My current job, location and training opportunities allow me to practice medicine in a setting that I have tailored my profession to—wilderness and emergency medicine. As an avid outdoorsman and dedicated physician, I continue to apply and master my medical and rescue skills in wilderness settings.
My interest in outdoor activities began while growing up on a ranch in southeast Wyoming. My entire family helped my father run a 22,000 acre cattle ranch. I developed a great deal of independence, motivation, and self-reliability, especially while working alone. I had to be proficient in map reading in order to repair fences, locate and fight forest fires, and find my way home at the end of the day. I learned to be self-sufficient in the wilderness, and my camping and navigation skills were expertly honed.
In high school I enrolled in an EMT-Basic course, and my career in medicine began. I started volunteering with the local ambulance which fueled my interests, and I began studying pre-med at the University of Wyoming. I furthered my pre-hospital training and career by taking an EMT-Paramedic course, and I continued to work on ambulances and in the local emergency department throughout my undergraduate education.
I found niches that allowed me to combine my medical skills with the outdoors as I worked on ski patrol and began more climbing and other outdoor sports. While attending medical school at the University of Washington through the WWAMI program, I was able to study medicine in rural areas of the western United States and in Queensland, Australia. After completing my emergency medicine residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, I found my dream job as an attending emergency medicine physician in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Since moving to Jackson, I have also become medical director and an active member of the Teton County Search and Rescue team. In addition, as a hands-on medical director for Grand Teton National Park, I train and help the climbing rangers in a variety of wilderness situations.
Wilderness and Rescue Medicine
Technical Rescue and Medical Considerations
Medical Oversight for EMS Systems
Wilderness Advanced Life Support (WALS)
MedicoLegal Case Review and Trial Consulting
Prehospital Emergency Medical Service (EMS)
Medical Oversight of EMS
Wilderness and Rescue (SAR) Medicine
Tactical / Combat Medicine
Lecture topics include Mountain Rescue, Avalanche Safety and Rescue, Backcountry/SAR Medical Kits
Get Out! Evacuation from the Wilderness, Hypothermia/Environmental Emergencies, Chest and Abdominal Trauma, Spine Injuries - Selective Spinal Immobilization, Combat Medicine (TCCC) / Tactical EMS (TEMS), Excited Delirium & Behavioral Emergencies, ACLS Pearls, Altitude Illness, New EMS Technologies, Ropes and Knots, Medical Oversight for EMS/Wilderness Groups, Shh! Don't Tell the EMS Medical Director
MOST POPULAR LECTURES
EMERGENCY MEDICINE IN
SNOW AND ICE
Avalanches, mountain terrain, and other snow and ice settings represent unique challenges for emergency responders, not just those responding in ski areas, but to all areas that have this type of terrain and hazards. Join Dr. Will Smith >>>
EXCITED DELIRIUM AND
OTHER BEHAVIORAL EMERGENCY STORIES
Excited Delirium Syndrome is becoming a recognized medical condition that’s often associated with in-custody deaths. This and other behavioral emergencies are often some of the most challenging EMS calls. In most >>>
BRINGING COMBAT MEDICINE
TO THE STREETS AT HOME
Advancement of pre-hospital care on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan is pushing a new approach to EMS. How should these experiences be implemented on the streets of EMS here at home? This lecture >>>
WHERE AMBULANCES CAN’T GO
Mountain medicine tailors traditional medical skills and applies them to the wilderness and other austere settings. This case study based lecture presented by 2015 Street Medicine Society Award winner >>>
NEW AND DEVELOPING
With all of the EMS gadgets that come and go, how do you know what to buy? This presentation by 2015 Street Medicine Society Award winner, Will Smith, MD, looks at many of >>>
LIGHTNING STRIKE MCI
AT 13,000 FEET
On July 21, 2010 three parties of climbers were struck by lightning near the summit of the Grand Teton (13,770 feet/4075 meters). The ensuing rescue was the largest single rescue effort in Grand Teton National Park history. The incident >>>