Wilderness & Tropical Medicine Rotations In Belize, Central America!

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These unique rotation experiences combines didactic teaching and guided independent study with actual field training in wilderness and tropical medicine; wilderness, cave, and river rescue; and related disciplines. The field portions of the programs will be conducted in the Central American country of Belize at the training center for the Belize Institute for Tropical and Wilderness Medicine and the Belize National Disaster and Rescue Response Team. Students will participate in hands on practice of relevant skills, extensive field problems and exercises, small group problem solving, and participants may have the opportunity to work in on-going research projects and other special opportunities. Clinical time in the Belizean health care system may also be arranged.

Our programs are intended to provide participants with the a background in, the basic knowledge and skills, and appreciation of the problems encountered in wilderness & tropical medicine, rescue, international health, and third world operational planning. It is hoped that this will inspire some of them to continue such efforts in the future.

Several programs are offered each year including Wilderness & Tropical Medicine programs for resident physicians, medical students, and other health professions students; several levels of Wilderness-Cave-River Rescue courses (often in conjunction with the medical courses to allow a full month rotation); specialty courses such as Maritime Wilderness Medicine & Dive Accident Response, Wilderness EMT & First Responder training, Advanced Clinical Practicum & Research opportunities; and we are now excited to be offering a unique Expedition & Missionary Medicine class for physicians and advanced practice providers. Individual course descriptions are given below.

These rotations are sponsored by The University of Nebraska School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, and the University?s Office of International Studies & Programs. They carry the line number ?FMED-750 International Health Elective? and grants credit for both required and elective class-work at lower, upper, and resident levels. Students from nearly two dozen medical schools and four foreign countries have participated in our programs. 2004 is the ninth year we have offered training in Belize.

Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize is a beautiful Central American country that is primarily rainforest and low mountain ranges, with the world?s second largest barrier reef just offshore. The country is a safe and stable democracy, full of welcoming and friendly people. These are a mix of Mayan Indian, Spanish, African, and European descent. English is the universal language and taught in the schools, although Spanish, Creole, and several Mayan dialects are often spoken at home. The population is semi-literate, often not getting past grade school, and some of the remote Indian villages may have little access to education. Belize is grossly under-served in the area of health care, with a severe shortage of hospital beds, physicians, and basic technology. Patients often have to travel several hours to receive care. Diseases of poverty and tropical diseases are common problems, as are accidental trauma (especially motor vehicle accidents), agricultural injuries, wildlife ?interactions? & snakebite, and drowning.

Our Sibun River Training Base is set in the Cayo district of the Mayan Mountains, surrounded on all sides by rainforest, Mayan ruins, sinkholes, and caves full of Mayan artifacts and remains. The facilities include classrooms, bunkhouses, bathhouses, kitchen and dining area, an excellent swimming river, etc. Construction and expansion of this facility is ongoing. This facility is located on the 58,000-acre property of Caves Branch. The jungle lodge business of Caves Branch has donated property and a tremendous amount of financial resources to supporting the rescue team you will be training with. All course fees for this rotation will also go to supporting our health projects in Belize. Room and board fees include meals, non-alcoholic drinks, local transports, etc. Go to: http://www.cavesbranch.com/Pictures.htm to see pictures of the jungle lodge, Mayan caves, rescue team in action during Hurricane Iris, and much more!

Please feel free to contact either the University?s Office of International Studies & Programs at http://www.unmc.edu/isp/default.htm
or the program director, Dr. Keith Brown for additional information. Dr. Brown can be reached at [email protected].

2004-2005 Course Schedule:

July 3-17 - Wilderness & Tropical Medicine Rotation ? Combined upper & lower level program, filling fast.

July 19-28 - Wilderness-Cave-River Medical Rescue Level 1 ? Basic technical rescue skills for medical providers & rescuers, filling fast.

Pending Late September - Maritime Wilderness First Responder & Dive Accident Management ? Enrollment via prior approval only, limited student slots available

January 2005 ? Wilderness & Tropical Medicine Rotation? Combined upper & lower level program, starting to fill now.

March 2005 ? Expedition & Missionary Medicine Level 1 ? For experienced physicians and advanced practice providers only!

July 2005 ? Wilderness & Tropical Medicine Rotation ? Combined upper & lower level program