Wilderness & International Medicine
One of the reasons that residents and physicians are drawn to Maine is the beautiful surrounding environment and vast wilderness areas. Many of the physicians, nurses and pre-hospital staff that work at MMC are involved in wilderness medicine teaching and practice. Residents at MMC can participate in wilderness medicine in a variety of ways.
Wilderness and environmental medicine is a key component of emergency medicine training and, throughout the year, core didactic topics in wilderness and environmental medicine are woven into the curriculum. In addition, once a year there is a wilderness medicine skills day for residents where the entire conference block is dedicated to learning the hands-on practical skills of wilderness medicine and search and rescue. These sessions are held outside and are one of the favorite conference days of the year.
Another highlight of the MMC wilderness medicine program is the opportunity to get involved with the Wilderness Medicine Elective for senior medical students that is held in Utah each May. This elective teaches wilderness medicine and expedition travel in three distinct environments -- alpine snow, river and desert. Senior residents can spend their spring elective working as instructors for this course in which they will teach wilderness medicine topics, master backcountry skills, and mentor medical students.
There are numerous other opportunities for interested residents in wilderness and environmental medicine. We have relationships with a number rangers and search and rescue organizations in Maine and New Hampshire, including Baxter State Park, home of Mount Katahdin. Some of our faculties serve as ski patrol at local ski areas and a few teach for national wilderness medicine and outdoor leadership schools. Finally, there are a number of opportunities to do wilderness medicine writing and research.
Visit the official site for New England Wilderness Medicine Consortium and the MMC Division of Wilderness Medicine. Medical students can apply for our Spring Wilderness elective through our student application.
Many of the residents that come to MMC have previous experience working internationally. Others are interested in going abroad for the first time during residency. With two months of elective time, residents can strengthen their emergency medicine training and cultural competency by doing work abroad. A number of the faculty at MMC and at the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) do international work in underserved areas, areas of humanitarian and natural crises, and regions that are looking to develop emergency medical systems. Ongoing projects affiliated with MMC and local groups include work in Uganda, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Brazil and Hungary. In recent years residents have also traveled to South Africa, Malawi, Ethiopia, Nepal, Costa Rica, Fiji and Ecuador. Through TUSM there are opportunities to work in many other countries in Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean. In addition, residents are encouraged to work with local, national and international organizations to design their own international electives and will be mentored through the process by experienced MMC faculty.
An ongoing opportunity for residents and faculty at MMC is the opportunity to work with Global Emergency Care Collaborative (GECC) to improve access to emergency care in the developing world. GECC’s flagship project is an emergency department in rural southwestern Uganda where they have trained Ugandan nurses to be Emergency Care Practitioners (ECPs) and run the ED. MMC residents and attendings volunteer in Uganda as clinical instructors and work alongside the ECPs in the Nyakibale ED, supporting both patient care as well as ongoing training for additional classes of nurses. There are also opportunities for research and collaboration with GECC in health delivery systems, disease and injury prevention, medical education, and the epidemiology of disease in this region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Every year the interest in international medicine and global public health grows at MMC, as do the opportunities for residents and attendings.