UIAA Medical Commission
The Medical Commission was founded during the 1981 UIAA General Assembly. Its history dates back to an earlier time when there were only a few doctors representing the largest mountaineering federations. The Commission has grown to include 22 delegated doctors from 18 different mountaineering federations, as well as 16 corresponding members from all over the world.
In 1984 the Commission held a conference in Chamonix, with over 350 participants. There the delegates decided that it was necessary to form an international organisation which was open to everyone interested in mountain medicine, also those who are not members of the UIAA.
As a result, the Medical Commission founded the International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM) in 1986. This society deals with all the different aspects of mountain medicine, mainly on a scientific level. Today the ISMM has 450 members.
Over the years the UIAA Medical Commission has worked very closely with the Medical Commission of the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR). The current presidents of the UIAA Medical Commission and the MedCom ICAR are always on the advisory board of the ISMM.
Over the last few years, the UIAA Medical Commission has worked closely together with the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS), a leading organisation dealing with all different aspects of wilderness medicine (mountaineering, diving, space medicine, survival in deserts etc). WMS is mainly active in the USA and has about 3,500 members.
The Commission collects, evaluates and discusses medical data and tries to reach an international consensus on difficult issues of prevention and treatment of illness and injuries.
All the members of the Commission are doctors specialised in mountain medicine, and the Commission is committed to making sure that every year more doctors get this training.
The Commission checks the quality of the different courses of mountain medicine for doctors and in collaboration with ISMM and CISA/ICAR has set standards for the International Diploma of Mountain Medicine. In ten countries our members have founded national societies which organise courses in mountain medicine for doctors and mountaineers.
To continue to improve the information we give to climbers, the Commission arranges international congresses in collaboration with its partners ISMM, MedCom ICAR and WMS. It continues to support the International Society of Mountain Medicine (ISMM), which conducts scientific research on mountain medicine. The Commission also works closely with other international organisations dealing with mountain medicine, such as specialists in Olympic sports medicine.
NEXT UIAA MEDICAL COMMISSION MEETING: Harthersage, UK – 10 June, 2022