Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)



First Advisor

Ryan Coughlin


Effective Wilderness Medicine (WM) resident education can be challenging to achieve in the traditional classroom setting. The Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR) was developed to teach and test WM using simulated scenarios in an austere setting under physical, environmental, and psychological stress. The objective of this study was to evaluate participant perceptions of simulation-based WM training in an Emergency Medicine (EM) residency MedWAR. A 20-question descriptive survey was administered to participants of an academic EM residency program’s annual MedWAR during 2021 and 2022. The event took place during weekly scheduled didactic time at local state parks in July. The questionnaire included Likert scale multiple-choice, open-ended, and “yes/no” questions to assess perceptions of the MedWAR, changes in self-reported knowledge and skills competency, and perceptions of effects on clinical practice. 75 total race participants responded to the surveys; one incomplete response and 12 non-resident responses were excluded from analysis. The 62 remaining participants found the MedWAR engaging and agreed that it was an effective way to teach WM. 94% reported learning new medical techniques and treatments to use in their daily clinical practice, 87% reported they would feel comfortable teaching others the skills they learned, and 90% reported they would feel comfortable treating a patient like those encountered in the MedWAR scenarios with their team. Participants appreciated the location, training material, and teamwork involved in the event. 94% responded that they would participate again. Simulation-based WM training through MedWAR can be an engaging and effective educational tool that educators should consider implementing and adapting into EM residency curricula.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 07/24/2025