Wild things can and do happen in the wilderness. In a state known for its vast outdoor and often remote activities, from the mountains to lakes, rivers and oceans and everything in between, medical providers must be prepared to provide care wherever they are treating patients. Academic learning health systems provide specialized training like Wilderness Medicine, which focuses on the remote and improvised care of patients who experience illnesses or trauma while in a limited resource setting.

Wake Forest University School of Medicine offers a Wilderness Medicine Certificate Program, a longitudinal experience to first and fourth year medical students that provides an introduction to wilderness and austere medical care to teach improvisational treatment skills to students based on the limitations of their environments.
The program spans four years – beginning in the late fall of the first year and concluding in the spring of the fourth year, which offers multiple opportunities to complete the required curriculum topics.
Christopher Ashby Davis, MD "This program does everything from lecture-based activities where we’re teaching the fundamentals of high altitude or dive medicine and also hands-on experimental learning like swift water rescue training, high-angle rescue and medical care and wilderness survival,” - Christopher Davis, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Faculty Advisor of the Wilderness Medicine Certificate Program 
The Wilderness Medicine certificate program provides a realistic, engaging and productive community that aims to foster medical student resilience, problem solving and teamwork in adverse out-of-hospital environments where students have not been traditionally trained to practice medicine. This specific training offers a learning environment where many of the complexities of hospital and clinic-based education – and technological barriers are removed – bringing into focus the underlying pathology, physiology and human connection with patients.

Certificate programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine allow students to personalize their educational experience, develop special interests and demonstrate outstanding motivation to residency selection committees.

To support community education, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s emergency medicine faculty and resident physicians also provide annual hands-on wilderness first aid training and demonstrate how to handle some of the most common and serious outdoor emergencies. Attendees receive practical advice on building a first aid kit, and learn about lightning and drowning, how to treat sprains, strains and fractures, and ways to stop severe bleeding.