Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine

   One of the RMI instructors has decided to enrol into the Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine offered by the Wilderness Medical Society. This award is offered for medical professionals who wish to validate their training and experience in Wilderness Medicine.
   The award is primarily designed for doctors but is open for the motivated medic or nurse. Since it is research based and requires academic achievement is more difficult for non physicians to achieve.

   This initiative is a modular programme set up with three categories:
              Required Topics in Core Curriculum  55-70 points
              Elective Topics in Core Curriculum    5-10 points
              Experience                                      20-40 points

   The candidate has five years in which one must accumulate 100 points from within those three areas. Points can be gained from attendance of WMS events and conferences, from affiliate organisations, and from peer reviewed journal readings.
   For the Experience credits points come from submitting articles in journals, from academic degrees, board certification, volunteer teaching, public service, practise and service to WMS.

   For the non physician, this last category is the most difficult to achieve. Experience credits comes naturally to medical doctors since they are already published in peer reviewed journals, often have multiple academic degrees and are board certified. The medic can achieve these experience credits through a diploma in emergency medicine, or any other type of science based study.
   Additionally, the medic can write articles that can be submitted to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, Journal of Wilderness Medicine or even the BMJ. There are many published medics out there. The FAWM forces the medic to achieve a higher standard through academic excellence.

Why should a medic go for the FAWM?
   Having this award validates your training and experience in Wilderness Medicine. It will put you on par with other medical professionals including doctors, physician assistants and nurses who have also achieved this Fellowship.
   Similar to the Diploma in Immediate Medical Care, the FAWM recognises academic excellence. The difference is that the Dip IMC is an academic diploma and the FAWM is a Fellowship. Both are excellent options for the wilderness medic.

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