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Curriculum of the Wilderness Medicine Fellowship


safetysea.JPGThe UC San Diego Wilderness Medicine Fellowship is a one year clinical and educational experience. The goals of the fellowship are to provide physicians with knowledge, formal training, and clinical skills in Wilderness Medicine. Each fellow will be expected to further their knowledge by performing original research, educating other physicians and medical students, and serving as a medical resource for outdoor organizations. Fellows will attend and present at local, national, and international conferences, gaining experience to become educators in Wilderness Medicine. There is a core curriculum; however,  the fellow’s specific areas of interest will dictate their research and clinical activities. Wilderness Medicine is a multidisciplinary specialty incorporating disaster medicine, toxicology, hyperbaric medicine, ultrasound; all of which are established fellowships in the Department of Emergency Medicine at UC San Diego. The Wilderness Medicine fellow will work closely with experts in each of these fields. The goals of our fellowship program include:

  • Provide a one year clinical and wilderness experience to prepare fellowship graduates to lead or provide expert wilderness medical care anywhere on the globe.
  • Pursue intellectually rigorous research to advance the state knowledge in wilderness medicine and publish these results.
  • Provide opportunities for extended field experience in the practice of wilderness medicine.
  • Provide experience teaching wilderness medicine to students, residents, and staff - both in the classroom, simulation center, and in austere settings.
  • Provide opportunities for the fellow to learn/ develop advanced outdoor technical skills (whether ice/rock/alpine climbing, whitewater, diving, etc.).
  • Provide access to medical experiences in the developing world (remembering that wilderness medicine is defined by the practice of medicine in resource-limited environments - not exclusively by distance from human population centers).
  • Encourage exploration of environmental issues as they impact human health and well-being.
  • Provide an ongoing, clinical emergency medicine experience in a busy urban ED.

Fellowship Objectives and Opportunities

  • Core didactics and regularly scheduled meetings with the fellowship director. 
  • Attend weekly lectures and discussions on selected seminar topics in fields such as emerging infectious disease, wilderness medicine, environmental health, aerospace medicine, diving medicine, and disaster medicine. 
  • Work with experts in the field of wilderness and environmental medicine at UC San Diego Health to integrate didactic training with hands-on experience in the clinical setting in specialty areas such as hyperbaric medicine, toxicology, telemedicine, and sonography. 
  • Membership in the Wilderness Medical Society with concurrent advancement toward becoming a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. 
  • Active membership and participation in ACEP's Wilderness Medicine Section. 
  • Attendance at national wilderness medicine conferences. 
  • Research or other scholarly activity. 

Clinical opportunities in wilderness medicine based on the specific area of interest of the fellow with agreement and supervision of the fellowship director.

Core Curriculum

Hyperbaric and Marine Medicine  

  • Hyperbaric & Diving Medicine 
  • Hazards of the Surf Zone
  • Marine Injuries avalanche-mitigation-1.jpg
  • Marine Toxidromes & Envenomations 
  • Safety & Survival at Sea 
  • Submersion Injuries 
  • Motorized & Non-motorized Water Sport Injuries

Mountaineering Medicine

  • High Altitude Medicine & Physiology 
  • Cold & Heat Illness 
  • Avalanche Safety 
  • Lightning Injuries 
  • Burns, Fire, Radiation

Wilderness Trauma  

  • Injury Prevention Assessment & Stabilization 
  • Orthopedics/bandaging/splinting 
  • Foot care & Wound care 
  • Wilderness improvisation 

Rescue and Survival  

  • Search and Rescue Techniques 
  • Aerospace Medicine 
  • Meteorology & Weather prediction 
  • sdmrt.jpgTracking and Land Navigation 
  • Survival Skills

Special Considerations 

  • Wilderness Preparation & Equipment 
  • Expedition Medical Kits 
  • Special Populations 
  • Chronic Disease and Wilderness Activities 
  • Expedition Medicine 

Animal and Plant Hazards  

  • Arthropod and Zoonotic Infections 
  • Envenomations & Antivenins 
  • Bites & Animal attacks 
  • Medicinal and Poisonous Plants 

Wilderness Ultrasound  

  • Trauma Evaluation, eFAST 
  • Obstetrical Ultrasound 
  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasound 

Travel Medicine, Food and Water  

sim torrey pines-1.jpg
  • Field Water Disinfection 
  • Travel & Infectious disease 
  • Infectious Diarrhea 
  • Sanitation, Public health issues 
  • Travel Methods & Packing efficiently 

Disaster and Tactical Medicine  

  • Incident Command Disaster Mitigation 
  • Firearm Safety
  • Tactical Medicine & Urban Scene Safety 
  • Global Humanitarian/Disaster relief 

Research and Faculty Development  

  • Research Design & Implementation 
  • Lecture Presentations 
  • Negotiation, Diplomacy, Conflict resolution 
  • Mentorship