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RUHS Wilderness Medicine Fellowship Overview

One-year Wilderness Medicine Fellowship (starts July 1st, 2024)


2024 Wilderness Medicine Fellow


Marisa Evers, MD

Fellowship: Top


One-year curriculum focuses on a broad, practical exposure to wilderness medicine knowledge and applications

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Extensive exposure to diving and marine medicine through collaboration with NOAA including a comprehensive 3 week SCUBA certification course, physician dive medicine training, as well as swift water rescue. Optional deployment as part of medical team on oceanic dive missions (TBD).



Learn and apply search and rescue techniques from Riverside Mountain Rescue team as a formal member, participating in annual trainings and assistance in SAR calls. Learn and utilize technical SAR skills among the mountains of Southern California both in the fall and the winter.



Leveraging the expansive & beautiful Joshua Tree National Park's location nearby, fellow will get exposure rock climbing techniques as well as austere operations, tracking, and providing medical care in a desert through collaboration with Joshua Tree SAR.

Fellow Education

We prepare our fellow to excel in the various environments of austere medicine, fostering a deep understanding of both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Whether in the pages of a textbook, the rugged landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park and Southern California mountain ranges, open water and rivers, or the cutting-edge realm of mobile learning, fellows will experience the breadth and depth of contemporary wilderness medicine.

Academic Experience

Regular Didactic Meetings with faculty
  • Deep dives into the monthly topics, reviewing Auerbach's text, case-based discussions, and real-world application, integrating up-to-date literature on the latest research and advancements in wilderness medicine

Journal Clubs
  • Exploration and critical analysis of recent wilderness medicine research with discussions on current best practices and emerging trends in the field

Asynchronous Resident Wilderness Medicine Curriculum
  • Fellows will lead expansion and oversight of an innovative mobile-based curriculum that allows residents to engage with wilderness medicine content at their own pace

Lectures and Skills Training
  • Fellows have ample opportunities to create and deliver lectures on a range of wilderness medicine topics as well as hands-on skills training sessions covering everything from basic wilderness first aid to advanced rescue techniques

Annual SonoWAR event in Joshua Tree National Park
  • Fellows work alongside local ultrasound fellows to organize and run this unique event that blends the worlds of ultrasound and wilderness medicine


Fellows are encouraged to explore their professional interests. Current elective opportunities include (TBD):



Grant Nelson, MD

Fellowship Director

Grant Nelson is the Wilderness Medicine (WM) director for the ER residency programs at Riverside University Health System as well as Desert Regional Medical Center. His passion for the wilderness and austere settings has been lifelong, growing up camping, hiking, canoeing and kayaking through the forests and lakes of Northern Michigan and Wisconsin. He has since backpacked around the world including notably many of the National Parks in America, a successful summit of Mount Rainier, and multiple treks throughout Icelandic highlands, the Swiss alps, and rural Japan. He is currently working towards his Fellowship in the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.

Dr. Nelson's academic WM interests include resource-limited applications of point-of-care ultrasound, altitude and temperature-related cardiopulmonary changes, as well as the use of emerging technology for improving austere expeditions, education, and medical care. He hopes to expand the reach and engagement of WM applications and topics and encourage wellness through exposure to the outdoors.


Clinical Work

Clinical shifts worked at Riverside University Health System, a level 1 trauma center in Southern California and the pediatric trauma center for the county of Riverside. RUHS emergency department sees >90,000 patients per year.


Fellowship funded by Vituity physician partnership

Annual salary $110,000 + full benefits

Comprehensive CME funding >$20,000

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