There are a number of wilderness medicine conferences that happen yearly both in North America and abroad that focus on general medical issues in the outdoors as well as more specific themes such as altitude, environmental emergencies, and disasters. The Wilderness Medical Society has done an admirable job of offering and supporting many of these.
There are also a number of smaller, local conferences on wilderness medicine hosted by medical school, outdoor and rescue groups. Some of these “home-grown” and grassroots type conferences can provide a different approach on wilderness medicine and healthcare in remote communities through local cultural interactions, specific experiences and social perspectives.
One such conference is called WildER Med and occurs September 28 to 30, 2012 on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, Canada. Manitoulin Island sits between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay on their northern shores. The conference is quite inclusive and designed to focus on remote medical issues that affect everyone from hospital based physicians to first responders to wilderness guides. A major theme of the conference is interdisciplinary communication and teamwork amongst these groups for successful patient care in the wilderness. While based on local experiences and insight, there is value in this theme for anyone dealing with wilderness emergencies.
Another unique aspect of this conference includes the use of an aboriginal theater group called the Debajehmujig Storytellers. One of the evening activities includes an interactive “wilderness med” theater experience.
With a maximum of 30 participants allowed for the conference, expect an intimate and unique experience.