The mission of the UIAA Medical Commission is to increase the knowledge about mountain medicine among doctors and mountaineers all over the world.

Mountain Medicine

The need for sound medical advice in the mountains has never been greater as more and more people around the world participate in climbing and mountaineering adventures both on the amateur and professional level. The role of the UIAA Medical Commission,  through its recommendation papers, advice pages and the Mountain Medicine Diploma is to give the best possible advice through its network of mountain medicine experts, all medical doctors.

Mountain Medicine Advice & Recommednations

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Mountain Medicine News

  • UIAA Medical Advice: Emergency Field Management of ACS, HAPE and HACE

    Acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) are the most important and most common altitude-related diseases. Up to altitudes of about 5000-6000m, symptoms of altitude illness are a dire...


    The UIAA Medical Commission has produced a dedicated paper on the use of hiking sticks. It was first published in 2008 and is available in Czech, English, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Many hikers, mountaineers a...

  • Advice for women going to altitude

    The tenth in our series exploring the UIAA MedCom’s high-altitude advice focuses on women going to altitude with specific advice for both pregnant and non-pregnant women. This paper was first produced in 2008 and is available in English, Czech, Du...

  • Golden rules for novice climbers

    Our latest UIAA MedCom advice article focuses on a less technical, less high-altitude related subject. Instead it is directed at general suggestions designed to guide those who are unfamiliar or less experienced with mountain terrain and who wish to ...

UIAA Medicine Diploma

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Mountain Medicine Commision

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.


Medical Commission Membership

As confirmed by the UIAA Management Committee in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (October 2018)


George RODWAY (President), USA (AAC)

David HILLEBRANDT (Vice President), UK (BMC)

Erhan ALEMDAR, Turkey (TMF)

Jae Yong AHN, Korea (KAF)



Enrico DONEGANI, Italy (CAI)

Anil GURTOO, India (IMF)

Urs HEFTI, Switzerland (SAC)

Johan HOLMGREN, Sweden (SKF)

Alzamani IDROSE, Malaysia (PKN)

Jana KUBALOVA, Czech Republic (CMF)

Thomas KUEPPER, Germany (DAV)


Shigeru MASUYAMA, Japan (JMA)

John MCCALL, Canada (ACC)

Ludomir MLADENOV, Bulgaria (BCMF)

Patrick PETERS, Luxembourg (FLERA)

Giulio Sergio ROI, Italy (ISF)

Nima Namgyel SHERPA, Nepal (NMA)

Sonam Zangbu SHERPA, Nepal (NMA)

Eduardo Garrigos VINHALES, Brazil (CBME)

Emma Linnea  WICHARDT, Norway (NTK)

UIAA Executive Board Link 



UIAA Partner


The International Commission for Alpine Rescue ICAR was founded in 1948. ICAR is incorporated as an association under Swiss law, with its seat in Kloten, Switzerland. ICAR does not pursue any commercial purposes and is not profit oriented.

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