Dive Medicine


Millions of people worldwide dive underwater each year. This module explores the myriad of medical problems that occur as a human goes to depth.

Upon completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Describe the different ways divers go underwater
  • Outline signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment of decompression illness
  • Identify skin manifestations of decompression illness
  • Outline predisposing factors for decompression illness
  • Understand problems associated with freediving
  • Outline the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of nitrogen narcosis
  • Outline signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment of arterial gas embolism
  • Describe which medical conditions are contraindications for diving
  • Understand shallow water blackout
  • Describe DAN, the Diver’s Action Network


Objectives: After viewing a specific learning module from the AWLS Online Lecture Library, participants in the AdventureMed Online Lecture CME Program should be able to demonstrate an increase in, or affirmation of, their knowledge of wilderness medicine. Participants should be able to evaluate the appropriateness of the information as it applies to the provision of patient care or counseling.

Participants: This program is designed for physicians caring for individuals with wilderness medical problems or counseling patients about avoiding wilderness-related health problems who wish to advance their knowledge of wilderness medicine.

Credits: The Wilderness Medical Society designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Wilderness Medical Society and AdventureMed. The Wilderness Medical Society is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Association of Physician Assistants accepts Category 1 CME approval from organizations accredited by the ACCME. All other medical professionals check with your governing entity to determine usefulness of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

Disclaimer: The faculty and AdventureMed staff involved with this educational activity have signed disclosure statements indicating they have no conflicts of interest or relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest with respect to this course content.

Privacy and Confidentiality: The WMS does not disclose any information related to CME credit activity except directly to you and in aggregate form to the accrediting entity.

Media and Method: The media used to deliver this educational product is question and case based learning delivered online. To complete this activity, learners must have an internet-ready computer. While viewing the presentation, the learner provides reflection and evaluation.

Principal faculty: Richard Ingebretsen, MD, PhD. Time to complete educational activity: 1.00 hour. Date of original release: 3/1/2016. Module expires 4-7-2023.

Would you like to receive FAWM (Fellows of Academy of Wilderness Medicine) credit for this course?

Send a copy of your completion certificate to FAWM. Be sure to provide your mailing address and email address.

Email: teri@wms.org

Fax: 801-990-4601

By Mail: 2150 S 1300 E, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, Utah 84106