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Wilderness and Austere Medicine Fellowship

Max Ernst top outThe 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 at Dartmouth is designed to create world leaders who provide high-quality health care in resource limited settings. A Dartmouth 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 fellows in the fieldAs one of the only U.S. tertiary medical centers in a rural, mountainous region, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) 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 WAM 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. These experiences will provide them with the foundation for a career in wilderness medicine leadership positions.

The training will incorporate a strong prehospital experience with our HEMS and EMS faculty, hands on wilderness medical and rescue training, US training for austere settings, academic style didactics, research, teaching, and technical training in outdoor adventure activities.

The fellow will come away from this year an expert in wilderness medicine and rescue. Dartmouth WAM fellows will aquire a diverse array of skills and contacts that will have the potential to provide a lifetime of opportunities to practice medicine in wild, exciting, and often exotic locations.

In addition to this varied training, the fellow will have the option of pursuing specific sub-specialty areas in which he or she may be particularly interested. Possible areas of subspecialty include:

  • International medicine
  • Mountain medicine
  • Rural health
  • Search and rescue
  • Shipboard medicine
  • Telemedicine

The fellow will have protected time and funding to pursue field work in these areas of interest.

Benefits

  • Wilderness and Austere Medicine fellows in the fieldSalary $90,000
  • Employee benefits equal to that of a first-year attending physician at DHMC, including health care insurance, disability insurance, retirement, CME, and paid vacation
  • Funding to support obtaining the Diploma in Mountain Medicine and additional field research experience (valued at up to $15,000)
  • $3000 CME budget
  • Membership in WMS, SAEM, ACEP
  • Clinical responsibilities: 18 to 20 hours of Emergency Department shifts per week

Fellowship opportunities

  • One-year faculty appointment with Geisel School of Medicine
  • Membership in WMS, SAEM, and ACEP
  • Protected time for field training: two months of the year are designated for the fellow to pursue off-campus, in-the-field training, if desired.
  • Bi-weekly didactic sessions with formal curriculum
  • Scholarly project/Research project
  • Certifications obtained:
    • Advanced Wilderness Life Support
    • Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM)
    • WMS Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM)

Field opportunities and affiliations

  • 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)
  • Himalayan Rescue Association
  • Mt. Washington Snow Rangers - National Forest Service
  • 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 Whale Back 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.

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