Resident Wilderness Medicine Curriculum Consensus Guidelines: Summarization and Recommendations for Resident Rotations in Wilderness Medicine

Wilderness Environ Med. 2023 Jun;34(2):193-200. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2023.02.001. Epub 2023 Apr 6.


Introduction: Wilderness medicine education is one of the fastest growing facets of both graduate and undergraduate medical education. Currently, there are curriculum guidelines for both student electives and fellowships in wilderness medicine. However, there are no guidelines for resident elective curricula. The student/resident education committee of the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) convened a task force to develop curriculum guidelines for these electives.

Methods: A survey of previously described core wilderness medicine topics was sent to a cohort of educators involved in wilderness medicine resident electives. They were asked to rank topics on the basis of their importance of being included on a Likert scale. Multivariate analysis of medians was used to distinguish among topics to determine which topics were voted most and least necessary for a curriculum.

Results: Of the database members contacted, 35 responded to the survey. The described current state of residency electives was that 16 institutions offered their own elective (46%). For subject preferences, multivariate analysis of scoring distribution medians demonstrated a significantly higher pattern of responses (P<0.01) for subjects with a median of 3 (must include) than for the lowest-scoring subjects that had a median of 1 (can include). Every topic was rated "must" by at least 1 respondent. Topics were further subdivided into an educational framework reflecting a common approach to education of wilderness medicine fellows focusing on education, leadership, knowledge, and skills.

Conclusions: There was a wide variety in the ranking of topics; however, there were multiple topics on which a consensus for inclusion was reached. These topics are organized and presented here as a suggested curriculum by the student/resident education committee of the WMS.

Keywords: medical education; resident medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wilderness Medicine* / education