For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Wilderness Medicine Interest Group hosts third annual ‘UND Wild Med’ event at Turtle River State Park

From March 31 to April 2, 2023, 42 UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) medical students and 10 multi-disciplinary faculty participated in the SMHS Department of Emergency Medicine’s third annual “UND Wild Med” event at Turtle River State Park in North Dakota.

As part of the elective course “Wilderness Life Support for Medical Professionals,” this group of faculty and students took a weekend dive into altitude medicine, frostbite and hypothermia, water disinfection, avalanche preparedness, bites stings and envenomation, and lightening strikes. Hands on workshops for the course included splinting, wound care, and airway and bleeding management. The event, managed in part by the School’s Wilderness Medicine Interest Group, also included round table discussions with faculty about infectious disease, medical problems in the wilderness, and assembling an appropriate medical kit for travel and outdoor pursuits.

“The emphasis of this course is on developing a systematic approach to medical problems and injuries when outside the reach of traditional EMS services,” explained Department of Emergency Medicine chair Dr. Jon Solberg. “Most importantly, this includes addressing immediately life threatening problems and formulating a plan for evacuation or self-transport to a place where EMS is available.”

According to Solberg, by the end of the training event, 48 Wilderness Life Support certifications were awarded and faculty accrued a total of 120 combined continuing education credit hours.

The hands-on event started with three interested students and two faculty three years ago, grew to 20 students and five faculty in 2022, and more than doubled in 2023. Planning is already underway for next year’s wilderness medicine event.