• Published: October 22, 2010

Aerie’s Semester in Wilderness Medicine is a completely unique program in the wilderness medicine field, providing students with industry-leading certifications earned through unparalleled experiential learning opportunities. The rigorous academic program employs realistic scenarios, interactive lectures, as well as clinical observations in a variety of settings, including an urban American emergency room and advanced life support ambulance service, as well as in a developing-world rural health clinic to ensure a well-rounded, challenging and rewarding educational experience. The goal is not only to provide professional-level certifications, but also a broad education in wilderness skills to ensure that our students are capable of preventing and responding to emergencies in any environment.

Costa Rica highlights including staffing a health clinic based in the community of Mastatal, Costa Rica and making house visits for patients too ill or remote to walk into the village center. The clinic is an outstanding opportunity to practice patient care skills under the direct instruction of Aerie’s Medical Director, emergency room physician Dr. Greg Moore, and volunteer RNs, aided by language translators for non-Spanish speaking students. Semester students additionally spend several days on community health work addressing chronic respiratory disease related to the longstanding practice of cooking indoors over wood fires.

Returning to Montana, students augment their EMT skills with instruction in avalanche and swiftwater rescue, managing patients in winter environments, and formal search and rescue training, including helicopter rescue operations. Aerie’s strong community relationships allow us to offer human anatomy instruction at the University of Montana cadaver lab and vehicle extrication practice with local firefighters. You will not receive a more comprehensive education in wilderness and emergency medical skills anywhere.

“As the Water Rescue Team Leader for Missoula County Search and Rescue, WRI has been not only a great training resource but also a great partner on several of our swiftwater rescue and recoveries. Cody, Mike and WRI’s very capable and knowledgeable team of instructors teach from the perspective of having experienced the very missions that we are tasked with completing.”

R.J. Nelsen, Water Rescue Team Leader, Missoula County Search and Rescue
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