Wilderness and Austere Medicine Fellowship

A solo kayaker paddles on a lake.
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center's rural setting provides training opportunities for Wilderness and Austere Medicine fellows.

The practice of wilderness and austere medicine is an exciting and increasingly popular field requiring a unique skill set built on knowledge and experience combined with strong leadership and teamwork skills. The Wilderness and Austere Medicine (WAM) Fellowship is designed to create world leaders who provide high-quality health care in resource-limited settings. A WAM fellow is truly prepared to treat anyone, anything, anytime, and, most importantly, anywhere.

What was once an esoteric fledgling area of practice consisting of a few providers has evolved into a sophisticated and multifaceted specialty generating new standards of care in a wide range of settings. Wilderness and austere medicine has now grown to encompass such areas as:

  • Dive medicine
  • Endurance racing medicine
  • Expedition medicine
  • High-altitude medicine
  • Search and rescue
  • Shipboard medicine
  • Medicine in resource-limited settings both domestically and in the developing world

About our program

Wilderness and Austere Medicine Fellowship mountain climbing

As one of the only tertiary medical centers in a rural, mountainous region, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center provides an ideal setting for wilderness and austere medical training. Our fellows are ideally situated to make a lasting impact on the public health and safety of patients in austere settings for our local community, the greater New England region, and the world.

The fellowship is a rigorous and enriching year-long experience designed to create outstanding clinical skills and develop the fellow’s leadership capacity. Our fellows will have the opportunity to provide medical direction to many of the wilderness oriented organizations in our region including the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Dartmouth Outing Club, the Dartmouth Skiway, and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response team which will provide them with the foundation for a career in wilderness medicine leadership positions.

The training will incorporate a strong prehospital experience with our Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) faculty, hands on wilderness medical and rescue training, a didactic model for core wilderness medicine knowledge, research, teaching, and technical training in outdoor adventure activities.

The fellow will come away from this year an expert in wilderness medicine with the skills to succeed in a variety of wilderness scenarios. The diverse array of skills attained and contacts made will provide the potential for a lifetime of opportunities to practice medicine in wild, exciting and often exotic locations.

In addition to our core training, the fellow will have the option of pursuing additional experiences in sub-specialty areas in which he or she may be particularly interested, such as mountain medicine, international medicine, dive medicine, search and rescue, and others.

Our fellowship maintains Wilderness Medical Society certification.


Fellows in the Wilderness and Austere Medicine Fellowship practice removing patients from the forest.
WAM fellows will provide medical direction to the numerous wilderness-oriented organizations in the area.
  • Competitive salary
  • Employee benefits equal to that of a first-year attending physician at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, including health care insurance, disability insurance, retirement, continuing medical education (CME), and paid vacation
  • $3,000 CME budget
  • Membership in WMS and 1 additional national organization
  • Clinical responsibilities: 18 to 20 hours of Emergency Department shifts per week

Fellowship opportunities

  • 1 year faculty appointment with Geisel School of Medicine
  • Membership in WMS and 1 additional national organization
  • Protected time for field training: 2 months of the year are designated for the fellow to pursue off-campus, in-the-field training if desired.
  • Bi-weekly didactic sessions with a formal curriculum
  • Scholarly project/research project
  • Certifications worked towards during fellowship:
    • Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM)
    • WMS Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM)

Field opportunities and affiliations

The Wilderness and Austere Medicine Fellowship has access to extensive facilities.
The Wilderness and Austere Medicine fellows work with numerous groups in the region and around the world.
  • Advanced Wilderness Life Support
  • Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Center for Rural Emergency Services and Trauma (CREST)
  • Denali Rescue
  • Dartmouth Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART)
  • Dartmouth Outing Club
  • Dartmouth Ski Patrol
  • DiMM (Diploma in Mountain Medicine)
  • Hanover Fire Department
  • Himalayan Rescue Association
  • Mountain Medical at Mount Snow
  • Mt. Washington Avalanche Center Snow Rangers
  • Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team

Our region

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is nestled in the hills of western New Hampshire. Hanover’s quaint classic New England downtown hosts Dartmouth College and is a cultural center for the region. The Connecticut River provides ample access to sailing, kayaking, and running trails along its banks. The Dartmouth Ski Way and Whaleback ski area are within a 20-minute drive from town center. Excellent mountain biking and running trails can be found throughout town and the outlying areas. The surrounding school districts are some of the best in the state. Hanover has been ranked among the top towns to live in America offering a cultural, active, and overall exceptional quality of life.

The Upper Valley is home to a wide range of outdoor activities.
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center sits on the edge of a national forest and is surrounded by waterways.