilderness medicine and addresses unmet needs in our region. We serve as a nexus for regional wilderness medicine-oriented institutions, agencies, and individuals. 

Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine

Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine is an organization created in 2012 to fulfill a  need for high quality affordable wilderness medicine education in the Southeast. The founders felt after hosting the 5th Annual Student Conference that there remained a need for more interactive and hands-on courses with scenario-based learning in the  region. Blue Ridge Adventure Medicine is an effort to fill that void in the Southeast. We offer a variety of general and activity specific wilderness medicine courses which can be tailored to multiple ability levels from the healthcare provider in the wilderness to the outdoor enthusiast with no prior medical knowledge. In 2014, we changed from an LLC to a nonprofit group as this was more inline with our mission. 

Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP)

Dr. Douglas Firth was a young Toronto osteopath. In the late 1930s, wherever there was skiing, he mobilized people to provide rescue service to injured skiers. In 1940, he was asked by the Canadian Amateur Ski Association to organize and train a first aid and rescue group to patrol the ski hills – thus forming the Canadian Ski Patrol (CSP). Today, the CSP is comprised of more than 5,000 volunteers from coast to coast to coast in Canada in 59 zones and nine divisions.

Hawk Ventures

The Hawk Ventures mission is exemplified by our motto: “ex chao, ordo”,  meaning “from chaos, order”. We produce highly customized products and services, with meticulous and personal attention to your needs as a client. Our specialty is addressing needs in the most austere, challenging, and chaotic environments. Our specific programs include Wilderness EMS and wilderness medicine courses. The Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship™, the Carolina Wilderness EMS Summit™, and the Carolina Wilderness EMS Seminar™ are our flagship wilderness EMS programming targeted toward EMS Fellows and practitioners, but are completely open to and quite suitable for students as well.

International Mountain Medicine Center (IMMC)

The IMMC at the University of New Mexico is one of the premier programs for mountain emergency medicine and rescue in the world. Our faculty consists of mountain rescue paramedics, emergency medicine physicians, and mountain guides. We focus our teachings on internationally accepted and evidence based concepts, and strive to contribute to the general knowledge base of our field through research, education, and our own mountain rescue practice in New Mexico. Our internationally recognized courses equip health professionals with the knowledge and skills to adapt their medical practices to the mountains. Students leave ready to become technical and medical leaders for rescue teams around the globe.

Institute for Altitude Medicine (IFAM)

IFAM was founded in June, 2007 in conjunction with the Telluride Medical Center and the University of Colorado to provide clinical care and consultation, conduct research and develop educational programs to optimize health as well treat medical issues affecting people who either live at, or travel to, high altitude. IFAM's goal is to make life at altitude, be it for work or play, a better place for all. IFAM is currently providing clinical and educational services and conducting research in the Telluride region. IFAM's plan is to expand its services and research to other mountain communities. 

MedWAR Challenge

MedWAR is short for Medical Wilderness Adventure Race. It is a unique event that combines wilderness medical challenges with the growing sport of adventure racing. The race was also developed as a tool for teaching and testing the knowledge, skills, and techniques of wilderness medicine, and for promoting teamwork and collegiality among competitors. MedWAR is sanctioned by North American Educational Adventure Racing (NAEAR). The mission of MedWAR is to provide medical students, residents, health care professionals, and wilderness enthusiasts with a practical, interactive, and enjoyable curriculum for learning, applying, and evaluating emergency medical knowledge, skills, and techniques in a wilderness setting.

National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)

NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader. We believe that anyone can be a leader; it’s our role to provide the environment and training to help you discover your full potential. We do that in classrooms close to home and in remote wilderness areas around the world. We’re an organization with heart, expertise, and wildness, and these qualities help us support powerful, authentic experiences.

National Ski Patrol (NSP)

The National Ski Patrol (NSP), founded in 1938, has followed its creed of "Service and Safety" since the establishment of skiing as a popular sport in the United States. As snow sports and guest services at areas have evolved over the years, so has the NSP, from a service organization to a modern-day professional education association. Today, the organization is composed of more than 30,000 patrollers serving over 650 patrols. These individuals include patrollers who are paid or who volunteer their time throughout the United States and at certain military areas in Europe. The organization’s members are engaged in the promotion of safety programs throughout the outdoor recreation community. NSP members work on behalf of local ski and snowboard areas to improve the overall snow sports experience for outdoor recreationists.

Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC)

NWAC is a collaborative effort between the US Forest Service Northwest Avalanche Center and the non-profit Northwest Avalanche Center, registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of NWAC is to save lives and reduce the impacts of avalanches on recreation, industry and transportation in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains of Washington and northern Oregon through mountain weather and avalanche forecasting, data collection and education.

Remote Medical International (RMI)

Founded in 2003, RMI has been providing medical equipment and experience-based remote and wilderness training since day one. Our expert medical training services are often coupled with our ancillary comprehensive medical support services to enhance the health and safety of our clients that travel and operate in challenging locations worldwide. With headquarters in Seattle, Washington, we offer our range of courses around the globe to best prepare our students to assess and treat ill and injured patients when definitive care is hours or days away. We educate students in an urban setting as well, as a background in remote medicine can help should an emergency or disaster restrict access to medical facilities.

Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA)

Founded in 1932, the Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) is the international federation for climbing and mountaineering. The UIAA represents the interests of over three million climbers and mountaineers from member federations on all six continents. The UIAA has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1995. The UIAA promotes the growth and protection of mountaineering and climbing worldwide by preserving their spirit and traditions, advancing safe and ethical mountain practices, promoting responsible access, culture and environmental protection, and supporting youth participation and the Olympic movement.

Wild Med Adventures

Wild Med Adventures, LLC offers continuing medical education throughout the world. We enjoy personally connecting with our clients, sharing stories, and learning from each of our experiences and mistakes while maintaining a highly professional and educational environment. I hope you enjoy our site and please feel free to submit your own CME ideas, so that we can work with you to make your dream a reality. Residents - We can help arrange electives for interested 3rd year residents to attend and/or help teach at our conferences. Please contact us with dates or possibilities and we will help arrange didactics, education, preparation, and approval from your home institution. For our Adventure Trips there will likely be a fee to attend but at reduced cost. Fellows - We are always looking for enthusiastic, fun, bright, & hard-working fellows to help teach on our Adventure CME trips. If you are interested in attending and want to gain experience climbing, traveling, and preparing a course - please let us know.

Wilderness and Travel Medicine

Wilderness and Travel Medicine, LLC specializes in the highest quality expedition, travel, and wilderness medicine CME conferences for medical professionals. Our courses prepare participants to become more adept at rendering emergency medical care in wilderness environments, which can be remote and austere. These courses are also excellent preparation for medical problems associated with foreign travel, medical missions, and disasters. Our Wilderness and Expedition Medicine CME conferences have earned a reputation of excellence for over 25 years largely on the strength of our world-class faculty. Another unique strength is the emphasis on more practical topics and workshops. We are also the largest provider of CME conferences in adventure travel locations worldwide.

Wilderness Connect

Wilderness.net is a public wilderness information website formed in 1996 through a collaborative partnership between the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute--the federal government's wilderness training and research arms, respectively--and the College of Forestry and Conservation's Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana with the mission to connect federal employees, scientists, educators, and the public with their wilderness heritage

Wilderness Medical Associates International (WMAI)

WMAI is dedicated to the development of remote and practical medicine around the globe. We are medical and rescue professionals, researchers, experienced educators, and advocates for healthcare in wilderness contexts. Our curriculum, overseen and continually revised by a committee of medical practitioners and academics, has been taught on all seven continents.

World Extreme Medicine

World Extreme Medicine, formerly ‘Expedition and Wilderness Medicine’, is the world’s leading provider of expedition, wilderness and remote medicine training courses for medical professionals as well as an International Diploma in Expedition Medicine and a gold-standard MSc program in Extreme Medicine. All of our courses are open to doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals providing medical cover in remote or austere environments. Students and non-medics are encouraged to discuss any training needs directly with the office team.