Wilderness Medicine

What would you do if something went wrong?

What is Wilderness Medicine?

Wilderness Medicine is the art and science of taking care of people in remote, austere, or extreme settings. Professionals in the field see patients in:

    • basecamp of Mt. Everest
    • the South Pole
    • submarines
    • remote deserts
    • secluded backcountry destinations

In the absence of technology, we focus on the patient interview and physical exam as the core of patient care. We don’t hold on to antiquated aspects of care, but consider how to use the best of 21st century care in limited environments, answering questions like:

    • how portable ultrasounds can diagnose fractures in the field
    • how new field dressings and tourniquet techniques can arrest life threatening hemorrhages
    • how to practice high level medical decision making when you’re on your own.
what is wilderness medicine

Wilderness Medicine at the University of Colorado

While we think wilderness medicine has a place in the training of competent and compassionate providers, it’s too much fun to just teach medical students! That’s why we’ve extended dozens of course offerings to different groups in our communities, including:

Pre-Med Classes

  • Get hands-on experience to bolster your medical school application
  • Receive a backstage pass to the admissions process and find out how to build a thriving career in healthcare
  • Learn aspects of specialized environmental medicine disciplines, such as Marine Medicine in the Channel Islands National Park, and Tropical Medicine in Costa Rica

Med School Students

  • Participate in hands-on sessions with current CU faculty
  • Expand your scope of knowledge to topics in Climate Medicine or Space Medicine
  • Take your clinical experience to the next level

Public Classes

  • Learn safe, backcountry winter travel at the iconic 10th Mountain Huts in the Colorado Rockies
  • Earn your Wilderness First Aid Certificate
  • Learn what to do if your dog has a medical emergency while hiking.

Medical Professional Classes

  • Augment your hospital or clinic based medical skills while considering care in remote destinations
  • Learn to be an asset to your community in a humanitarian disaster
  • Go to Mars (well… the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah) for a simulated mission as a flight surgeon
  • Earn CME credits!
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