Med Students Gone Wild
4 NOLS/WMI instructors with a combined total of 950 field weeks + 20 med school students + 2 resident physicians = a group I definitely want to be within shouting distance of should the proverbial poop hit the fan.
This week, 20 medical school students headed out on WMI of NOLS’ 7th Medicine in the Wild expedition. Medicine in the Wild is the ultimate combination of wilderness medicine, leadership and medical education, all taught in a remote environment. Forged nearly seven years ago by Massachusetts General Hospital faculty member, Dr. Stuart Harris, this unique partnership between Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency (HAEMR) and WMI of NOLS is the only medical school elective that offers this breadth of curriculum on a true extended wilderness expedition.
So, why would a med school student want to spend 25 days in the wild? We caught up with a few 4th year med school students at NOLS Southwest as they prepared to depart on their Medicine in the Wild expedition into the Gilas.
Joan Medina, Ross University, Dominica: I am excited to be backpacking as opposed to spending time in a hospital environment. I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’m looking forward to learning more about nature and wilderness living, and hope to come out with increased confidence in the outdoors and apply the skills I learn to my own trips.
Lawrence LeBlond, St. George's University, Grenada: I wanted to become an EMS and Wilderness Medicine doctor because I enjoy the challenge of not knowing what is going to come through the door next, and solving the mystery of what is wrong and what treatment is appropriate. I’m hoping this experience will help me with my career in wilderness medicine and in my personal adventures.
Dillon Paul, Univeristy of Texas Southwestern: Wilderness medicine is part of my specialty in emergency medicine, and I’m excited to learn more about it. But I’m looking forward most to getting to know other group members in a way that you can only get to know people when you are on an expedition together, as well as learning from my experienced instructors.
Moira Rushton, Saba University, Dutch Antilles: I was drawn to this course by the practical, hands-on experience I would gain, which is in stark contrast to the academic setting of medical school. I hope to utilize this experience to plug back into medicine in a more practical, hands-on manner. But most of all, I’m looking forward to just getting out and having fun.