Patagonia, Chile is an unparalleled outdoor classroom to teach practical and applied wilderness medicine skills. Not only is Patagonia one of the last frontiers of untouched remote wilderness on earth, it is a convergence of world class whitewater, mountains and ecology. Wilderness MedVentures believes Patagonia has the potential to attract a large number of physicians eager to experience pristine wilderness while gaining hands-on experience in wilderness medicine. Dr. Kevin McGarvey, one of the emergency physician instructors, has already done 6-weeks of University funded research in the Futaleufu Valley, working closely with Expediciones Chile’s owner and guides to create an optimal teaching environment.
• Preparation: To illustrate the risks apparent within specific wilderness settings and adventure activities and how to properly prepare and prevent those risks from creating medical emergencies.
• Application: To empower physicians with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to management medical emergencies in the wilderness setting.
• Improvisation: To challenge physicians to use creative, team-oriented means of treatment, stabilization, and transport in harsh environments with limited resources.
• Decision-Making: To learn how to assess
and act in difficult clinical scenarios in remote
wilderness settings where solutions are not always
Wilderness MedVentures with
Continuous Medical Education (CME) Accreditation for Physicians through University of
*Some shifts or changes
to the itinerary may occur due to weather, group
size, or other factors occurring during the week
of the course.
Saturday / Day 1: Futaleufu
will arrive at the the pristine river camp, Campo
Tres Monjas, ideally located at the confluence
of the Rio Azul and Futaleufu, the perfect put-in
and/or take-out for the exciting Class V river
runs. The three clustered, volcanic spires known
as “Las Tres Monjas” (Three Nuns Peak)stand
guard over your camp surrounded only by mountains,
farms and rivers. Surrounded by nature, this is
truly refined camping. Your private, riverside
tent is hidden down a soft foot path. In camp
there are white sand beaches with hammocks for
relaxing, a dining cabin with sit-down dining,
a chef to prepare each meal, a fresh spring water
system, open air hot showers, a sauna, a masseuse
to soothe your tired muscles, and a bamboo outhouse
with a spectacular view. That evening, we’ll
have the first of many exquisite Chilean dinners
at the Camp, freshly prepared by the course’s
personal gourmet chef. Your instructors will give
informal opening lectures and present the week’s
itinerary and course objectives.
of Wilderness Medicine
Law and Ethics in Wilderness Medicine
Survival Leadership and Decision-Making in the
/ Day 2: Whitewater Rafting
– Bridge to El Macal
morning we will begin our running of Rio Futaleufu.
After breakfast, we will drive to the exciting
whitewater rafting on Bridge to McCall, a section
of the Futaleufu with class 4 and class 5 rapids.
These rapids are more challenging than anything
being run in North America! This rafting run begins
with the adrenaline charged Bridge to Bridge section,
which includes 6 to 7 miles of continuous class
4 rapids. At the end of the Bridge to Bridge section,
however, we'll raft to where the river picks up
energy as the canyon walls turn into vertical
cliffs and huge glacier crowned peaks rise above.
After a riverside lunch, the serious excitement
begins as we find Más o Menos (Class IV+)
and our first authentic Class V rapid of this
raft trip, Casa de Piedra. After completing the
lectures for the day, there will be time to unwind
and relax either on the beach, in the sauna, with
a massage or simply reading a book. Dinner will
be served and then you will retire to your tents
to rest up for the big several days ahead.
Simulation: Gastroenteritis and Dehydration
Heat Illness and Dehydration
Overview of Infectious Disease in Adventure Travel
General Field Sanitation and Hygiene Measures
Children and Elderly in the Wilderness
Wilderness Medical Kits
Basic Field Dentistry
Monday / Day 3: Whitewater
Rafting – Inferno Canyon
Today, we will face a potentially big day on the
river, Inferno Canyon! Based on how the group
has performed the previous day and how high the
river is running, we will attempt to run Inferno
Canyon! This is the most demanding and committing
section of the Futaleufu. We put-in at the bridge
on the Río Espolón and soon meet
the confluence with the Río Futaleufu.
As we pass the ominous Gates of Inferno, the point
of no return, the fun immediately begins with
several serious and continuous class 5 drops.
As we exit the canyon, the river widens with spectacular
views of the Las Escalas Valley. After six miles
of moving, gentle productive water, the river
returns to its wild side and we encounter the
"Zeta" and "Throne Room,"
two of the most ferocious rapids on the Futa,
which even the whitewater rafters will portage
while we enjoy lunch. You’ll return to Campo
by rafting through the Wild Mile and finish with
a relaxing sauna or massage followed with evening
lectures and dinner.
Simulation: Shoulder Dislocation and Laceration
General Wound Management in The Wilderness
Improvised Field Wound Management
Burn Management in the Wilderness
Overview of Field Management of General Orthopedics
Improvised Splints, Litters and Carrie
/ Day 4: Whitewater rafting
– Terminator section
With our rafts still tied up on shore at Campo,
we will be ready to cover the final section of
the Futaleufu! We put in at the confluence of
the Futa and the Río Azul and enjoy a warm
up on a beautiful stretch of river that winds
around the Tres Monjas peaks. Then, the river
takes on an extremely powerful nature, with the
longest and largest rapid on the Futa, the 'Terminator'
(Class V). Just below, we'll have to negotiate
the hole filled Kyber Pass (Class IV+) and the
Himalayas (Class IV), with perhaps the biggest
standing waves in the hemisphere! We can then
relax our paddling muscles with a nice riverside
lunch. That night, everyone will pack up and prepare
to head back toward town to enter the vertical
part of the course!
Simulation: Near-Drowning and Hypothermia of a
Simulation: Whitewater Rescue
Whitewater Injuries and Rescue
Near-Drowning and Immersion
Recognition and Management of Hypothermia
Overview of Cold Injury
Overview of Survival Kits
Wednesday / Day 5: High
Mountain Trekking – La Teta
For those yearning for more adventure and exploration,
we now enter into the rock and ice world for the
remainder of the course! After breakfast, we will
be transported to the base of a spectacular two
day climb of La Teta. Pack horses will haul our
gear and food as we ascend up the Futaleufu valley.
We will get to basecamp likely 1-2 hours after
our guides and pack horses have arrived, allowing
for tents and food to be ready and waiting upon
Simulation: Anaphylaxis in a Hiker from a Bee
Allergic Reactions and Anaphylaxis
Emergency Airways in the Wilderness
Insect Bites/Stings and Plant Toxins
Thursday / Day 6: High Mountain
Trekking – La Teta
Those feeling fit for the ascent of La Teta trek
onward and summit by mid-morning. Those reaching
the summit will be rewarded with a 360 degree
view of the Andes extending far into Chile and
into Argentina! After a rigorous day, you will
return to camp for several evening lectures and
dinner with your family.
Simulation: Altered Mental Status at Altitude
Injuries from Climbing
High Altitude Physiology
Friday / Day 7: Canyoneering
– Canyon Gelves
Our final day outdoors will be a vertical adventure
into the spectacular Canyon Gelves. Located only
3 miles from our lodge in town, we will find views
dropping 500 meters to the beautiful canyon floor.
The largest single drop, accessible only to experienced
canyoners, is 45 meters (148 ft). Based on participants’
fitness and experience, we will offer two options
- descent through a 30 foot waterfall or a rappel
through 4 waterfalls, totaling over 300 feet!
Afterward we will return to town to relax for
the evening and finish the night with a grand
Simulation: A Cayoneering Fall with Spine and
Management of the Head Injury in the Wilderness
Management of the Spine Injury in the Wilderness
Wilderness Rescue for the Backcountry Traveler
Saturday / Day 8:
After 7 days of intense wilderness medicine coursework,
you will have a day to explore Futaleufu and decide
what you’d like to do next. With your formal
itinerary complete, there will be a number of
options open to you as well as any friends or
family joining you. If you are planning to return
home or to Buenos Aires immediately after the
wilderness medicine course, you will depart from
Futaleufu by private shuttle this morning and
take the Friday flight from Bariloche to Buenos
Core Learning Objectives:
1. Before the course begins, attendees will read a select group of texts from the wilderness medicine literature.
2. Attendees will complete a pretest before their arrival, to reinforce the core knowledge and themes in the pre-course readings.
3. Attendees will incorporate core wilderness medicine knowledge during daily didactic lectures.
4. Attendees will apply their medical knowledge and training to wilderness and remote situations.
5. Attendees will be able to recognize and treat common medical emergencies in adventure settings, including high altitude, water sports, and high-angle situations.
6. Attendees will be able to create and carry appropriate medical kits based on various wilderness or adventure activities.
7. Attendees will be able to improvise medical supplies from environmental components.
8. Attendees will be able to apply the ethical and pragmatic indications for emergent evacuation.
9. Attendees will be able to undertake emergent evacuations in various situations.
10. Attendees will be able to synthesize all the above components to function as a group medical director for wilderness or adventure sport situations.
Wilderness Medicine Course Home: Wilderness Medicine Course Instructors , Wilderness Medicine Course Curriculum , Wilderness Medicine CME Hours & Exam
|Season: Dec 6 to April 15
|Experience Needed: Previous medical experience required.
|Physical Challenge: Moderate/High
|Cultural Experience: Moderate
|Lodging: Luxury Eco-Camp
|Comfort Rating: Medium
|Days away from home: 10
|Days with us: 8
|Max Trip Size: 12
|Price: $ 3750 USD ***Philanthropic Donation by ExChile
and Wilderness MedVentures. Eight Percent
of all payments for the Wilderness Medicine
Course shall be reserved for donation
to a local not-for-profit entity that
will benefit the Futaleufu, Chile community.***
|Region: Futaleufu River Valley, Patagonia Chile
|Lakes, Rivers, Sites Visited:Pacific Ocean, Chaiten, Futaleufu Village, Campo Tres Monjas, Rio Futaleufu, Rio Azul, Rio Espolon
Direct Line, USA:
+1.208.629.5032 (7am/5 pm mst)
Toll Free, USA:
+1.888.488.9082 (7am/5 pm mst)
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