Get Membership Donate Now

Nepalese Diploma in Mountain Medicine
Curriculum description

Part A: Conducted in Kathmandu (10 days) as lectures, group discussion, clinical scenarios, and technical skill acquiring. It covers:

  1. High altitude and related illnesses : an introduction to basics of high altitude atmosphere, human physiological changes and adaptation to high altitude, AMS/HAPE/HACE and their pathophysiology, recent advances in the treatment of altitude illnesses, traveling to altitude with medical comorbidities, high altitude cough, pilgrims at high altitude, women and children at high altitude
  2. Practical traumatology : an introduction to the primary survey, shock assessment and management, trauma assessment and management, pain management in the wilderness, basic orthopedic procedures in the wilderness
  3. Travel health : assessment prior to travel, vaccines and disease prevention, fever in the expedition, insect and animal bites, travelers diarrhea, antibiotics use in the expedition,
  4. Mountain medicine : a basic introduction to skin problems at high altitude, eye problems in high altitude, GI physiology and nutrition/hydration at altitude, sleeping outdoors at altitude, doctor on high altitude trek/expedition, basic personal and group medical kit preparation, friction blisters and its management
  5. Helicopter rescue : an introduction to helicopter basics, helicopter marshaling and finding appropriate landing sites in the wilderness, transporting patients into the helicopter, demonstrations of longline rescue techniques
  6. Summer skills : basic rock climbing, belaying, rope knots and personal safety skills, rock anchors, rappelling, ascending victim lowering, rope rescue systems

Part B: Conducted in Manang and the Khangla glacier(5100m) in the Annapurna region(18 days) , as lectures, group discussion, and clinical scenarios and technical skills acquiring. It covers:

  1. Environmental exposures : basic pathophysiology and management of hypothermia frostbite, and cold injuries, pathophysiology and management of hyperthermia and heat strokes, lightning injuries, drowning and submersion injuries, water sanitation and waste disposal in the expedition, basic introduction to avalanche and avalanche rescue
  2. Weather in high altitude : basics of cloud formation, wind and rain mechanisms and weather predictions, survival skills in hostile and high altitude weather
  3. Search and rescue : rescue organization, disaster preparedness, communication and media in the expedition, legal aspects in the expedition, search and rescue in an avalanche, victim extraction, map reading and navigation

Winter skills: crampons and ice axe use, rope knots and safely skills, roped team travel and glacier traverse, self-arrest and self-rescue techniques, improvised lowering techniques, ice and snow anchors, ice climbing, patient transport on snow/ice, self and team crevasse rescue

UIAA/IKAR/ISMM 2019 Guidelines
Basics ofMinimal time requirements (hrs)InstructorsSuggested Training
Altitude and its illnesses8high altitude experienced doctortheory
Exercise physiology1physiologist or experienced doctortheory
Nutrition, fluid balance and exhaustion1experienced doctor or nutritionisttheory
Hypothermia4experienced doctortheory + practical
Frostbite2experienced doctortheory
Submersion and immersion in water1experienced doctortheory
Heat and solar radiation1experienced doctortheory
Practical traumatology8experienced doctorworkshop
Analgesia in the field2experienced doctortheory
Effects of pre-existing clinical conditions4experienced doctortheory
Children and mountains1experienced doctor (paediatrician)theory
Travel Medicine2experienced doctortheory
Infection control and water safety1experienced doctortheory + practical
Weather1mountain guide or meteorologisttheory
Performing medical research1experienced doctortheory
Stress management1experienced doctortheory
Information technology in the mountains1workshop
Ethics including sports and drug use1discussion
Legal aspects0.5experienced lawyer or doctor with medico legal experiencetheory
International mountaineering organisations0.5theory
Personal first aid kit and mountaineering equipment1experienced doctortheory
Mountaineering techniques in summer and winter (see Appendix 1)24qualified mountain guidespractical
Navigation and survival techniques in hostile weather in the mountains8mountain guideworkshop + practical
Avalanche risk assessment, companion search, and medical management of victims4experienced doctor + mountain guide or experienced avalanche worker/ski patrollertheory + practical
Introduction to improvised rescue techniques2experienced mountain rescue doctor, team member and/or mountain guidetheory
Practical demonstration of improvised rescue techniques4experienced mountain rescue doctor, team member and/or mountain guidepractical
Organised rescue4experienced mountain rescuertheory + workshop
Death in the mountains1experienced mountain rescue healthcare providertheory
Alpine sports accidents (base jumping, paragliding, sport climbing, mountain biking)1experienced mountain rescue healthcare providertheory
Additional subjects selected by the course organiser29theory, workshop + practical
Total number of hours120