Great things have been accomplished since Paul Auerbach, Ken Kizer and Ed Geehr conceived the idea for the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) in 1983. Early leaders identified areas of interest that have become pillars of the curriculum for wilderness medicine education, including CME programs, medical school rotations, and outdoor programs. They have formed the foundation for advancement and recognition in academic wilderness medicine fellowships around the globe. The commitment of the WMS to embrace academic excellence and to deliver innovative services to its members shines through with the Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). In addition to the Society’s regular, annual summer and fall conferences, it also sponsors topic-specific medical conferences (Desert, Dive, Global Health, Disaster, Sports, etc.) and the quadrennial World Congress in Wilderness Medicine. Additionally, the Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM), the Diploma in Dive and Marine Medicine and the Diploma in Disaster Medicine are offered.
The written word has been a cornerstone of the WMS since its early days. Today’s publications include the Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, in which is published the widely acclaimed set of Practice Guidelines for Emergency Care, the online Wilderness Medicine Magazine as well as the Educational Presentation Series, Community Education Lecture Series and Teaching Simulations. Development is underway on new, comprehensive online learning modules.
The WMS is embracing the future through efforts to diversify membership across disciplinary and cultural boundaries and, through expanded cooperative partnerships with many organizations and companies, solidify its position at the center of the growing worldwide community of wilderness medicine.