Dive Medicine | Aquarius Reef Base, Florida | July 2022


World Extreme Medicine, in a unique collaboration with Florida International University and Aquarius Reef Base the world’s only undersea research laboratory, is proud to present a truly unique Dive Medicine course in Florida focusing on dive medicine and hyperbaric emergencies.

The FIU Aquarius Undersea Habitat and Laboratory is the world’s only underwater research habitat located off the Florida Keys in the Carpenter Basin on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean used for research of the coral reefs, marine life and training NASA astronauts through the NASA NEEMO space analog programme, for missions onboard the International Space Station.

Start: 25 July 2022, 08:00
End:  05 August 2022, 19:00

  • Prerequisites:
    • PADI Open Water Diver
    • Minimum 40 Dives
    • Physician/Doctor, Nurse* or Paramedic* (e.g. NR-P) 

*3 years post-national registration

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The aim of the WEM Dive Medicine* course is to train physicians in recognising, evaluating and treating diving medical and hyperbaric emergencies. Course educational methodology will include lectures, case presentations, printed support materials, practical exercises with teaching and training from dive medicine experts at Aquarius Reef Base (ARB), NASA NEEMO and the Department of Defense. At the conclusion of the course, participants will have a working knowledge to evaluate and manage diving medicine injuries in an operational environment.

In addition to lectures on the physiology and medicine of diving, the Dive Medicine course will include practical “hands-on” experience operating and working hyperbaric recompression chambers, and the use of commercial and military diving equipment to include an introduction to scientific, hard hat and saturation diving.

As highlights of the WEM/ ARB Dive Medicine Course, participants will also be introduced to the hard hat diving helmet and get the opportunity to dive it. As part of the course, in addition to multiple dives at the Aquarius Reef Base and Undersea Habitat, attendees will also spend a night living underwater in the Aquarius Undersea Habitat learning about saturation diving, vital life support mechanisms and experience the once in a lifetime opportunity of staying underwater in the world’s only undersea habitat and laboratory.

*In addition to Dive Medicine course CME, after successful completion of course exam, participants will also be awarded the Diver Medic Technician qualification issued by the National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology.  Dive Medicine forms a 30 credit module of the world renown Diploma/ MSc in Extreme Medicine delivered in partnership with University of Exeter Medical School.

Accommodation and meals are not included in this course.

Please note: Should a course be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, you will receive a full refund and our usual terms and conditions apply. Full details of our COVID-19 policy here

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When arranging leave and travel, you will need to plan for arrival the day prior to the course and home/onward travel the day proceeding the course.



Course Content*

WEM/FIU Aquarius Dive Medical Course Week (1) / M-S (6 Days) Academic Week

Lectures (For academic credit/CMEs)
–      Introduction to dive medicine and DMT
–      Diving & hyperbaric physics: Pressure & gas laws (2)
–      Diving related physiology & pathophysiology of immersion (2)
–      Inert gas narcosis, oxygen toxicity & high-pressure nervous syndrome (1)
–      Acute dysbaric disorders (1)
–      Chronic dysbaric disorders & long-term effects health effects of diving (1)
–      Non-Pulmonary barotrauma (1)
–      Thermal considerations of diving (1)
–      Hazardous marine life & marine toxins (1)

–      US Navy No decompression tables (1)
–      US Navy decompression tables & procedures (1)
–      Diving tables, computers & flying after diving (1)

–      Diving medical/neurological exam (2)
–      Case scenarios with neurological exam skills (1)
–      Return to diving after decompression illness (DCI) (1)
–      Decompression Illness (DCI) & immediate management of DCI (2)
–      USN (& other) recompression tables, procedures & strategies (2)
–      Introduction to Saturation Diving (1)
–      Physical fitness to dive criteria & contraindications (1)
–      HBO (Hyperbaric oxygen) basic physiology & pathophysiology (1)
–      National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine DMT Exam

Total: 48 hours Days (1 – 6 MTWTF and exam on Saturday)

WEM/FIU Aquarius Physicians Dive Medicine Course Week (2) / M-F (5 Days) Field Week

Day 1: Lectures (For academic credit/CMEs)
–      Introduction to diving & procedures for saturation diving (2)
–      Introduction to Hard Hat diving and procedures (4)
–      Introduction to scientific diving and OSHA Compliance (1)
–      Commercial diver regulations, standards & examination forms & procedures (1)

Total: 8 hours – Day (1)

Day 2: SS-37 Indoc dive
–      Indoctrination dive in SS-37 hard hat / Emergency procedures (Canal Dive / Shallow Reef dive)

Total: 8 hours – Day (2)

Day 3 & 4: Scuba diving and overnight stay at Aquarius Reef Base
–      SCUBA Dive at Aquarius in AM (Interior and Exterior)
–      Group (A) stays inside for overnight / Group (B) returns to base and gets an orientation at watch-desk
–      Group (A) Surfaces in AM and returns to base / Group (B) stays for overnight / Group (A) returns in PM for orientation at watch-desk
–      Group (B) makes a short exterior dive on exit and surfaces / Group (A) makes final exterior dive
–      Both groups return to base in PM

Total: 48 hours / Including overnight Days (3 & 4)

Day 5: Debrief
–      Final critique/ Debrief / Graduation / Old dive lessons learned
–      Celebratory splash up

Total: 2 hours – Day (5)

•Final Dive Medicine timetable is subject to change depending on operational considerations.

We select our teaching faculty for their academic qualifications, expedition experience and their ability to educate and inspire. Between them, our remarkable faculty have a depth of experience, living and working in the most remote corners of the world, achieving notable success in the face of extreme challenge and adversity.



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