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Austere Medicine/Wilderness Medicine

wilderness medicine

‘Austere Medicine’ is the practice of medicine in resource-constrained environments – whether it be the wilderness, developing countries or after disasters.

Medicine practiced in austere environments has become increasing popular and common. Each spring, we offer a two-week multidisciplinary elective to train medical students for practice in any low-resource environment. The program improves practical skills in all environments: the hospital, on the street, in the woods, in a developing country, and after a disaster.

Using a universal approach, through a combination of lectures and practical experiences in both the classroom and outdoors, students learn the critical skills needed for practicing in austere environments. Classroom instruction led by diverse and experienced faculty is reinforced by field time, simulation and hands on learning in a multitude of environments.

Universal Skills of Austere Medicine:

Medical Skills

  • A standard, ABCD-based approach to multiple patients: Trauma, Medical, Pediatric, OB/Gyn
  • Run any code, any time, any where
  • Emergency-based medical approach: Triage, efficiency of intervention, diagnosis of Consequence
  • Prioritizing a differential for maximum benefit
  • Creative problem solving
  • Improvising care for any setting
  • Basic injury stabilization and management
  • Important domestic and global infectious diseases

Public Health Skills

  • Practical epidemiology
  • Food and nutrition
  • Water and sanitation

Survival Skills

  • Cultural adaptation
  • Living with limited resources
  • Gear and equipment
  • How to be comfortable in any environment: water, food, shelter, safety
  • Environmental safety: Weather and war

No experience is required. The Johns Hopkins Austere Medicine elective will prepare you for any possible practice environment.

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