Medical schools teach wilderness training

Medical education
Some medical schools are now teaching students wilderness training.

Medical schools are charged with teaching future doctors a wide range of skills, but here’s a new one: wilderness training.

It’s the latest trend, with schools saying they are responding to student interest in knowing how to take care of patients in emergencies in the wilderness or during disasters when they are without the medical equipment they have in the hospital, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine is one program that began offering a wilderness and disaster medicine course for fourth year students in 2013.

It helped save a life on Mount Whitney in California when recent graduate Kevin Gardner, M.D., spotted a hiker collapsed at the bottom of a cliff, according to a post last year on the school’s news blog.

Gardner, now an emergency department resident, found the 23-year-old hiker covered in snow with a severe concussion and hypothermia and provided medical attention.

The wilderness training is just one more subject covered in medical school, where the focus has expanded to everything from telemedicine to nutrition to business skills.