Developed as a collaborative effort between Wilderness Medical Associates International and Habitat for Humanity to meet the medical needs of international remote program sites. This program has evolved to encompass medical response, risk reduction, and hazard identification in low to middle income countries for North American volunteer and study abroad groups. The design of this course is not to replace a travel medical clinic consultation, but instead to enhance a group’s ability to prepare, mitigate, and respond to medical emergencies while abroad.

Prior to enrolling in a course, please review our Functional Position Description. The criteria set forth in this document allows students to self-assess their ability to meet the demands of both a WMAI course as well as the demands of a certified wilderness medical provider in the field.


Course Materials

Students will receive the following books for this course:


While WMA International provides all medical gear required for the course, we do ask our clients and course hosts to provide gear and equipment relevant to the specific work site such as: Digital projector and screen, chairs and tables, CPR mannequins, hypo-wrap material (50’ rope, tarp, blanket or sleeping bag, garbage bag), splinting material (commercial and improvised). The office will provide the hosting organization with a complete list of required equipment.


There is a pass/fail criteria, evaluation will be from a written test, practical patient simulations, and hands on activities. Instructors will give both individual and group feedback as needed throughout the course. 100% attendance is mandatory. WMA International is committed to making reasonable accommodation for any student with special needs.


The Travel Medicine First Aid course is completed in two days or 16 hours of instructional and practice time. Upon successful completion, students will receive a Travel Medicine First Aid Certification and CPR Level A (BCLS for Adults).

Certification by Wilderness Medical Associates International is recognized across the globe in a variety of professional settings. Accreditation in Canada has been obtained by the Federal Government under their Human Resources and Skills Development act under the Ministry of Labour, and through several provincial Worker’s Compensation Boards. Wilderness Medical Associates International is the only Canadian consultant to the Wilderness Medical Society in the USA. Widely recognized across the country, and around the world, this is the highest caliber of course on the market.


Students must be at least 16 years old to participate in this course. Those under 18 years of age require the written consent of a parent or guardian.


The primary audience for this course is involved in activities such as community service projects, missionary work, volunteer tourism or academic travel when repatriation will be organized by an outside agency. The course’s primary focus is on successful outcomes for injuries and illnesses in travel abroad settings. Greater emphasis and time than standard first-aid is placed on the following topics:

CPR and AED: Practice and understanding. Students will understand what the benefits and limitation of CPR and defibrillators in urban, rural, and remote environments.

Tropical and Infectious Disease: Practical examples and realistic simulations will reinforce discussion of disease pathways and vectors. Instruction will also include debunking commonly held myths while current scientific data will reflect incidences of morbidity and mortality.

Lifting Moving Extrication (LME): Learning through practice of techniques and concepts to extricate and move patients from confined spaces collapsed structures and vehicles.

Improvised Splinting: As splinting materials may be quite diverse in different, demonstrations and practice with different materials and concepts will be adapted to remote field use.

SOAP notes: Patient documentation systems including successful communication of patient assessments to rescue or repatriation authorities with radio, satellite phone, or other relevant communication technology.

Med/Legal: Review includes the international legal considerations when administrating first aid and the potential implications.