Students — 8 August 2022 at 1:21 pm

New Zealand Southern Alps Pre-Hospital and Mountain Medicine Elective Opportunity

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We are pleased to share this elective opportunity run by our friends and colleagues in the New Zealand Society for Mountain Medicine. It’s an incredible programme for students interested in working in pre-hospital, mountainous and remote settings. While open to students all over the world we hope it also inspires those interested to consider setting up similar placements closer to home over dates or in environments better suited to them. This elective is being run at no profit to the organisers. Creating these opportunities in other countries may well be possible if you reach out to relevant organisations. There are also many commercial courses that could form part of an elective in remote environments across the globe. Participant reviews at the bottom of our Courses page may give you a feel for which may be best for you or what you are looking to create yourself. 

The New Zealand Society for Mountain Medicine is proud to announce their inaugural medical student elective taking place from 3 July – 11 August 2023. This 6 week elective will take place at a number of venues throughout the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

What will you gain?

  • You will develop an improved understanding of the effects of austere environments on human physiology and psychology.
  • You will learn to recognise and manage common issues found in mountain and wilderness locations, often with limited resources in dynamic and challenging environments .
  • You will gain hands on exposure in a number of areas from pre-hospital trauma care and mountain medicine to winter snowcraft, avalanche rescue, mountain biking and skiing.
  • You will learn and be expected to demonstrate skills in navigation, mountain weather forecasting, expedition trip planning, medical kit selection, basic snow-craft.
  • You will develop your non technical skills such as teamwork, communication, self reliance and resilience.
  • You will gain a direct understanding of the links in the chain of rescue and how they work together.

How is it delivered?

  • Most of the learning will be delivered through hand-on workshops, tutorials and ​​​​simulated patient scenarios ‘in the field’ wherever possible.
  • Faculty members delivering wilderness and prehospital aspect of the course have years of experience.
  • Technical wilderness skills will be delivered by NZMGA guides.
  • There will be visits to a number of organisations on the front line of wilderness, pre-hospital and rural ​​medicine in New Zealand.
  • We will use mountain huts, educational centres and Holiday Parks to provide ​​​​accommodation for a substantial part of the elective. For other nights you will be based in ​​Christchurch and will need to organise accomodation yourself. You will have a number of ​​​weekends off so you can make the most of your time in New Zealand.
  • You will get cold, wet, hungry and tired. The intention is to include mountain ​​biking, skiing, and mountaineering, with a high likelihood that this will all be achieved ​​​while covered in fake blood.
  • By the end of the elective you will obtain qualifications in Outdoor Pre-Hospital Emergency Care, Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support with Austere Extended Care, and the NZSFMM Certificate in Mountain Medicine and Pre-Hospital Care.


If you would like to know more, please visit their website, Facebook page or email to join their zoom Q&A session on Wednesday 10 August 1930 NZ time.