Wilderness Medicine in the Alps

Internal Medicine 7984

Monday July 6th to Saturday July 18th, 2020                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

This program will offer certification in Advanced Wilderness Life support (AWLS) as well as certifications in tropical and travel medicine and certification in Hiking, Backpacking and Trekking medicine offered by the University Utah School of Medicine through the Advanced Certifications and Expertise (ACE) program. This program is designed to prepare medical students, residents and physicians who have no formal medical training, how to prevent and treat injuries and medical problems that might occur in the back country where no medical help is available.

DATES: For the 2019-20 academic year, this course will be a 2-week elective from Monday July 6th to Saturday July 18th, 2020, in Chamonix-Mt. Blanc France.

CREDIT:: This course will give you two weeks of credit and it will be pass or fail.

How to Enroll in the Course

University of Utah medical students: Sign up with the Learning Abroad office. Their deadline is February 15th, 2020. There is a $100 late fee if you sign up after that. Click on the button below to look at their site. You do not need to sign up with the Dean’s office. After the course is complete, they will simply give you the credit for the course using enrollment information from the Learning Abroad office.

Other medical students: Even though this is a VSAS course, you will sign up through the Learning Abroad office. You can do this anytime. Their deadline is February 15th, 2020. There is a $100 late fee if you sign up after that. You will not need to sign up using VSAS and the Dean’s office at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Click on the Learning Abroad link below. Once you have completed the course, a grade will be issued to your school.

Residents: If you are a resident please click the button below

Students hiking above the Mount. Blanc valley on the Tour du Mount Blanc trail.

Students hiking above the Mount. Blanc valley on the Tour du Mount Blanc trail.

Course Information

Location: Nestled in a lush valley in the French Alps, the idyllic mountain resort of Chamonix provides an unmatched base for outdoor adventure. The Mont Blanc massif rises impressively over the charming village inspiring the avid mountaineer and casual hiker alike. The downtown is also a fine place to stroll for shopping or dining as there are many fine restaurants just a short walk away. Discovered in 1741, this mountain village has become a destination for alpine recreation. The course is being hosted at the Mercure Chamonix Centre Hotel ideally located in the center of the town.

Housing: Housing will be provided for all medical students and residents as part of the fees for the course.

Director and Coordinator: Richard Ingebretsen

Phone: 801-554-2129

Email: richi47@comcast.net

Program Assistant: Megan Budge

Email: megan.budge@hsc.utah.edu

Timeline: Monday July 6th to Saturday July 20th, 2020 in Chamonix-Mt. Blanc

Educational and Instructional Modalities

  • 50% didactic

  • 40% hands on training

  • 10% small group

Required Textbook/Reading

Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) (Available on Amazon.com)

Certifications possible

AWLS certificate

Hiking, Backpacking and Trekking certification

Wilderness Travel and Tropical Disease Certification

Course Goals - As a result of completing Wilderness Medicine:

  • Save lives in the wilderness through hands-on practical instruction

  • Learn to prevent and treat the most common wilderness injuries and illnesses

  • Know the common practical medicines for use in the wilderness

  • Search for and rescue injured patients

  • Understand common methods for evacuation

  • Provide basic suggestions for preparedness

  • Demonstrate how to pack an effective first aid kit

  • Learn proper techniques for water disinfection

  • Learn the back-country assessment of an injured or sick patient

  • Learn the treatment of dislocations, sprains, strains and breaks

  • Learn how to treat medical problems and prevent infectious disease

  • Study and learn the treatment of bites and stings

  • Learn the treatment of skin related injuries including sunburn and poison ivy

  • Study the prevention and treatment of lightning related injuries

  • Learn to treat hot and cold related injuries including dehydration and frostbite

  • Understand the treatment of altitude related illnesses

  • Know the prevention and treatment of foot related problems

  • Know basic causes of infectious diseases in various parts of the world                                                                                             

Assessments There will be the AWLS certification exam given at the end of the course (40%)

Lectures (30%)

Hands on practical skills (30%)

Grading System Students will receive a final letter grade of PASS (P) or FAIL (F) for this course.

Student Feedback   Student feedback is important and helps identify opportunities to improve.

  • At the conclusion of this course, medical students are required to complete a summative evaluation. Evaluations are completed electronically and remain confidential.

  • Confidential On-The-Fly evaluations give students an opportunity to anonymously evaluate an instructor, learning activity or clinical experience in "real time." These evaluations are available on a secure UUSOM website (https://students.medicine.utah.edu) and are submitted to the Senior Director of Professionalism, Evaluation & Learning.

For the above as well as additional information please click on the 'Syllabus' button below for a pdf copy.

Payment/Fees The course will be administered by the University of Utah’s Learning Abroad program. Learning Abroad will set the fee that is charged to the student. The cost of the program includes the instruction costs, teaching materials, the AWLS text, mountain and hiking fees, transportation costs, some meals, and several dinners that students will attend. The faculty and the program director are not paid to teach in this program. Payment will be made to the Learning Abroad program and collected by the University of Utah. Registration will be through the University of Utah School of Medicine.

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