Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship


Chris Davis and Ben Smith, fourth year medical students from MUSC and UNC-Chapel Hill respectively, visited Landmark Learning as part of the Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship earlier this month. The externship is a month long rotation where two students or residents work with Burke County EMS Special Operations paramedics in the field. They respond to various EMS calls and to search and rescue calls in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, Pisgah National Forest, Lake James, and South Mountains State Park. Burke County runs one of the busiest search and rescue operations east of the Mississippi. The motto “esse quam videri,” meaning “to be rather than to seem,” summarizes the nature of the externship as they practice medicine in the field rather than discussing it in the classroom.

Here’s what they had to say about their visit to Landmark:

“As a rescuer who has performed several swiftwater rescue calls, I was impressed with the quality of education Landmark was providing in swiftwater rescue. The more people who have a basic understanding of operating in these sort of environments, the better. We were also able to sit in on a WFR refresher course, and it was quite refreshing to see the amount of hands-on scenarios being run, given most WFRs rarely provide medical care. This sort of practical training will hopefully allow the knowledge to be retained for when it matters.” – Ben Smith, CWEMSE MD-54

"Landmark Learning is where I got my start in emergency medicine, back in 2003 when I took a WFR with Justin. It was fantastic to see how much has changed and how much Landmark has grown since I was there last. One thing that definitely hasn't changed though is the quality of the instructors and enthusiasm of the students!" -- Chris Davis, CWEMSE MD-53

For more information about the externship: