What is Wilderness Medicine?

Wilderness medicine is a specialized field that deals with the medical issues that can arise during outdoor activities in remote or inhospitable environments. It has a long and interesting history closely connected to the evolution of outdoor recreation and emergency medical care.

A Brief History of Wilderness Medicine

One of the pioneers of wilderness medicine was Dr. Paul Auerbach, a physician and researcher who was instrumental in advancing the field over the past several decades. Auerbach was a leading expert on wilderness medicine and wrote extensively on the subject, including several influential textbooks and articles. He has also played a key role in developing training programs, including the Stanford Wilderness Medicine Fellowship, which is widely considered the first of its kind.

Founded in the 1980s, the Stanford Wilderness Medicine Fellowship has played a crucial role in the development of wilderness medicine as a recognized field of study. The program, which is based at Stanford University School of Medicine, offers advanced training to medical students, residents, and other healthcare professionals.

wilderness medicine experts bind and splint an injured leg on the trail

The program has since been expanded to other medical schools, including the University of Colorado and the University of Utah, and has helped to train a new generation of wilderness medicine specialists who are equipped to handle the unique challenges of providing medical care in remote and challenging environments.

What Does It Do?

The benefits of wilderness medicine for outdoor enthusiasts are numerous. By having a deeper understanding of the medical issues that can arise during outdoor activities, outdoor enthusiasts can be better prepared to handle emergencies and injuries that may occur in the wilderness. This knowledge can also help them to appreciate the risks and hazards associated with outdoor activities and to take steps to reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

In addition, the study of wilderness medicine can help outdoor enthusiasts to develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world and to connect with nature in a more meaningful way. Whether learning about the unique plant and animal life of different regions or understanding the impacts of environmental factors on human health, wilderness medicine can empower outdoor enthusiasts to have more meaningful and enjoyable experiences in the great outdoors.

Today, wilderness medicine equips first-timers, families, and experienced adventurers alike.

Outdoor Medicine and Technology

Today, many leaders in the field are exploring ways to get their specialized tools and knowledge to as many people as possible. Technology plays a big role in this effort, and portable/wearable health devices are more powerful and accessible than ever before.

GOES is the ultimate realization of wilderness medicine technology, packing decades of research and experience into an intuitive smartphone app with activity-based information, self-diagnostic tools, and instant access to fellowship-trained specialists.

At its core, wilderness medicine is about equipping others and sharing the joy of nature. It may have begun in the backcountry, but it’s since expanded to equip first-timers, families, and experienced adventurers alike.

So download the GOES Health App and get to it! We’ll see you on the trail (or wherever your next adventure takes you.)

The GOES Team

The GOES team is made up of experienced outdoor medicine specialists, entrepreneurs, app developers, and artists all united around one common goal: helping people have fun and stay safe outdoors!