Wilderness Medicine Fellowship
The UVM Health Network Wilderness Medicine Fellowship strives to foster active participation in multiple domains of wilderness medicine. Each component of the fellowship intentionally builds critical skills, allowing fellows the strongest possible preparation for a career in wilderness medicine.
Our fellows get out there in austere environments and do the real work with tireless faculty support.
Expedition Medicine: The fellow will have the opportunity to work as the expedition physician for a group of glacier scientists on the icefield in Alaska with the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP). The fellow will participate in medical kit preparation, learn fundamentals in glacier travel and rescue skills, and provide medical care for the scientist team.
Wilderness Medicine Education
: The fellow will direct two WM electives for fourth-year medical students, and, with the support of the Fellowship Director, will learn curriculum design, syllabus planning, and direct teaching in wilderness environments. One course will take place in the fall with warm weather, and a second will be on snow in January. Each course is a 2 week outdoors intensive experience.
Wilderness EMS/SAR: The Fellow will work directly with the Vermont State SAR Director at Incident command for large SAR situations in Vermont and will engage in strategic policy meetings and discussions. The fellow will join Camel’s Hump Backcountry rescue team, and may be on-call 24-7 while they are in VT to respond to local rescues, participate in team SAR training, and teach medical topics. Stowe Mountain Rescue and Colchester Technical Rescue, as well as the Army Warfare School in Jericho, VT, all offer High angle and technical rescue trainings that the fellow may add for further skills development and training. The Fellow will have the option of completing a DiMM via the military at the Army Warfare School or starting the process with the WMS depending on their personal preference.
Wilderness Medicine Policy, Protocols and Quality Assurance: The fellow will join the working group of experts developing and amending the VT state EMS backcountry protocols and team training program, and will share responsibility for the quality assurance process for backcountry calls in which the protocols are applied.
Wilderness Medicine Mountain Operations: The fellow may work over the winter ski season at 3 Peaks Ski Clinic, staffing a small mountain clinic at the base of Sugarbush mountain with the option to join the ski patrol. In the Spring, the fellow may travel back to Alaska to work with the Denali Park Service at Basecamp for an immersive mountain ops experience during the climbing season, and an additional curriculum on glacial travel and rescue.
Rural EM: The fellow will staff critical access rural emergency departments which are part of the UVM Health Network in addition to working at the main academic medical center. They will have the opportunity to work for Maniilaq Health Services in Kotzebue, AK.
Longitudinal Experiences Punctuated by Expeditions, Teaching, and Remote Medical Work
Longitudinal Experiences: The fellows will work primarily at two of our UVM Network Hospitals. While they are not away on an expedition or teaching or doing remote work they will also be on call with Camel’s Hump Backcountry Rescue, with our State SAR Incident Command response for any large incidents, and have the opportunity to pursue flying with NorthCountry LifeFlight, a hoist mountain ops rescue team. They also will participate with UVMMC EMS and WM Faculty to review and QA all backcountry medical rescues that utilize the state BC Protocols.
University of Vermont Medical Center, Burlington VT (UVMMC): UVM Medical Center's ED has more than 65,000 patient visits a year. It has 45 beds, including 10 specifically designated for trauma and major resuscitation. It has a separate pediatric ED affiliated with the University of Vermont Children's Hospital that provides children and families with outstanding pediatric emergency care. Shifts at UVMMC are 10.5 hours. The fellow will average 4 shifts/month at UVMMC.
Elizabethtown Community Hospital, Elizabethtown, NY (ECH): Elizabethtown Community Hospital (ECH) is part of The University of Vermont Health Network, a six-hospital network serving patients and their families in northern New York and Vermont. ECH is the only federally designated critical access hospital (CAH) north of Albany and east of Lake Ontario. In that capacity, ECH serves as a rural acute care manager, performing lifesaving services and coordinating the transfer of patients in need of additional and immediate care to other hospitals with which it has agreements in place. It has a 25 bed inpatient unit. Shifts at ECH are 24 hours. Fellows will work an average of 2 shifts per month at ECH.
Moonlighting/ additional pay opportunities: Fellows will have the opportunity to take on additional shifts at UVMMC and ECH during time periods that there is no conflict with fellowship responsibilities. Travel and compensation for a stint in Kotzebue will also offer a salary boost for the fellow.
A Tailored Experience
The fellowship is designed to offer flexibility and support for a variety of interests that a fellow may have, including SCUBA in Lake Champlain, event medicine with Lake Placid IRONMAN and Vermont 100, wilderness medicine CME/WFR/WFA instruction, and more or less emphasis on global health or rural Emergency Medicine. Fellows benefit from our diverse range of faculty interests and experiences, with a structure of built-in flexibility to pursue individualized wilderness medicine career development.
Your Training Environment
During your year in Vermont, you’ll have the opportunity to both work and recreate with unmatched outdoor access from your front door. Burlington is tucked on the shores of beautiful Lake Champlain, with a plethora of hiking, biking, climbing, and skiing opportunities in the Green Mountains within 30 minutes from downtown. Day trips to the Adirondacks, the White Mountains, and beyond mean you’ll never exhaust new opportunities for exploration and adventure. We consider our peaks, lakes and mountainside huts the wilderness medicine fellowship classroom as much as your place to recharge and find inspiration. Lucky for all of us, the fellowship directors live outside of town in mountainside homes where they plan on serving up post-adventure feasts and rocking through core fellowship content in a relaxed and motivating setting.