Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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2008 Wilderness & Mountain Medicine Conference

It always gives me great pleasure to announce the continuing medical education (CME) meetings sponsored by the Wilderness Medical Society. The next great event is the 2008 Wilderness & Mountain Medicine Conference, which will be held at The Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah from February 23-27, 2008. Registration for the meeting is available at the WMS website.

Following the theme of last year's successful winter meeting, this event will emphasize issues related to winter environments and activities. There will be a pre-conference Level 1 Avalanche Course, taught by Exum Utah Mountain Adventure guides, Utah Avalanche Center, The Canyons Ski Patrol, and WMS faculty. This is both a didactic and hands-on program designed to allow the participants to learn about safe travel in avalanche terrain, avalanche transceiver use, and snowpack analysis. They will practice efficient rescues with avalanche beacons, and study avalanche victim physiology and medical treatment. This is a certificate program, so that after completion, the participants will be recognized by the American Avalanche Association. There will also be a post-conference Advanced Wilderness Life Support Certification Course.

One of the strongest features of the WMS programs is delivery of optional workshops, which for this meeting will include Introduction to Backcountry Touring, Avalanche Awareness on Snowshoes or Skis, Snowmobile Safety, Ski Patrol Trauma Evaluation, Improvised Splinting, Litters and Packaging, Snowshelters, and Snowshoeing.

The special evening presentations look spectacular. Attendees and guests will be entertained by Andrew McLean on "Extreme Skiing," Dr. Luanne Freer on "What's Your Everest? Combining Your Profession With Your Passion," Dr. Geoff Tabin on "Ophthalmology in Extreme Environment," and Scott McIntosh and Apa Sherpa on "The History and Culture of Sherpas on Mt. Everest: The SuperSherpas Expedition."

The body of the meeting is loaded with lectures related to avalanche, high altitude, cold weather medicine, survival, travel, trauma, and other important topics for medical professionals in wilderness medicine. It will be of great interest to all doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, rescuers, educators, and others who want to be better prepared to operate and assist others in wintry climates. In addition, the meeting is designed to allow ample time for skiing, hopefully in terrific powder, at The Canyons Resort and other fantastic ski areas in Park City. The first 100 registrants who book three nights or more at The Canyons Resort receive a complimentary one-day lift ticket.

Last year's meeting was awesome, and this one is shaping up to be even better. I intend to be there, and look forward to reporting back to you after a great gathering.

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.