Become an Instructor

wilderness medicine instructor teaching on rocky coastline

Prepare others to face any challenge, anywhere

Bring your outdoor experience and medical training to WMA International’s wilderness medical courses. Our instructors don’t just teach, they’re in the field providing patient care on a regular basis. We invite licensed medical professionals to bring their skills and knowledge to our team.

Instructor Certification

We work with over 350 instructors from diverse backgrounds worldwide, and we consider them our most valuable asset. Their understanding of and practice in outdoor environments as mountain climbers, rescue personnel, sailors, dog sledders, and paddlers is enhanced with substantial medical experience as military medics, paramedics, nurses, or physicians. This is what sets WMAI apart.

The purpose of the Instructor Training program is to provide emergency and rescue professionals with the capacity to bring the WMAI curriculum to their own region, or where high demand for training already exists. Our next Instructor Training will be held in Portola, CA from October 1-4. Participants are expected to arrive the evening September 30th.

Prerequisites for becoming a WMA International Instructor:

  1. Solid teaching experience.
  2. Diverse wilderness experience.
  3. Certification or qualification as a medical professional is preferred, however, we will consider candidates with other documented patient care experiences.
  4. Hands-on emergency patient care experience: Ski Patrol, Ambulance, Hospital, etc. If you do not have patient experience you must be willing to gain experience (i.e.: third person on an ambulance) while you are becoming a lead instructor.

The process:

STEP 1: Submit and application that includes answers to the questions below, your CV or resume, copies of all current relevant certifications (Including any WMA certification you have earned), and letters of reference. Once the package is received applications will be reviewed.

STEP 2: Successfully complete a Wilderness Medical Associates’ Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course, or higher. You must attend a course as a student as the final step in your application process. Participation in a course is also a requirement to attend the Instructor Training course. We want all prospective instructors to have been exposed to, and have an affinity for, our core standard curriculum; this is the WFR course.

STEP 3: If accepted, you will need to register and attend an Instructor Training (IT) Program. Completion of an IT program does not ensure certification by WMA International. Only those candidates who are successful on the IT will be eligible for scheduling on WMA courses.

STEP 4: Assist on courses. Each assistant will have an individual learning program. During this time, assistants are expected to upgrade any deficient area (i.e.: patient care or remote expedition experience). As well, assistants must start to accumulate video tapes of their teaching and evaluations from lead instructors. Once you have sufficient experience you may petition the President for a promotion to Lead Instructor.

Application Questions

Please answer the following questions and send your application questions, a current resume or CV, two letters of reference, and copies of your credentials to . If necessary, your reference letters may be submitted after the other materials.

  1. What is your level of formal medical training?
  2. What is your current position?
  3. Have you taken a course with WMA International? If so, please indicate what course and when it was completed.
  4. List your experiences with hands-on emergency patient care? How long?
  5. What is your background in wilderness rescue and wilderness medicine? (Please indicate any non-WMA International wilderness medical courses you have taken).
  6. What is your teaching background? What have you taught and how long?
  7. Please describe any experience you have had teaching or supporting diverse or underrepresented groups, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people (LGBTQ+), Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian people and individuals with diverse abilities, and others.
  8. Why do you wish to become an instructor? Please indicate what you believe is your strongest asset to the company?
  9. What teaching methods did you consider most effective or least effective for those learning wilderness medicine?
  10. What is your background in outdoor leadership and skills?
  11. Do you have administrative experience, if so please describe?
  12. Please describe any other relevant background or life experiences that would prepare you as an instructor?
  13. What is your availability to teach courses? How many days a year? Are you willing to travel – expenses paid.
  14. Are you associated with any organization that might sponsor a Wilderness Medical Associates International course?

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Wilderness rescue students utilizing skills learned throughout courses.

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