FCM661MM.01 (Reno)
Wilderness Medicine

Office of Medical Education

Please contact the Department of Family and Community Medicine to verify elective availability.


  • The intent of the course is to prepare physicians to deal with medical problems occurring in areas where traditional medical equipment, laboratory and backup are unavailable.
  • It also provides tools for recognizing and treating wilderness related problems presenting directly to the physician’s office.
  • An emphasis is placed on self-reliance, abstract thinking and provision of care outside of traditional medical settings.

Description of Rotation

The Family Medicine Department has combined its two Wilderness medicine courses into a single session. The new course will incorporate the best of the Winter and Spring courses under the guidance of Dr.'s Fiore, Williams and Johnson.

A broad range of topics will be covered in the classroom and in the field. Students will be asked to prepare a first aid kit, complete a practicum, participate in a triage experience and pass a final exam. Emphasis is placed on gaining practical experience in an entertaining way. No technical skills are required, and students are encouraged to share their own knowledge and experience in this two week course.

Examples of topics covered in the past include:

  • Snake Bite
  • Animal attacks
  • Respect for the environment and ethical considerations in the Wilderness
  • Avalanche Safety
  • Care for children in the wild
  • Pregnancy and travel activities
  • High Altitude illness
  • Hypo and Hyperthermia
  • Fracture stabilization
  • Communications and pioneering
  • Preparation for foreign travel
  • Dutch oven cooking


Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer ($7.99 at UNR bookstore)

Evaluation Method

The grade is dependent on attendance, participation, completion of readings and a final exam. Honors is available only through participation in all aspects of the course including the campout and a separate project which will be defined individually.


  • Honors: An exceptional performance which exceeds all course objectives
  • High Pass: A performance which exceeds most course objectives
  • Pass: A performance which meets the course objectives
  • Fail: A performance which does not meet the course objectives

Special Notes

Course to be held 4/15/19 to 04/28/19 for two weeks.