Each Fall, the Fellow plays a key role in an innovative wilderness EMS training program, the Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship, recipient of the 2018 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's "Innovation in Medical Education Award." Fellows may also choose to work with local ski patrol, fly as crew with our aeromedical transport service AirCare, provide race medical support at one of our region's numerous ultra-endurance events, or serve on a local mountain rescue team. These experiences make up the foundation of the fellow's development of clinical skills.
In addition to clinical skills, the program has a strong focus on developing the fellows' educational skills. Fellows will receive training in educational theory and practice with an emphasis on experiential models, lesson delivery, curriculum design, the outdoor classroom, and use of simulation. There are numerous teaching opportunities for the fellows, where they can hone their skills.
Some of the core experiences include:
- Course faculty for a wilderness medicine course within the Wake Forest School of Medicine
- Curriculum design and course faculty for the Wilderness Medical Society student and resident elective
- Presentations at a regional wilderness medicine conference
- Teaching wilderness first aid to Wake Forest University undergraduate outdoor program staff
- Organize and teach outdoor safety and first aid to the community at a large annual event
We have several ongoing international relationships that offer fellows the chance to fly with a Canadian retrieval medical service, train raft guides in Costa Rica and Ecuador, teach wilderness medicine in Peru, dive in Mexico, and trek in Nepal.
Fellows have the opportunity and flexibility to explore special interests in wilderness medicine with mentorship in many areas including:
- Wilderness EMS
- Expedition medicine
- Conference/CME expedition planning
- International wilderness medicine
- Dive medicine, in partnership with Divers Alert Network
The goal of the program is to prepare fellows for success in a career in wilderness medicine. The program is designed to provide all fellows with a solid foundation in the principles of wilderness medical care, while developing a focus in a particular area of expertise, of the fellow's choosing.
Fellows are required to attend didactic sessions, all of which are primarily hands-on and performed in the field. They will also be expected to help with the organization and planning of a regional student conference, assist as faculty on a wilderness medicine course for the School of Medicine, as well as teach at a national resident and student elective. Fellows will develop an individual plan to blend training and experiences to cover the wilderness medicine core content curriculum, develop skills in scholarship, and fellows must maintain their primary board skills during the fellowship with an expectation to work six clinical shifts each month. Clinical shifts will occur at Catawba Valley Medical Center. Moonlighting is available in our clinical community sites for fellows who desire additional clinical time.