Wilderness Medicine Elective 4th Year Students
First or Second Year Studentsclick here
General Elective Information
The UMass Wilderness and Environmental Medicine elective is one of the oldest wilderness medicine electives in the country. It was started in the 1980s by UMass faculty William Houghton, MD. Until 2005 it was part of the Department of Family Medicine, but as of 2006, the elective takes a new home in the Department of Emergency Medicine. The UMass ED is proud to take this course with a rich and storied history into new grounds with continued improvements and growth.
Our elective is extremely unique because, to our knowledge, it remains the only wilderness medicine course in the country that is taught primarily by doctors and takes place 100% in the outdoors. The majority of wilderness medicine courses are taught mostly in a classroom with occasional ventures into the actual (omigosh) wilderness. This means that our course is far heavier on actual experience than most others.
A Strong Learning Experience in an Adventurous Environment
The elective is not simply a chance to go on a great trip; it involves a significant learning experience. Past participants have said that it helped them to prepare for their intern year more than any other fourth-year elective. We attribute this to the well-run mock scenarios that force you to make decisions and act based on your knowledge without being able to rely on the support of residents and attendings above you. Such a rigorous and thorough learning opportunity holds full credit as a fourth year elective at UMass. In an adventurous environment… Of course this is also a great chance to go play in the mountains, rivers, and deserts of Utah. Expect to have a lot of fun, even if you’ve never camped before.
One specific goal of this course is to enable all participants to succeed and excel regardless of experience or ability level. In the past participants have ranged from well traveled mountaineers with guiding experience to first time campers who have never worn a hiking pack before. Our intention is to find for all participants to enjoy their time with us. With a focus on wilderness medicine taught to the fourth year student level the medical aspect of the course should challenge all students.
For further information please email:
Sara Nelsen, MD OR Garreth DeBiegun MD Co-Directors, Wilderness Medicine Elective