The concept for the Wilderness Medicine Elective rotation came about with the creation of the Summit Bechtel Reserve. This site, located in the New River Gorge is the new permanent home for the National Boy Scout Jamboree and serves as a high adventure camp for the Boy Scouts of America. With scouts in the Gorge taking part in outdoor activities there, the need arose for medical professionals to attend to injuries that may occur. In addition, this area is ideal for teaching many skills essential to wilderness medicine in the Appalachian Mountain environment. Thus, the idea for the rotation was born!
Medical students and residents taking part in the rotation have a full two weeks of didactics and outdoor workshops, including participation in team activities in the WV EMS Competition, "The Battle in the Gorge."
The rotation is open to osteopathic and allopathic medical residents and 4th year medical students. It is co-sponsored by the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and WVSOM Rural Outreach. We have additional hospitality sponsorship from the WVSOM Alumni Association, WVSOM Foundation, West Virginia Primary Care Association, Practice Link, Appalachian Regional Healthcare, WVSOM Center for Rural and Community Health, and the WV Rural Health Association.