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The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Wilderness Medical Elective


The Wilderness Medical Society will run the next wilderness medicine elective from February 5 to March 2, 2007, in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. Three of my students from last year, Neeta Abraham, Yvonne Chow, and Joey Brunkhorst, are pictured at left. I didn't do that to them. They were preparing for scenarios that simulate locating and rescuing injured adventurers.

I'll be at the elective again in February to teach three units of underwater physiology, scuba science, and diving medicine, some fun seminars in orthopedics, and a workshop on stretches that harm and how to change them to stretches that help. It's good for future doctors to know which of the traditional stretches and exercises are adding to injuries or are not effective, and what to do instead.

The wilderness elective is designed for 3rd and 4th year medical students, residents, and allied health profession students from accredited schools. The elective includes a 48 hour Wilderness First Responder Course and ends with a 4-day overnight field trek through the mountains, with the itinerary planned by the campers. In between are plenty of lectures, hands-on practice, and practice in outdoor rescue scenarios from first aid to advanced life support. It is directed by Dr. Tom Kessler, a wilderness medical society member, global doctor, volunteer physician for Native American reservations, exceptionally knowledgeable practitioner, and kind teacher with an on-target sense of humor.

The Wilderness Medical Society has extended the application deadline, which normally closes in August. Space is available for only 24 students. Check the WMS elective site for information, or e-mail Dr. Tom Kessler at tkphs@yahoo.com.

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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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