In its inaugural year, the 2016 EMRA MedWAR raced into the record books, with 30 competitors and nearly 40 volunteers staging a wildly successful event. (Visit our MedWAR photo galleries to see the racers in action!)
Kicking off with the sunrise in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area on Oct. 19, EMRA’s first-ever medical wilderness adventure race pitted 10 teams of residents against 12+ miles of desert trails, with seven medical challenge stations as well as off-trail bonus opportunities.
Competitors encountered scenarios including multi-system trauma evaluation and evacuation, mass casualty lightning strike, anaphylaxis, heat injury, and a snake bite. Teams employed various wilderness techniques and airway skills demonstrated on mannequins provided by Gaumard. The groups who completed each medical challenge with no errors continued racing; those who forgot key steps were tasked with another on-site challenge before being allowed to continue.
Scenarios were not shared in advance, and supplies were not provided; teams succeeded by anticipating and improvising. Every racer completed the course and enjoyed an awards ceremony hosted by Elvis, followed by an all-teams pizza party.
“I’m so excited to see this come together for the residents,” said Wilderness Medical Society founder Paul Auerbach, MD, MS, FACEP, of Stanford University School of Medicine. “It’s a unique way to learn, and the competitors will undoubtedly use what they have learned at some point in their careers.
“I hope it will grow from here and that we can look forward to an annual event.”
The EMRA Wilderness Division collaborated with the ACEP Wilderness Medicine Section to host the race. Gaumard partnered with EMRA to provide medical equipment for the challenges. ACEP Wilderness Medicine Section Immediate Past Chair Michael Caudell, MD, FACEP, helped facilitate logistics and train proctors for each medical challenge.
Special thanks goes to Matt Horbal, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Nevada Reno, for advance scouting of the venue and for key race day support. In addition, the EMRA Wilderness Division thanks all the volunteers who made the event possible.
Congratulations to our EMRA MedWAR winners:
- First place: Medical College of Georgia/Team Mzungus – 01:55 (1hr 55min)
- Carissa Chalut, DO
- Darrel Douglas, MD
- Parker Smith, MD
- Second place: Stanford-Kaiser Emergency Medicine Residency/Know When to Fold ‘Em – 03:11
- Joseph Einhorn, MD
- David Radler, MD
- Ian Storch, MD
- Third place: UCSF-SFGH/Trauma November – 03:03*
- Taylor Nichols, MD
- Christian Rose, MD
- Scott Tcheng, MD
- Drama King (best medical actor, male): Justin Hensley, MD, FACEP
- Drama Queen (best medical actor, female): Kathryn A. Lucas, MS-II, Touro University of Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Best Team Name: University of Mississippi/Don’t Suck Out the Poison
*Trauma November from UCSF-SFGH technically won second place based on their final time, which was calculated by actual time to complete the course minus time awarded for successfully completing bonus challenges. Trauma November ceded to Stanford’s Know When to Fold ‘Em team in recognition of Stanford’s assistance on the trail; the team provided crucial shelter-building material for Trauma November to use during the heat injury scenario – without which Trauma November would not have been able to finish the race. Kudos on this awesome display of support and camaraderie between our teams!
In addition to the top 3 finishing teams, the EMRA Wilderness Division congratulates all participants who spent the day making EMRA’s inaugural MedWAR a success.
- Madigan Army Medical Center/Rambo Medicine – 03:44
- Kyle Couperus, MD
- John Cruz, MD
- Zachary Sletten, MD
- Thomas Jefferson University/LexVegas Reunion Tour – 03:53
- Anna Condino, MD
- Andrew Griffith, MD
- Joshua Rudner, DO
- Yale-New Haven Hospital/Poison IV – 04:00
- Charlie Duke, MD
- Jessica Walrath, MD
- Michael Yip, MD
- Texas A&M Corpus Christi/Corpus Crabs – 04:15
- Richard Fleischer, MD
- Ryan Joseph, DO
- Joseph Yard, MD
- Saint Louis University/The Bair Huggers – 05:12
- Jake Sanning, MD
- Dan Schwartz, MD
- Sneha Topgi, MD
- University of Mississippi/Don’t Suck Out the Poison – 05:37
- Tory Andrews, MD
- James Cunningham, MD
- Wade Swanson, DO
- University of Chicago/The Throckmortons – 06:00
- Colton Clay, MD
- Jen Nykiel, MD
- Nishma Sachedina, MD