The Wilderness Medicine Interest Group (WMIG) is a student group at the University of Washington. Our goal is to help foster the wilderness medicine community at the School of Medicine at UW. Please explore our website for more details on what we do.

Wilderness Rescue Scenarios

Wilderness Rescue Scenarios
Presented by Dr. Gretchen Lentz
Hosted by WMIG

When: May 9th, 6:00pm
Snacks will be served!

Dr. Lentz is not only an avid outdoorswoman, but combines that passion with her medical knowledge by working with Seattle Mountain Rescue. She will be presenting several actual search and rescue scenarios for us to deconstruct and work through. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the search and rescue process, how to think about emergency situations in the wilderness, and gain some insight into patient care when resources are scarce and stakes are high.

Join us by signing up here!

Wilderness Medicine Conference

WMIG co-president Anna Rudolphi recently attended a wilderness medicine conference, here is her write-up. Thanks Anna!

Practicing the three man carry evacuation technique

I had the privilege of attending this year’s National Conference on Wilderness Medicine in Big Sky, Montana on a student scholarship.  It was such a valuable experience that I would like to share my thoughts and encourage other students to consider attending a WM conference in the future.  The topics covered were diverse and varied from medicine in outer space, to the depths of the ocean, to the top of Mount Everest.  The presentations were given by the foremost experts in their fields, who had the research and the experience to back up the lectures they gave.  As far as networking goes, this was a dream come true.  I had the incredible opportunity to bounce ideas off of some of the biggest names in wilderness medicine.

Two “pearls” that I took away from this conference that I think are worth sharing include:

Using "verbal anesthesia" and fancy footwork to relocate a shoulder

1-     When dealing with patients in the wilderness, one of the best tools you can utilize is “verbal anesthesia.”  Dr. Donner suggests that the demeanor of the rescuer/provider in the wilderness setting sets the stage for the success of the treatment strategy.  I thought this was very sage, and a cool way of emphasizing trailside manner J

2-     To quote David Breshears, worldclass filmmaker, humanitarian, and mountaineer, more important than the summit of the mountain is the people who live at the base of it.  I think this is an important way of looking at our role as medical providers on the journeys we will all be a part of.

Improvising femur traction using ski poles and webbing with Dr. Donner

On the last day, we were able to take part in our choice of four workshops.  I chose airway management, women in the wilderness, practical splinting and evacuation techniques, and avalanche rescue and safety.  I have to say that I had prior experience with all of these subjects going into each workshop, and came out with new information for each.  If you have questions about any of these topics, I would love to pass on some of the tips and techniques that I picked up.

The conference offers student scholarships in exchange for selling T-shirts and helping with registration for about 1 hour each day of the conference.  The scholarship included breakfast daily, free attendance, and the ability to participate in select workshops. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to meet with students from other schools and discuss their involvement with WM.  This is an ~$400 value, and was relatively easy to apply for.  This conference provides practitioners with CMEs, and RNs, NPs, EMTs, Paramedics, PAs, and physicians in all disciplines were in attendance.  Did I mention that the conference is arranged in such a way that it starts early, ends late, and leaves the bulk of skiable hours for, well… skiing!  They offer another conference in the summer time.  If you are interested, check out the website at: http://www.wilderness-medicine.com/  There are opportunities through other organizations to participate in wilderness medicine conferences as well.  I would be glad to share my experiences with this particular one to anyone interested.  Take away message:  Totally valuable experience—I would do this again in a heartbeat (and probably will).

-Anna Rudolphi, MS2, WMIG Co-president

Skiing in white out conditions on Lone Peak during free time

Physician Panel Recap

Students attend wilderness physician panelMore than 20 students attended a great panel discussion of four Seattle physicians involved in wilderness medicine on Wednesday night. We’d like to thank Dr. Logalbo, Dr. Luks, Dr. Townes and Dr. Tuggy for taking the time out of their evening to come to speak to us at UW. All of them had some interesting stories to tell about their experiences with wilderness medicine. Some of the specific topics covered by the panel included:

  • The challenges of being the medical director for adventure races
  • Working in the Himalaya and on Denali
  • Experiences as a ski patrol doctor at Mount Baker
  • Ways to get involved in both the research and clinical sides of wilderness med
  • Comparisons between wilderness med and global health
  • How to balance career and specialty choices with an interest in wilderness med

Special thanks to Sage for putting in the effort to get this event organized, and for bringing tasty snacks for everybody to enjoy!

Wilderness Medicine Panel

Wednesday, February 22nd 5:30-7p
Trail snacks will be served

There are many different ways you can utilize wilderness medical skills in your career – search and rescue, ski patrol doctor, international work, dive medicine and many more. Join us for a chance to learn about opportunities in wilderness medicine and how you can integrate those skills into your medical career.

You’ll be able to hear from physicians, in a variety of specialties, who are currently active in wilderness medicine.  The panel members include:

  • ·      Dr. David Townes, Emergency medicine
  • ·      Dr. Andrew Luks, Pulmonary and critical care
  • ·      Dr. Michael Tuggy, Family medicine
  • ·      Dr. Matthew Logalbo, Family medicine

We hope to see you there! Please RSVP!

- The WMIG team

Mailbox Hike

WMIG on Mailbox

WMIG on Mailbox (Doug, Carolyn, Katrina, and Liam). *Note the classic NW summit view!

On Saturday, a few of us went on an impromptu hike up Mailbox Peak east of North Bend, WA. It’s a fun training hike that’s a good alternative to its more crowded neighbor Mount Si. The trail gains four thousand feet over about 2.5 miles. At times it feels like it is heading straight up the mountain, so it’s a pretty good workout!

Conditions for this hike were cloudy and misty. We caught a few views here and there but the summit was socked in. We hit snow a few hundred feet below the top which made for an exciting finish, especially for folks that had not hiked much on snow before! We’re happy to report that no wilderness medicine skills were used on this trip, although we did break out the headlamps for the last bit of trail!

Interested in joining other WMIG members for impromptu trips like this? Come look us up on our Facebook page and post an idea for a trip!

Ski Along Programs

WMIG Ski Along Program – at Crystal or Stevens!

Anna and Emily

MS2 Anna discusses on-hill medical care with Dr. Johnston

When: Weekend days, 8:00am – 4:00pm
Cost: Free, but must have a lift ticket or season pass to use lifts

Ever wanted to know what it is like to be a first responder on the scene of an injured skier, operate within a pre-hospital medical system, or just want to broaden your exposure to orthopedic injuries? Come spend a weekend day with professional ski patrollers, paramedics, and volunteer physicians at Crystal Mountain or Steven’s Pass!

Individual experiences will vary based on student interest (first responder time vs. base clinic time, etc.), mountain/snow conditions, and availability of personnel on the hill. If you want to ski you will need to buy a lift pass, and unfortunately at this time we cannot offer you a discount. As such, breaks during the day for skiing are encouraged! If you don’t ski, don’t worry: you are welcome to spend the day at the base clinic.

Please contact Liam O’Sullivan at liam@uw.edu if you’d like to head to Crystal, or Nick Vaudreuil at vaudren@uw.edu if you’d like to head to Steven’s.

Bouldering Clinic

Sat, Feb 25, 2012, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
IMA – Crags

Always wanted to learn how to rock climb, but never had the opportunity? Or are you just looking to take your bouldering skills up a notch? This is a great opportunity to get personalized instruction at the IMA Crags. Class will take place prior to the regular operating hours, so we’ll have the gym to ourselves. If you just can’t get enough, feel free to stay after the formal instruction. Sign up quickly as there are only 12 spots. To sign up: http://www.wejoinin.com/sheets/znrcy

Cost: $10, includes 2hr lesson, shoe and chalk rental

Email Sage (coesmith@uw.edu) with questions. Payments can either be in cash or check (make checks out to WMIG).

Avalanche Awareness

Presented by Friends of the Northwest Weather & Avalanche Center
Hosted by UWSOM Wilderness Medicine Interest Group

What:  An informative presentation about avalanches and the factors impacting safe travel in avalanche terrain
Where:  Health Sciences Building, Room T-639
When:  Friday, February 17th at 6pm
Who: UW Students & Faculty

This will be the first of two events focusing on avalanche awareness and patient care.  In order to be an outstanding wilderness medicine provider, it is useful to have a basic knowledge of the situations leading up to injury or illness in wilderness settings.  Please join us to explore avalanche mechanics and understand how to minimize risk in avalanche terrain.  In an optional future event, we will translate this knowledge into evidence based hard skills and patient management in the field.

We hope you can make it!  Please RSVP at WeJoinin.

Winter Update!

We’d like to update you on the plans for the winter quarter and beyond. The club membership elected seven officers at the end of the fall quarter, and we have since had several meetings. Each of us is busy taking care of the details of establishing a new club and looking for cool opportunities for the club. In the coming months we are excited to offer:

  • Lectures from UW faculty on wilderness medicine topics
  • Hands-on sessions to practice skills
  • Field trips to the mountains and elsewhere
  • A ski patrol “ride-along” program at a local ski resort

We are really excited that the club is taking off. Please stay tuned for more details.