Wilderness Medicine

Program Overview

In a complex and ever-changing world, it is important to train and prepare health providers for the unexpected and unthinkable. The Wilderness Medicine is a unique and comprehensive medical fellowship program that provides physicians with applied hands-on training experience in the provision of medical care in extreme and remote environments as well as in disaster response. One of the unique qualities of this fellowship is derived from its ability to incorporate environmental conditions found on land, at sea, and in the air. The distinctive design of the fellowship challenges physicians to enhance their critical thinking skills and prepares them to be future physician-leaders ready to deliver quality health care in extreme and remote environments. This program is offered by the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates Department of Emergency Medicine in Washington, D.C.


To learn how to identify and treat unique health threats when operating in an unusual and remote environment with limited resources, significant clinical autonomy, and no access to definitive health care systems.


  • Attend lectures and discussions on selected seminar topics in fields such as wilderness medicine, environmental health, aerospace medicine, diving/hyperbaric medicine, and disaster medicine.
  • Complete courses taught at institutions and training centers across the United States in the areas of diving medicine, hyperbaric medicine, wilderness medicine, disaster response and management, and aviation medicine.
  • Work with experts in the field of wilderness medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences to integrate didactic training with hands-on experience in the clinical setting in specialty areas such as hyperbaric medicine, telemedicine, and sonography.
  • Develop the skills necessary to complete a research project in the field of wilderness medicine.

Fellowship Curriculum

The curriculum is designed to have flexibility and variability in order to meet the individual needs and learning goals of each fellow. The curriculum will be divided into three components: academic, clinical and experiential.


The one-year (two-year for international graduates) fellowship curriculum will provide a comprehensive approach to the practice of medicine in remote and austere environments.

Fellows will participate in seminars and will be asked to deliver presentations on various topics. Fellows will also have the opportunity to attend the GW Department of Emergency Medicine weekly grand rounds.  


Fellows will participate in hands-on training rotations in sonography, telemedicine, and hyperbaric medicine.


Each fellow will be required to complete a research project during their fellowship. Topics can be determined by the individual in collaboration with the fellowship director.

FEEM Course Listing

  • Primary Training Course in Hyperbaric Medicine
  • Hyperbaric Medicine Clinical Rotation
  • Physician's Training Course in Diving Medicine
  • PADI Open Water SCUBA Diver Course
  • Basic Aviation Medical Examiner Seminar
  • Introduction to Human Health in Space Graduate Course
  • Wilderness Upgrade for Medical Professionals
  • Disaster Medical Specialist Course
  • Incident Command Courses (100, 200, 700, 800)
  • Worldwide Emergency Communication Center Clinical Rotation
  • Ultrasound Clinical Rotation


The fellowship director will review the curriculum every six months. The curriculum will be evaluated on the basis of educational value and content relevance to the fellow's individual goals and objectives. The fellowship director and other faculty will evaluate each fellow every six months. A written evaluation will be generated for the fellow’s file.

Effective Dates and Application Requirements

The duration of the fellowship is one year (two year for international graduates). The program is set up to accommodate any schedule and entry is conducted on a rolling basis. This is a non-ACGME accredited fellowship. 

Fellows accepted into the program should have completed an ACGME residency or graduate medical studies. The current application requirements include a CV, a letter of intent expressing your interests/career goals, your expectations from the program, the strengths that you would bring to the fellowship, and three (3) reference letters.

For further information regarding the FEEM program please contact

Department of Emergency Medicine
Attn: John Lafleur, M.D., M.P.H.
2120 L Street, Suite 450
Washington, D.C. 20037

FEEM Program Director: John Lafleur, M.D., M.P.H.