Offshore Emergency Medicine (OEM)


Offshore Emergency Medicine offers relevant and practical training for the largest and most remote wilderness on earth. As with all of our courses, we emphasize the understanding of body systems and principles of care to best prepare the medical officer to improvise and adapt to the infinite variety of challenges that the open sea can present. It is designed for voyaging sailors as well as professional mariners. Classroom instruction is tied to the student’s own experience through the liberal use of case studies, scenarios, and hands-on assessment problems in a marine context. Upon completion, students will earn a Wilderness First Aid certification. Previous medical training is not required.
36 Hours


Class Format

This course includes approximately 9 hours of pre-course reading followed by three full days of on-site training. Practical sessions may include outdoor or on-board exercises depending on course location. The curriculum includes lab sessions in wound care, reduction and splinting, extrication, and injections.


All laboratory and training supplies are provided by Wilderness Medical Associates. The required textbook may be purchased from the WMA bookstore on this website, or in digital version from Amazon Kindle. Look for Wilderness and Rescue Medicine 6th Edition by Jeffrey Isaac, PA-C and David Johnson, MD.


Offshore Emergency Medicine certification is awarded by Wilderness Medical Associates and the Ocean Navigator School of Seamanship. This course is also approved for 36 hours of continuing education credit by CAPCEfor EMT’s and paramedics.


No previous medical training is required. However, we encourage completion of CPR training before the course start. Those under the age of 18 will require the written consent of a parent or guardian.


Pre-course: 9 hours – Read assigned chapters in Wilderness and Rescue Medicine. Complete the on-line OEM pre-course test.

Day 1: 9 hours - Course Logistics, Introduction, General Principles in Wilderness Medicine, Critical Body Systems, The Patient Assessment System, Basic Life Support at Sea, CPR and AED discussion, Airway and Ventilation Skills, Anaphylaxis and Asthma, Injection training, PAS Practice, Case Studies.

Day 2: 9 hours - Pain Control, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Dislocations, Extrication, Splinting Lab, Wound Care, Wound Care Lab.

Day 3: 9 hours - Environmental Emergencies, Offshore Medicine, Diagnostic Tools, Specific Disease States, Sea sickness, Medical Kits, Special Interest Topics, Debrief, Test, Adjourn.

Educational Credit

This course is also approved for 36 hours of continuing education credit by CECBEMS for EMT’s and paramedics.