Emergency Medicine

Stanford Wilderness Medicine Fellowship

Dr. Jo

Wilderness Medicine is a rapidly evolving field that is increasingly important as large numbers of people are involved in outdoor activities for adventure, science, recreation, exploration, industry, combat, and disaster relief.  In U.S. National Parks alone, visits have increased from 220 million in 1983 to more than 400 million in 2000. It is incumbent to have physicians trained to meet the unique challenges and emergencies that arise in diverse environmental conditions far from definitive medical care. Stanford Medical Center founded this country’s first fellowship in 2003 to train physicians in this dynamic multidisciplinary specialty; which relates to nearly every specialty in medicine.

Stanford's Wilderness Medicine Fellowship was the first of its kind in the U.S. in 2003, designed by the doctors who have helped to define the specialty of Wilderness Medicine. This one-year educational and clinical experience provides fellows the opportunity to learn the knowledge and skills that compose the growing field of Wilderness Medicine. The fellowship incorporates two dedicated months for hands-on clinical care and scholarly activity in the environment of the fellow's choosing. The Stanford Wilderness Medicine program's strong relationships with institutions, organizations, and individuals worldwide offer fellows a unique opportunity to explore their specific areas of interest. The fellow has support and access to the academic resources of Stanford University School of Medicine. And through a combination of didactics, literature review, fieldwork, study projects, and presentations at local, national, and international conferences, fellows at Stanford will gain the experience to become educators and leaders in Wilderness Medicine.


Fellowship Goals

WildernessThe Stanford Wilderness Medicine Fellowship is a one year program. The goals of the fellowship are to provide physicians with cognitive knowledge, formal training, and clinical skills in Wilderness Medicine. Each fellow will be expected to further their knowledge by performing original research, educating other physicians, and serving as a medical resource for outdoor organizations. There is a core curriculum; the fellow’s specific areas of interest will dictate their research and clinical activities.


Learning Objectives

Hyperbaric and Marine Medicine

  • Dive Medicine
  • Hyperbaric Medicine
  • Injuries and Envenomations
  • Marine Toxidromes

Wilderness Trauma

  • Assessment and stabilization
  • Orthopedics/bandaging/splinting
  • Wilderness foot care
  • Wilderness improvisation
  • Wilderness Trauma/ Wound care

Tropical and Travel Medicine

  • Field water disinfection
  • Travel and infectious disease
  • Infectious diarrhea

Rescue and Survival

  • Search and rescue
  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Expedition medical kits

Mountaineering Medicine

  • High altitude physiology
  • High altitude illness
  • Hypothermia / Heat Illness

Animal Hazards

  • Arthropod and zoonotic infections
  • Snake envenomations
  • Antivenoms

Wilderness Medicine Research

  • Designing the research question
  • Fundamentals of research
  • Research proposals
  • Grant applications

Faculty Development

  • Presentation tools
  • Fundamentals of public speaking
  • Lecture presentations
  • Planning for seminars, lectures

The Institution

Stanford University Medical Center is comprised of Stanford University Hospital, the Stanford University Medical School, and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. The Emergency Department supports a tertiary care referral hospital and is a Level One Trauma Center and provides primary care for much of the South San Francisco Bay Area. Stanford has a 3-year fully ACGME-accredited emergency medicine residency program that began in 1991 and has 12 new residents a year.


wilderness medicineWhile creating new ideas and contributing to the knowledge base of Wilderness Medicine is crucial; so too is transmission of that knowledge.  By the end of the fellowship year, the participant will have acquired the expertise to train students, physicians and lay persons in the field of Wilderness Medicine. The fellow will have the opportunity to hone academic, teaching, and presentation skills by participating in both residency and faculty activities. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend, and may be invited to present, at one or more national conferences.

Medical Direction & Classes

The Wilderness Medicine fellow will have the opportunity to assist with online and offline medical direction of WM systems and unique patient populations including California Outward Bound and Stanford University Outdoor Education. Furthermore, the fellow will be invited to assist with precepting Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder courses taught through the School of Medicine. The fellow is expected to present lectures and assist with directing the Wilderness Medicine spring elective, including didactic sessions, clinical skill building workshops, and real-time moulage scenarios.

Scholarly Activities / Research

research wilderness medicineFellows will conceive and perform original investigations leading to presentations and publication of results. Research projects related to Wilderness Medicine are perpetually in progress by faculty members within the Division; including: evaluation of serum electrolytes in desert endurance racers; new frostbite treatment methods; and evaluating protective measures for box jellyfish envenomations.

Prior Fellow's research projects have included: prophylaxis of headaches at high altitude; prevention of pulmonary hypertension, and evaluation of deep venous thromboses at high altitude.  Fellows have access to statisticians and analysts through Stanford’s Center for Research and Disease Prevention for help with planning projects and interpreting data.

Some recent Stanford Wilderness Medicine Research.

Clinical Activities

The fellow’s salary is covered by working as clinical instructors in the Emergency Department at Stanford University Hospital, which includes adult and pediatric components. The high acuity patients allow fellows to continue mastering their clinical skills and become adept at educating residents from Emergency Medicine and other specialties.

Fellows are scheduled for eight consecutive weeks of protected, non-clinical time to support their research efforts and/or pursue unique wilderness experiences of their choosing.


1) United States Emergency Medicine Board Eligible or Board Certified.
2) Clinical Requirements: 9-10 8 hour shifts a month / 10 month year as an Attending Physician in the Stanford Department of Emergency Medicine.
3) Two months will be devoted to field-work in which there is no clinical responsibility.
4) Salary: Highly competitive
5) Full Stanford benefits commensurate with the clinical position
6) Spending Account: Discretionary Allowance
7) Appointment as a faculty member to at least one National Conference on Wilderness Medicine
8) Office, computer and administrative support
9) Applications: A letter of intent, CV, and 3 letters of recommendation.
    Application Deadline: October 1st annually.
    Applicant Decision: November 1st annually.
10) Fellowship start date, July 1 or August 1.

Application Process

The program is limited to one fellow per year.  Graduation from an accredited U.S. Emergency Medicine residency program is required.  For further information regarding the fellowship and application process, please contact:

Eric A. Weiss MD, FACEP
Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine 
Director, Wilderness Medicine Fellowship
Stanford University
701 Welch Road, Building C
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Email:  Eric A. Weiss, M.D.


Grant S. Lipman, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine
Co-Director, Wilderness Medicine Fellowship
Stanford University
701 Welch Road, Building
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Email:  Grant S. Lipman, M.D.

Wilderness Medicine Faculty at Stanford

Many of the Emergency Medicine faculty members at Stanford are experts and leaders in the field of Wilderness Medicine.

Paul S. Auerbach, MD, FACEP, FAWM : Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, Founder and past President, Wilderness Medical Society; Editor, Wilderness Medicine; Author, Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine; Author, Medicine for the Outdoors and A Medical Guide to Hazardous Marine Life, An Ocean of Colors, and Diving the Rainbow Reefs; Editor Emeritus, Wilderness & Environmental Medicine (formerly Journal of Wilderness Medicine).

Grant S. Lipman, MD: Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Co-Director Wilderness Medicine Fellowship; Executive Board Member - ACEP Wilderness Medicine Section; Expedition Doctor.

Kelly P. Murphy, MD: Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine; Director, Papua New Guinea Medical Project and Founder & Director, Vietnam Medical Project.

Robert L. Norris, MD, FACEP: Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief, Division of Emergency Medicine; Editor-in-Chief, Wilderness and Environmental Medicine; Member National Geographic Belize Team; World-renowned Expert on Snake and Arthropod Envenomation.

Eric A. Weiss, MD, FACEP: Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine; Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Director, Former Board of Directors, Wilderness Medical Society, Author of A Comprehensive Guide to Wilderness and Travel Medicine, and Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine.

Ken Zafren, MD, FACEP: Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Emergency Medicine; Chairman, Medical Committee of the Mountain Rescue Association, Associate Medical Director - Himalayan Rescue Association; Vice President - International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine.



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