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Medical Education

Medical Students Take On Wilderness In Yosemite


During the final scenario in the woods of Yosemite National Park, students gather around Nelson Diamond, MD, to assess, stabilize, and transport the patient with what limited supplies they have.
Photo: Greg Richardson, MD

By Jeffrey Chen, MS4

“I can’t breathe!” a man screams, struggling to keep his head above the running waters of the Merced River. “Somebody, I’m drowning!” “Please! Somebody help us!” shouts a woman, from the far bank of the river. Two bystander medical students dive into the water with life jackets, securing the man in distress and dragging him to shore. A group of medical students gathers around, each prepared to help save this man’s life. Except Nelson Diamond, MD, the man in the river, is not in any real danger. We’re in Yosemite, and Diamond is wading in the frigid snow melt of the river, but he is also an experienced swimmer and third-year resident in the UCSF Fresno Emergency Medicine program. The woman is Michelle Storkan, MD, an attending physician in the residency, recent graduate of the wilderness medicine fellowship, and director of this course.


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