Monday July 8 to Friday July 19, 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

This program will offer certification in Advanced Wilderness Life support (AWLS) as well as certifications in Tropical and Travel Medicine and certification in Backpacking Medicine through the Advanced Certification and Expertise (ACE) program. This program is designed to prepare medical students and physicians who have no formal medical training, how to prevent and treat injuries and medical problems that might occur in the back country where no medical help is available.

DATES: For the 2019-20 academic year, this course will be a 2-week elective from Monday July 8th to Friday July 19th, 2019, in Chamonix-Mt. Blanc France.


University of Utah medical students: Sign up with the Learning Abroad office. Their deadline is February 15th, 2019. There is a $100 late fee if you sign up after that. Click on the button below to look at their site. You do not need to sign up with the Dean’s office. After the course is complete, they will simply give you the credit for the course using enrollment information from the Learning Abroad office.

Other medical students: Even though this is a VSAS course, you will sign up through the Learning Abroad office. You can do this anytime. Their deadline is February 15th, 2019. There is a $100 late fee if you sign up after that. You will not need to sign up through VSAS. Click on the Learning Abroad link below.


Location: Nestled in a lush valley in the French Alps, the idyllic mountain resort of Chamonix provides an unmatched base for outdoor adventure. The Mont Blanc massif rises impressively over the charming village inspiring the avid mountaineer and casual hiker alike. The downtown is also a fine place to stroll for shopping or dining as there are many fine restaurants just a short walk away. Discovered in 1741, this mountain village has become a destination for alpine recreation. The course is being hosted at the Mercure Chamonix Centre Hotel ideally located in the center of the town.

Housing: Housing will be provided for all medical students as part of the fees for the course.

Director and Coordinator: Richard Ingebretsen

Phone: 801-554-2129

Email: richi47@comcast.net

 Timeline Monday July 8th to Friday July 19 th in Chamonix-Mt. Blanc

Educational and Instructional Modalities

  • 50% didactic

  • 40% hands on training

  • 10% small group


You can certify in both AWLS and Hiking, Backpacking and Trekking Mediine

Required Textbook/Reading

Advanced Wilderness Life Support (AWLS) (Available on Amazon.com)

For a copy of the above material as well as further information such as assessment and grading please click on the 'Syllabus' button below.      

Course Goals - As a result of completing Wilderness Medicine:

  • Save lives in the wilderness through hands-on practical instruction

  • Learn to prevent and treat the most common wilderness injuries and illnesses

  • Know the common practical medicines for use in the wilderness

  • Search for and rescue injured patients

  • Understand common methods for evacuation

  • Provide basic suggestions for preparedness

  • Demonstrate how to pack an effective first aid kit

  • Learn proper techniques for water disinfection

  • Learn the back-country assessment of an injured or sick patient

  • Learn the treatment of dislocations, sprains, strains and breaks

  • Learn how to treat medical problems and prevent infectious disease

  • Study and learn the treatment of bites and stings

  • Learn the treatment of skin related injuries including sunburn and poison ivy

  • Study the prevention and treatment of lightning related injuries

  • Learn to treat hot and cold related injuries including dehydration and frostbite

  • Understand the treatment of altitude related illnesses

  • Study avalanche prevention and rescue

  • Understand the management of head and neck trauma

  • Know the proper techniques for the transport of an injured patient

  • Know basic causes of infectious diseases in various parts of the world                                                                                             

Assessments There will be the AWLS certification exam given at the end of the course (40%)

Lectures (30%)

Hands on practical skills (30%)

Grading System Students will receive a final letter grade of PASS (P) or FAIL (F) for this course.

Student Feedback   Student feedback is important and helps identify opportunities to improve.

  • At the conclusion of this course, medical students are required to complete a summative evaluation. Evaluations are completed electronically and remain confidential.

  • Confidential On-The-Fly evaluations give students an opportunity to anonymously evaluate an instructor, learning activity or clinical experience in "real time." These evaluations are available on a secure UUSOM website (https://students.medicine.utah.edu) and are submitted to the Senior Director of Professionalism, Evaluation & Learning.

For the above as well as additional information please click on the 'Syllabus' button below for a pdf copy.

Payment/Fees The course will be administered by the University of Utah’s Learning Abroad program. An additional fee will be charged to the student. The cost of the program includes the instruction costs, teaching materials, the AWLS text, mountain and hiking fees, transportation costs, some meals, and several dinners that students will attend. The faculty and the program director are not paid to teach in this program. Payment will be made to the Learning Abroad program and collected by the University of Utah. Registration will be through the University of Utah School of Medicine.

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