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An Introduction to the Wilderness Medical Society and Opportunities for the SOF Medic.

What up Coalition!

I recently asked SOM+C member Ryan C. (SOF Medic and WMS member) if he could generate a quick introduction to the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS) and some of the existing opportunities that can not only enhance the SOF Medics capabilities but also provide transferable and internationally recognized credentials. Below is a cut and paste copy of the word doc he sent me, please pay particular attention towards the end when he describes the DiMM certification as I feel this directly applies to the SOF Medic....

Ryan C and his WMS Introduction:

Wilderness Medical Society (

Annual Membership: $150/yr ($120/yr if you purchase for 5 years)

With membership you get access to:

Professional Publications– A peer-reviewed medical journal published quarterly ("Friend" and "Student" membership levels do NOT include a subscription to PRINT copies of the Journal).

· Wilderness & Environmental Medicine Journal

Continuing Education

The Society has a long standing commitment to education and research. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians and sponsors accredited continuing education conferences, combining exceptional education presentations with a variety of hands-on workshops. The conferences always feature a faculty of world renowned experts. Each year the Society awards research grants, advancing academic careers and expanding the knowledge and understanding of wilderness medical issues; the results of the research projects are a feature of the Annual Meeting.

Member Libraries

Members have access to a growing library consisting of the Educational Presentation Series - a peer-reviewed collection of PowerPoint lectures on a wide range of topics; Online Lectures - streaming video of lectures presented at WMS conferences that can be viewed for CME and/or FAWM credit; and most recently, a collection of Literature Reviews - compiled summaries of literature from over 20 years of research presented in the WMS Journal.

Opportunities to Serve

The Wilderness Medical Society and its members are recognized leaders in setting the standards of medicine practice in austere environments. WMS has a committee structure to utilize the talents and experience of its members. Members have opportunities to serve on committees and engage in community outreach, and enjoy networking and fellowship with kindred spirits and other practitioners and researchers in wilderness medicine. Additionally, WMS members can submit proposals to present at our conferences.


Members can register for WMS conferences at a discounted rate as well as receive discounted prices in our Online store. Our store carries the most requested and well-respected books on such topics as wilderness medicine, dive medicine, travel medicine, and first aid. We also stock WMS logo t-shirts, fleece jackets and carry-on luggage. Membership also entitles members to specific discounts on Expert Voice (formerly Experticity).

**Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM) Enrollment: $225

WMS members can join the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. By submitting completed "hours" of approved activities, as well as for "life experience", members are awarded credits associated with core and elective topics. Upon receiving sufficient credits (100), members are awarded the coveted distinction of becoming a "Fellow in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine". Those members who achieve Fellowship are recognized during convocation at our Annual Meeting. This member benefit codifies a body of knowledge and experience that supports the designation of "FAWM".

*. Time to complete varies…it took me 5 months, but all candidates get 5 years with which to complete it...most average about 3 years. You need to cherry-pick credits accordingly between WMS conferences, FAWM-approved eligible credits, online courses (, and wilderness/military experience. On the site, select the Credentials tab and select FAWM for more info. The Experience section is where we can enter info from our military experience that lends itself to applicable credits (e.g., deployments as an austere medic, etc.)


You must be a current WMS Member (NOT just a registered user on WMS.ORG).

When you become a Fellow candidate, you enter a 5-year term during which you are eligible to accumulate credit toward Fellowship.

In addition to accumulating the necessary credits, to be awarded your Fellowship you must:

1) have completed an initial qualifying, credentialing, or vocational degree-producing program in any recognized medical discipline or vocation or be a current student or resident of such a program.

2) have completed at least one year of professional practice in their medical vocation or discipline after completion of an initial qualifying program or school.


The Diploma in Dive and Marine Medicine is a continuing medical educational program for doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, and medics who work in or aspire to work in the marine environment. The required coursework is an ideal blend of didactic and practical education in marine science, the art of sailing, dive and hyperbaric medicine, along with the skills required to make one proficient in this challenging and exciting world of water.

Your knowledge and skill in the three domains that encompass marine science will be verified by passing of a series of written tests and skill performance examinations under the direct supervision of content experts.

Receive your Diploma:

Join the WMS for 5 years at a professional level.Submit enrollment application.Obtain a Master Diver Certificate from NAUI, PADI, SDI or SSI.Qualify to take the United States Coast Guard Captain’s License exam.Obtain a Certificate of Completion from a UHMS 40-hour course.Attend WMS Medsail.Attend at least one of any WMS annual summer, winter or specialty conferences.Pass online exams, skills examinations and oral interviews.Complete a capstone project.

NOTE: The WMS Diploma in Diving and Marine Medicine program is currently being reviewed and a new curriculum is under consideration. Consequently, enrollment is not currently open for this program. Please return to soon for more information.

*It was damn near impossible to get people enrolled and graduate from this curriculum because the requirements too forever to get, so they are currently re-working the requirements and curriculum to make it more attainable. With only one graduate to date, the change in curriculum will be much better all around.

**DIPLOMA IN MOUNTAIN MEDICINE (DiMM) via WMS Enrollment: $200 non-refundable deposit.

· $2,150 per session* (x 4 sessions)…stupid expensive. Goal is to complete sessions in 2 years.


**DIPLOMA IN MOUNTAIN MEDICINE (DiMM) through the military/DoD channels Enrollment: $0

COL (Ret) Ian Wedmore hosts about five (5) Military Mountain Medicine Courses (M3C) annually at various CONUS locations to include, JBLM (Tacoma, WA), and Army Mountain Warfare Training Center (Jericho, VT), to name a few. It’s a similar curriculum to the USMC Mountain Medicine and Cold Weather Medicine courses at Bridgeport, but they’re his courses, so prior USMC course experience does not count at this time (Kip Morey will be looking into this in the future as he’s headed back there). Contact Ian for course dates at He retires in September but will be integral in the courses going forward, and he’s super roped in with the WMS.

After the two-week M3C, do the DiMM Augmentation Training with a guide service that he’ll recommend, this can be done over four (4) days immediately following the M3C. It’s around $1100, usually you can get work to fund it, using a PRODEV justification. After that, all you need to complete is any Avalanche Level 1 course (AIARE, etc.) across the country which is about $200 and 4-5 days of your time (use the same kind of PRODEV justification). You have two years to submit your certs to Ian following completion of M3C (that starts the clock), and he’s the sole dude to award the DiMM in the DoD.

I got my DiMM using this method and saved a bunch of money (thanks Uncle Sam) for the same internationally-recognized degree. Highly recommend it for military guys in our line of work!

I hope this was helpful bro. Best of luck, and reach out if you need any further information.

Ryan Christensen

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