WVSOM Is Teaching Wilderness Medicine

West Virginia Osteopathic Medicals students are learning to rough it. They are doing their Wilderness Medicine Rotation, which teaches survival skills and rescue skills to the future doctors. Mike Gray, Head of the Vertical Rescue Team in Fayette County, said "We're teaching them um rope rescue so they learn actually picking up a patient after they've been injured, packaging that patient in the basket, and then either transporting that patient either by ground or in the vertical realm of lifting straight up." Lucas Hamrick, 4th Year WVSOM Medical Student, added "Everything you can learn in this rotation is key just because like you don't really get this exposure anywhere else in medical school so this is kind of really important because you never know when you might be called upon to use these skills."

Lisa Hrutkay, Director of Wilderness Medical Rotation, started this program more than 5 years ago. She told us "It's actually a very long story. Uh we were at first inspired by the uh Boy Scout Jamboree and wanted to be able to assist with medical needs on the Jamboree site." Medical residents from all over the state are coming to learn from this rotation. Vincent Linberg, Ohio Valley Medical Center Emergency Medicine Resident, "A lot of ER Doctors end up being head of emergency medical teams, like Dr. Hrtukay whose one of my mentors is head of air evac all the flight teams in the area."

All of the skills taught here over the past two weeks will be used this weekend in the Battle of the Gorge competition. The Battle of the Gorge will be this weekend. It will pit the people in this program against professionals who do this for a living.

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