Wilderness Medicine Track

The Saint Vincent Family Practice Residency has developed a special interest track in Wilderness Medicine (WM), available July 2010. This track is optional for any interested residents. The WM curriculum will be presented longitudinally over three years and include all the essential items needed to qualify for the resident’s application to the Academy of Wilderness Medicine for Fellowship status (FAWM). These items include a core curriculum lecture series, day and overnight “trips” that will qualify as “experience hours” for the fellowship, sponsorship of attendance at a national WM conference, and sponsorship for completion of a Wilderness Advanced Life Support (WALS) course. Also, research and publication of a WM topic will be supported.

We are located on the shores of Lake Erie, and the city of Erie is protected by a large bay enclosed by a beautiful 10-mile peninsula, which is also a state park. The combination of lake and bay, and lagoons within the peninsula itself, make Erie a boater’s paradise. It also presents numerous opportunities for water-related adventures and water (and ice!) rescue scenarios. The Allegheny National Forest lies a short distance to the east of Erie and will provide opportunities for camping, hiking and river adventures, and scenarios in a relatively remote location. A ski resort with an active ski patrol is located 35 minutes away in the famous Lake Erie “snow belt” and allows for training in mountain, winter and ski rescue.

The program director and other faculty of the residency are working on Fellowship status at this time, and other members of the hospital’s medical staff (in particular, the emergency department staff) will assist with the lecture series and leading trips. Plus, the residency sponsors a Sports Medicine Fellowship Program that will be invaluable in assisting with the orthopedic and injury treatment segments of the curriculum. Saint Vincent also sponsors a very active DMAT team, which has responded to the disasters in Haiti and New Orleans over the past few years, and they will share their expertise in disaster management with our residents.

Saint Vincent is very excited to begin this program. Please contact Robert Mikelonis, MD, at rmikelon@svhs.org or Bruce Gebhardt, MD, at bgebhardt@svhs.org for more information.