Extreme Medicine Certificate


Be prepared to apply your expertise
in extreme environments.

Push the boundaries of your career and explore the challenges of applying your expertise in extreme environments. The graduate certificate in Extreme Medicine prepares medical professionals of all types who are interested in providing lifesaving care in austere emergency situations.

This unique program is delivered in partnership between the Northeastern University and World Extreme Medicine, the world’s leading provider of education, conferences, consultancy, and medical cover in extreme medicine. Every year they help thousands of medical and healthcare workers push the boundaries of their abilities and enables them to thrive and deliver in remote, austere, and hostile environments.

Our asynchronous, online program provides the skills needed in an ever-evolving global climate through didactic courses that develop core competence in:

  • Crisis resource management
  • Human factors in austere environments
  • Efficiency of highly skilled teams
  • Theory and ethics of care in humanitarian crisis

The Certificate in Extreme Medicine is an interprofessional program relevant to doctors, nurses, physician assistants, paramedics, psychologists, athletic trainers, public health professionals, and other medical professionals who could contribute to teams in remote or austere environments, and who seek to improve their clinical skills in their everyday environments.

This is a four course, twelve credit asynchronous online certificate program, that can be augmented through an operational experiential practicum in partnership with World Extreme Medicine.


Degree type:
– Graduate Certificate in Extreme Medicine

Study options:
– Fully online, asynchronous

– Full-time or part-time

Application deadline:
Fall deadline: Aug 1
Spring deadline: Dec 1

GRE: Not required

Video: Make a Difference in Emergency Situations | The Extreme Medicine Graduate Certificate


Our asynchronous, online program provides the skills needed in an ever-evolving global climate through four didactic courses that develop core competencies.

Core Courses

MSCI 5001 Human Factors and Situational Awareness (3 credits)
Investigates the human factors and stressors that may be encountered by professionals engaged in expedition medicine and clinical practice. Several core concepts are explored, including collaboration and lateral thinking, time-pressured tasks, incentivizing, sleep deprivation, and debriefing. Offers team- based activities that utilize didactics, group work, and gaming to accomplish an array of tasks.

MSCI 5002 Crises Resource Management and Case Studies (3 credits)
This course investigates the history of crisis resource management, reviews the characteristics of high-performance teams, explores expectation violation, surprise, and cognitive bias. Explores cognitive offloading, clinical decision making, as well as methods for debriefing, mitigation, and planning.

MSCI 5003 Humanitarian Practice and Principles (3 credits)
Explores the principles and concepts of the provision of humanitarian aid. Reviews the context of humanitarian crises, using a case-based approach. Covers international organizational structure and NGOs as well as methods of deployments, communication, and longitudinal follow-through. Explores safety issues and the ethics of humanitarian and disaster response.

MSCI 5004 Humanitarian Ethics (3 credits)
Explores the ethics of disaster and humanitarian response and examines the basic tenets of ethics, as well as overarching ethical theories and principles. This framework will build on a case-based approach to some of the ethical issues that have emerged in humanitarian and disaster response, including medical tourism, lack of longitudinal care, and human trafficking.

World Extreme Medicine Practicums

Although the World Extreme Medicine practicums are not currently part of the graduate certificate, they may be taken for credit through a special student status. They include:

MSCI 5401
Human Factors and Situational Awareness Practicum (2 credits)

MSCI 5402
Cold Weather and Expedition Medicine (2 credits)

MSCI 5403
Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Practicum (2 credits)

MSCI 5405
Humanitarian Medicine Practicum (2 credits)

Learn more about World Extreme Medicine.

World Extreme Medicine logo.
Tagline: Pushing boundaries

World Extreme Medicine Membership

This certificate entitles you to a free year’s membership with World Extreme Medicine. This includes:

Unrestricted access to training – free entry to the complete library of World Extreme Medicine E-Learning.

E-certificates – opportunity to earn CPD credits through select webinars.

Members-only invites – to special events for our Membership community.

Early access to job opportunities – via a priority job bulletin.

Program Faculty

Our accomplished faculty come from a variety of diverse and complementary backgrounds. Learn more about them below.

Dr. Emily A. Farkas, MD, FACS

Emily A. Farkas

Dr. Farkas is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Associate Director of Global Health in Surgery at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She holds several unique distinctions such as being the first woman accepted to train in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Yale University, receiving a Mayoral Proclamation designating August 3rd “Dr. Emily Farkas Day” in the city of St. Louis, being entitled as a Nigerian tribal Chief for re-starting Heart Surgery at the University of Nigeria, and being granted honorary citizenship of the Brazilian state of Amapa for advancing Cardiac Surgery development in the Amazon region.

Dr. Farkas has crafted her career to focus on Global Cardiac Surgery, having led or participated in over 50 humanitarian missions to improve access to cardiovascular care in places such as Sudan, Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam, Ghana, Mongolia and others. Her recent recruitment to IU was centered on advancing Cardiac Surgery at sister institution Moi University in Kenya through AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access To Healthcare).

In her free time, Dr. Farkas has summited 6 of the Seven Summits, or the highest mountains on each continent, and has worked with the Himalayan Rescue Association at the ER located >18,000 ft above sea level on Mt. Everest. She holds certifications in Wilderness, Polar, and Mountain Medicine, and has been the lead Expedition Medic for multiple off-road rallies in Europe, Mexico, Baja, West Africa & the Sahara Desert to raise money for charitable surgical missions.

In addition to serving on leadership committees and workforces for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, she is an associate Editor for CTSNet, faculty for World Extreme Medicine through the University of Exeter, United Kingdom, and inaugural faculty for the Graduate Certificate in Extreme Medicine through Northeastern University in Boston. She serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for US-based NGOs CardioStart International and Hopecam, as well as on the Board of Directors for the Italian charity Emergency International.

Mark Hannaford, Extreme Medicine at Northeastern University

Mark Hannaford

Adventurer, pioneer, entrepreneur, founder, leader, and innovator.

In 2002, Mark Hannaford founded World Extreme Medicine, a global network delivering world-leading medical training and expertise in the world’s most extreme environments.

In 1996, Mark set up Across the Divide, an adventure challenge expedition company that enabled tens of thousands of people to experience the thrill of being part of an expedition as well as facilitating the raising of £103M/$132M for a multitude of worldwide charities.

This brought home the need to train medics in the provision of care in extreme environments and so, a few years later, Mark set up World Extreme Medicine, a global platform that has since trained over 20,000 medics in extreme medicine.

Mark’s leadership has also delivered the first MSc in extreme medicine and the world’s only extreme medicine annual conference.

In 2022 he founded Medics4Ukraine which has delivered over $3,700,000, and growing, worth of trauma supplies to frontline medical medics and trained over 450 medics in Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

In recognition of his commitment to extreme medicine, in 2021 Mark was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Science by the University of Exeter.

Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, BVSC, MSC, MPH, MRCVS

Gavin Macgregor-Skinner

Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner has more than 30 years of technical and policy experience in responding to infectious disease outbreaks and international humanitarian emergencies. He has led teams to help respond to outbreaks in West Africa for Ebola, Afghanistan for Anthrax, Indonesia for bird flu (H5N1), and Papua New Guinea for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he led teams to provide “just-in-time” training on infection prevention and control, cleaning and disinfection, and safe working practices for frontline workers in 16 US States and Hong Kong in hospital emergency departments, assisted-living and nursing homes, convention centers, airports, stadiums, public transport workers, and hotel staff and other essential employees. He has served on COVID-19 medical advisory committees for American Airlines, Port Authority Of New York and New Jersey, Hyatt Hotels, International Association of Venue Managers, American Association of Airport Executives, NFL, and NBA teams including Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Lakers.

He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine and teaches three 15-week graduate courses on Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Terrorist Emergencies. In 2014, he received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in teaching.

He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, BBC, Canada CTV, Australia ABC, C-SPAN, and other news outlets to share his expertise on High Consequence Pathogens preparedness and response. He served 12-years as an Officer in the Australian and British militaries and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the U.S. CDC in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Global Health Fellow with the United States Agency for International Development in Washington DC.

Eoin Walker, BSC Para Science, MSC Critical Care, DIP IMC RCSED, FEWM, MC PARA

Eoin Walker

Eoin Walker has been a qualified paramedic since 2004 with London Ambulance Service. He has also spent 10 years as a flight Paramedic from 2009-2019 in London, and 6 years as a ground-based Critical Care Paramedic/CCP. He has also recently worked for the Red Cross as a pre-hospital delegate in Cairo, Nairobi, and Somalia. 

He currently works as a senior product manager for Philips/RDT/Tempus Pro. His first-hand experience with Human factors and leadership has become both a passion and focus of work within the pre-hospital domain of practice and how we can leverage safe ways of working as a result.

Stephen Wood, MS, ACNP

Stephen P. Wood

Stephen P. Wood is an acute care nurse practitioner and is the program director for the Extreme Medicine certificate program as well as the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at Northeastern University. He is also the Field Operations Director, U.S. for World Extreme Medicine.

Stephen has worked in the ED and ICU for the last 14 years. Prior to this he spent over 18 years in EMS in an array of 911 systems, as a flight paramedic and as a SWAT paramedic. He was formerly the associate director of the BIDMC Disaster Medicine Fellowship. Stephen is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Law School Petrie Flom Center.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree or equivalent.

Undergraduates and professional certifications may take courses for credit but are not eligible for the graduate certificate.

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation.

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