On April 21, 2013 Mike Wiegele was made a life member of the Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine. Mike received the honor at a celebratory dinner in Whistler to mark the occasion and also to kick off the final week of training for mountain physicians enrolled in the first Canadian Diploma of Mountain Medicine course.
The Canadian Diploma Course exists in part due to Mike’s advocacy at the International Commission for Alpine Rescue where the merit of such an undertaking in Canada needed champions. Mike has a long history of promoting all aspects of mountain safety and when it came to mountain medicine in Canada, as always he was in strong support. Approval was granted by ICAR/UIAA in fall 2012.
Regular medical training does not explain how medicine can fit into an alpine setting. It is necessary that physicians wishing to have an effective role in promoting good health and good care in the event of injuries and illness in the mountains must receive additional, specialized training from experts in a formal course. The Canadian Society of Mountain Medicine provides this training in collaboration with the UBC Faculty of Medicine, to the standards set by ICAR/UIAA.
Physician graduates of the Diploma Course are internationally recognized as proficient in providing medical advice and care in mountain settings such as Mike Wiegele Heli Skiing and the Helicat Industry, in trekking and climbing expeditions and in Ski Areas.
Altus Mountain Guides, led by Crosby Johnston (Senior Lead Guide for MWHS), formed the alpine technical backbone of the Diploma in Mountain Medicine Courses (Winter and Summer Modules). Their role in the course was to ensure group safety, provide instruction in the alpine skill sets, and provide validation of alpine skills. As training progressed, the guides were also able to adjust components of classic alpine skill sets to optimize physician access to patients initially and to enable continued medical care during rescue and extraction of subjects.
Dr. Dave Watson – President of CSMM and Mtn Medical Director for MWHS
Heli Rescue Training