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The Emergency Department’s Division of Wilderness Medicine provides expert care for patients where most physicians would have difficulty simply caring for themselves.
Our unique expertise enables the alleviation of suffering in any of a range of austere environments, including wilderness areas, rural and urban disasters, developing-world projects and even into space.
The MGH Division of Wilderness Medicine advances state-of-the-art wilderness medical expertise through our clinical care, teaching and research projects. We train tomorrow’s wilderness medicine leaders.
Clinical Care: We provide acute care for critically ill patients under demanding environmental conditions. We have cared for patients from the shores of post-tsunami Japan, to populations in under-developed Africa and Asia, and onto the summits of the world’s highest mountains.
Teaching: Our educational fellowship trains tomorrow’s leaders in a rigorous 1-2 year post-graduate program. In our innovative course, “Medicine in the Wild,” taught with the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School (WMI/NOLS), students learn wilderness medicine over 28 days in New Mexico.
Research: Our division conducts innovative, international research. Our research advances have been adopted internationally as new standards. We focus on the effects of low oxygen states experienced at high altitude. By better understanding human physiologic responses to extreme environmental conditions, we seek to advance the care of common, devastating diseases, including heart attack, stroke, and lung disease.
Our research is supported by the MGH Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), the Department of Defense, and the National Institute of Health (NIH). We collaborate with MIT, the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals, the US Army Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, the Himalayan Rescue Association, and the International HAPE Registry.
Wilderness Medicine in the News
Read Dr. Harris' article in Health and Wellness
MGH Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort Expands
Department of Emergency Medicine
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