Essential Eligibility Criteria

Desert Mountain Medicine students learn experientially through innovative, hands-on learning in an outdoor environment. This educational experience fosters critical thinking skills, teamwork, and environmental stewardship. Desert Mountain Medicine courses can be physically, emotionally, and environmentally challenging. In order to participate, each student must be capable of meeting personal and group responsibilities. The essential eligibility criteria is designed to outline the information needed for course participation and allow students to objectively evaluate their own ability to make sound, safe, and fair decisions while on course and in the backcountry. Decisions pertaining to participant eligibility are evaluated and made by the administrative team within Desert Mountain Medicine. Possible accommodations may be made by clearly communicating students needs early. 

Each student must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • Ability to complete 30 hours of online learning using a laptop or desktop computer utilizing up to date software, if taking a hybrid learning course.
  • Ability to stay alert and focused for eight to ten hours per day in a classroom for 2 days (WFA), 4 days (WAFA), 5-8 days (WFR), 2-3 days (WRC).
  • Ability to focus for several hours at a time while performing patient care in individual and group scenarios.
  • Ability to perform tasks related to patient assessment including palpating for injuries, log rolling, listening to subjective clues, and perceiving objective behaviors while on uneven terrain kneeling in crowded spaces.
  • Ability to remain hydrated, fed, and adequately dressed to avoid injuries due to environmental stressors such a heat related illnesses, extreme cold, sunburn, and frostbite.
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment during the course as outlined by DMM protocols.
  • Ability to travel independently and as a group over rough and uneven terrain during inclement weather.
  • Act responsibly around hazards to minimize risk even when not directly supervised.
  • Ability to respond appropriately to simulated medical scenarios under stress in a remote setting in darkness.
  • Ability to lift 30 pounds using proper back mechanics while assisting in litter carrying over uneven, rough terrain during inclement weather.
  • Ability to follow and perceive both verbal and non-verbal cues given by patients during medical scenarios.
  • Work effectively as a member of the team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This requires problem solving on an interpersonal level and a willingness to accept differences within a group.
  • Ability to use good judgment during stressful situations to ensure patient and group safety during a rescue over a period of 4 hours or more.
  • Ability to walk 1 or more miles in a backcountry setting.
  • Ability to practice leave no trace (LNT) etiquette in the backcountry and while on course.
  • If taking prescription medications, have the ability to self administer the proper dosage at the correct time of day during the course.
  • Ability to communicate danger such as rockfall, ice, water features, presence of wildlife, and personal distress during high-stress scenarios in the dark during extreme weather.
  • Ability to communicate to the instructor team regarding learning and physical disabilities so that a personalized course plan can be formulated.
  • Ability to maintain a safe learning environment free of sexual harassment or abuse of any kind.
  • Display acceptance, tolerance, and compassion towards all.
  • Ability to remain open and willing to interact with unfamiliar cultures.