The Heli-Ski Blog

Earn CME Credits while Heliskiing? Of Course!

Posted by Jane Carswell on Oct 29, 2010 1:39:00 PM

For many years CMH Heli-Skiing has been offering medical symposia at our lodges in partnership with the medical community. Over the next few months we will bring you a series of discussions with the doctors and healthcare providers who coordinate these programs.

Last month I caught up with Dr. Ted Ritota who heads up the Asculepian Society and brings together medical professionals for 2 weeks of heliskiing where guests can earn Continuing Medical Education credits by attending engaging presentations each evening at the lodge.

Heliskiing in deep powder by topher donahueJC: Ted, you've been hosting medical symposia with CMH Heli-Skiing for a few years now where healthcare professionals can earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credits on a 7 day heliskiing trip. Can you tell me about the trips? How does the week go down? Do participants get to go heliskiing or sit in a conference room in the mountains with no windows?

TR: It's now been 18 years that I have been hosting our Aesculapain Society weeks. We offer Catagory 2 CME for all health care related professionals and Continuing Ed hours for all Dental Health care professionals. There is a very strong nucleus of professionals that almost never miss a year. And along the way our Society has significaly grown, welcoming some new members on almost every week we organize. We conduct all the CME business in the evenings after dinner, so everyone gets in a full day of heliskiiing, an awesome CMH dinner and then we convene. It really is the ideal situation because the isolated nature of the lodges leaves room for a lot of mingling after dinner. We get together in the evenings and most presenters will lead a discussion and present their topic with an audio visual presentation. All this, IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!

JC: Can you tell me about the speakers that you've had in the past?

TR: All of our presentations are done by the attendees and the topics vary widely. I contact them asking if you can provide a talk and a topic. Everyone takes their presentation very seriously and a lot of very valuable intellectual exhchange takes place, often carrying over to discussions out in the field sometimes the next day and sometimes lasting all week. We often get cutting edge previews of what technology is on the forefront coming to medicine or dentistry prior to it being public knowledge. Example of recent talks include robotic surgery, dental implants, lazsik sugery just to mention a few.

JC: Who do you have on the roster this year?

TR: This years rosters are just being compiled now. We try to have them completed so we can publish our program about 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled trips. Here's a few topics lined up so far for this coming season

  • Partial Knee Replacment
  • Proven and potential benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in cardiovascular diseases and beyond
  • Advances in Eye Surgery
  • Relationship between periodontal and heart disease
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation for Superficial Venuos Insufficiency
  • "Minimal-invasive sinuslift with autologous bone and two Camlog-implants
  • ACL repairs
  • Mangement of Overreactive Bladder

JC: You also offer diving trips where guests can earn CME credits while travelling, correct? Can you tell me a little bit about those? 

TR: In the past we have done some fantastic CME scuba diving trips, again to some rather exotic locations. The Galapagos Islands, Small Hope Bay in the Bahamas and Cay Sal Banks in the Bahamas. Same format as with the skiing smyposiums. We haven't done one for few years, because we did a few CMH Summer Adventures but are thinking about doing one for summer of 2011.

JC: Sounds like you've found a fantastic way to combine your passions for skiing and diving with work! What inspired you to begin coordinating CME travel?

TR: Originally, I was recruited to CMH, by Mark and Marion Kingsbury, and it was Marion that set me up with the Dallas Aseculpain Society. So I went and had what I coined at the time as the "ultimate ski vacation" so I was hooked very early on. What an awesome idea, CME and heliskiing in compleletly isolated lodges! Then one day Mark telephoned me and asked me if I would be interested in continuing the group that for unknown reasons the previous organizers were disbanding. I "hit the ground running" and it has really grown. You are absolutely correct in that organizing this fabulous group of skiing professionals, it has allowed me to combine two deep passions of mine; being a healthcare provider and skiing deep powder. It was purely coincdental, but I am forever grateful to having met the Kingsburys. Organizing these trips has also created many lifelong friendships with the team at Canadian Mountain Holidays.

JC: And what does the future hold for CME travel at CMH?

TR:  We haved 2 weeks lined up for 2010-2011 season. Our early December Gothics/Adamant week, which has become so popular we have need to expand beyond the Gothics lodge to concurrently run a session at the Adamants, this year Dec 4-11, 2010. Then Jan 29-Feb 5 we will be in Revelstoke. More details are located on the Medical Symposia page on the CMH website.

JC: How can one secure a space on one of your Heliskiing Medical Symposia?? 

TR: Almost exclusively business is conducted via the internet. I love talking heliskiing so I am always willing to phone a prospective new client. But far and away it is best to contact me initallly via email at: and I will reply quickly, (that is unless I am up at one of the lodges heliskiing myself). I monitor my email very regularly in between my patients at my dental practice.

Are you a healthcare provider looking to combine your love of deep powder with your passion for knowledge?  Spaces still remain for this winter on a few of these medical symposia.  Contact CMH Reservations at 1.800.661.0252 or drop Dr. Ted Ritota an e-mail at