Austere Medic (AM)

Course Overview
Target Audience
Course Objectives

This course builds on prior professional medical training and provides a framework for approaching traumatic, medical, environmental, and mass-casualty incidents in wilderness, remote, and other austere settings.

Faculty: Austere Medicine
Course Name: Austere Medic
Course Code:  AM
96 Hours
Mode: Face-to-face or Hybrid
Level: BLS with extended scope austere protocols

Prerequisites: This course requires participants to have a current EMS license (where applicable) or EMT-B or other accepted level 3 certificate in a healthcare related discipline, as well as a current, recognized BLS certificate. Experienced First Responders will be considered on case-by-case basis.

Packaging: The course may be delivered over 12 or more full-time days. A hybrid course may be delivered over 5 full-time days in combination with the pre-work available in the learning management system. Part-time courses must be approved by the Curriculum Director.

Instructional Strategies:
This course combines lecture-based instruction with practical application. Instructional strategies include pre-reading, lectures, discussions, demonstrations, practical application, simulation, and presentations.

Effort Breakdown: 16 prep hours, 36 lecture hours, 20 practical hours, 20 simulation hours, 4 assessment hours

Certification: Upon successful completion of the course, participants receive an internationally recognised certification from Austere & Emergency Medicine International in Austere Medicine (AM), valid for two years. Re-certification can be achieved by attending a refresher course.


  1. Introduction to the Austere Environment
  2. Anatomy & Physiology of Critical Systems
  3. Medicolegal Considerations
  4. Introduction to Medical Ethics
  5. Working with Diverse Cultures & Traditional Peoples
  6. Working with the SOGIESC Diverse Patient
  7. Communication in Complex & Emergency Situations
  8. Introduction to Medical Record Keeping
  9. Critical Issues with Critical Systems
  10. Spine Injury Assessment (NEXUS)
  11. Austere Critical Care
  12. Austere Medical Response
  13. Austere Trauma Response
  14. Austere Environmental Response
  15. Austere Protocols 1-12


  1. Introduction to Tactical Medicine

The Austere Medic Course is tailored for healthcare professionals seeking advanced training in austere environments, comparable to a W-EMT level but moving beyond the wilderness and delving into the generally austere. The course is designed for individuals with specific prerequisites, including a current EMS license (where applicable) or EMT-B certification, or a level 3 certificate in a related discipline. Experienced First Responders will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ideal participants for the Austere Medic Course include:

    1. Emergency Medical Service Providers: Healthcare professionals with current EMS or Paramedic licenses, bringing a foundation of pre-hospital care expertise to enhance their capabilities in austere environments.
    2. Allied Healthcare Providers: Professionals holding a level 3 certificate (or higher) in a healthcare-related discipline, aiming to specialize in austere medicine and critical care scenarios.
    3. Experienced First Responders: Individuals with extensive experience in first response roles, evaluated on a case-by-case basis for their suitability to enroll in this advanced course.

The Austere Medic Course is structured to provide these participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to operate effectively in challenging and resource-limited environments. This advanced training ensures that healthcare professionals are well-equipped to handle complex medical scenarios in austere settings, fostering competence and confidence in delivering optimal patient care.

On successful completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand the Austere Environment: Develop an advanced understanding of the unique challenges and considerations associated with providing standard clinical care in austere environments.

  2. Anatomy & Physiology of Critical Systems: Acquire in-depth knowledge of critical anatomical and physiological systems, emphasizing their relevance to advanced standard clinical care in austere settings.

  3. Medicolegal Considerations: Explore and apply advanced concepts of legal considerations pertinent to complex interventions in austere environments.

  4. Introduction to Medical Ethics: Familiarize yourself with and apply ethical principles in the practice of standard clinical in austere settings, considering diverse cultural contexts.

  5. Working with Diverse Cultures & Traditional Peoples: Develop skills in culturally sensitive standard clinical care, adapting approaches when working with diverse cultures and traditional communities.

  6. Working with the SOGIESC Diverse Patient: Demonstrate proficiency in providing standard clinical care that is sensitive to the needs of patients with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, expressions, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

  7. Communication in Complex & Emergency Situations: Display advanced communication skills for complex and emergency medical situations, considering diverse patient needs and cultural contexts in standard clinical care settings.

  8. Introduction to Medical Record Keeping: Apply advanced techniques for maintaining accurate and comprehensive medical records, addressing challenges specific to austere standard clinical care environments.

  9. Critical Issues with Critical Systems: Address issues related to key physiological systems, focusing on their complex management in diverse and complex austere standard clinical care conditions.

  10. Spine Injury Assessment (NEXUS): Develop advanced skills in assessing and managing spine injuries, incorporating NEXUS criteria for enhanced decision-making in standard clinical care scenarios.

  11. Austere Critical Care: Demonstrate advanced proficiency in providing standard clinical care interventions in austere environments, emphasizing resource management and adaptability.

  12. Austere Medical Response: Exhibit advanced skills in responding to medical emergencies in austere settings, emphasizing a systematic and adaptable approach to standard clinical care.

  13. Austere Trauma Response: Demonstrate advanced proficiency in assessing and managing traumatic injuries in austere environments, incorporating advanced techniques for standard clinical care.

  14. Austere Environmental Response: Develop advanced skills in responding to medical issues related to environmental factors in austere locations, considering standard clinical care interventions.

  15. Austere Protocols 1-12: Apply knowledge and skills in implementing the first twelve austere protocols, emphasizing their practical application in diverse and complex critical care scenarios.


  1. Attendance Requirement: 100% attendance is mandatory to pass the course. Reasonable adjustments will be made where practicable.

  2. Physical Fitness Requirement: A certain level of fitness and strength is necessary to fulfill the duties of a first responder in emergency situations. Failure based on physical criteria is not discriminatory but practical for the role's demands.

  3. Written Exam: The written exam consists of four papers, each containing 25 multiple-choice questions. A pass mark of 80% is required to successfully complete the written component.

  4. Practical Assessments: Formative and summative practical assessments are conducted throughout the course. Summative assessments include simulations and mini-codes. Competent performance of all skills is essential to pass.

  5. Exam and Class Outcome: It is possible to pass the written exam and fail the class if practical competency is not achieved.

    Conversely, it is possible to fail the written exam and pass the class if exceptional practical performance is demonstrated, and adequate knowledge of the curriculum can be demonstrated through other assessment activities.

  6. Re-exam Opportunity: If a participant fails the written exam, a verbal re-exam will be provided to offer an opportunity to showcase their knowledge.

  7. Special Accommodations: Participants with language difficulties or divergent learning needs can request a verbal or alternative style of exam. Reasonable accommodations will be made to facilitate a fair assessment process.

Note: The assessment criteria aim to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of both theoretical and practical competencies, promoting a well-rounded and capable Austere Medic.

Preview Video

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