Dogsled Lodge Trip and Medical Workshop
2012 Medical Workshop
5 nights, $1750 , all-inclusive package rate, per adult in double rooms, single rooms $100 more when available, limited availability for a spouse or family member to accompany participants at a discounted rate
Dogsled Retreat & CME Course for Family Practitioners
Hosted by emergency room physician Tom Viren & numerous guest speakers
This retreat combines a lodge-based dogsledding vacation with an extraordinary CME experience! This course has been designed by family physician Tom Viren who works in emergency rooms in northern Minnesota and has experience living and guiding in remote wilderness settings. Please note that his is not a Wilderness Medicine Course, but rather focuses on topics we find important in our daily practices and is taught in a wilderness setting.
Based at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, this retreat features a daily mix of seminars and discussions on medical topics along with dogsled excursions to scenic sites in the surrounding wilderness trail network. The dogsledding experience is completely hands-on: you'll be driving your own team, and harnessing and caring for your sled dogs as well if you'd like. Participants are welcome to enjoy some back-country skiing, snowshoeing and ski-jouring (being towed on skis by dog-power!) with gear provided by Wintergreen (or feel free to bring your own skis). And while you'll enjoy great meals by Wintergreen's French chef and cozy lodging in our lakeshore cabin, you'll also have the option of experiencing a night of winter camping in heated wall tents if you'd like.
CME topics are varied with respect to content and designed to appeal to a variety of specialties. We offer 15 credits of category 1 AMA, and AAFP credits. Last year's speakers included a nephrologist, infectious disease specialist, toxicologist, Ortho PA and emergency medicine. Participants represented family medicine, pediatrics, pulmonology, emergency medicine and general surgery. The seminars are informal and, since the group is small (8-12 participants) are largely interactive and discussion-based.
The itinerary for this very special trip includes:
- Day 1: 4-6 pm check-in at Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge, kennel tour, clothing check, welcoming dinner by our French chef followed by fireplace orientation meeting to discuss goals for the retreat
- Day 2 a.m.: optional kennel care, breakfast, "Dogsledding 101" class, launch your dogteam for a guided dogsled training run, lunch break in the lodge
- Day 2 p.m.: early afternoon CME seminar , late afternoon dogsled excursion to the Kawishiwi Falls scenic site, return to lodge for R&R, dinner, evening CME discussion and optional evening presentation by Wintergreen director Paul Schurke on his Arctic expeditions
- Day 3: optional kennel care, breakfast, CME seminar, launch dogteams for dogsled day trip to the Old Growth Pines for a trailside campfire lunch, return to lodge mid-afternoon, snack break, CME seminar, dinner, optional evening sauna in Wintergreen's Finnish wood-fired sauna
- Day 4: optional kennel care, breakfast, CME seminar, optional skiing and snowshoeing with instruction and gear provided by Wintergreen, indoor lunch, afternoon dogsled excursion to the Crockett Lake caves, return to lodge for R&R, dinner, optional winter camping in heated wall tents near the lodge for those who want
- Day 5: breakfast, CME seminar, van shuttle for special tour of the International Wolf Center, lunch in Ely, afternoon van shuttle to Hegman Lakes trailhead for hike (on foot, skis or snowshoes as desired) to ancient Indian pictographs site in the protected Boundary Waters canoe area, return to lodge for celebration dinner and evening festivities
- Day 6: "Musher's Graduation" breakfast, wrap-up discussion & course critique, check-out anytime early morning to mid-day
COURSE COORDINATOR: Tom Viren is an emergency room physician in Grand Rapids MN. Prior to settling into medicine as a career, he took ten years off to go camping. He guided BWCA trips in summer and winter, spent a season as a staff member for Wintergreen, and was an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School leading trips in Alaska for five years.