March Seminar Scheduled for 2020 Race Medical Officers

December 7, 2019

Newport-Bermuda Race logo
Newport-Bermuda Race logo

The Newport Bermuda Race requires certification in First Aid and CPR for at least two crewmembers on each boat. As in 2018, the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee will hold a pre-race Offshore Medical Seminar to prepare designated crewmembers to fill their “medical officer” roles. Registration is now open for the seminar and optional First Aid/CPR/AED course, to be held on March 15, 2020, at Roger Williams University, 1 Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI  02809. 

The seminar will focus on the responsibility of the medical officer on a sailing vessel, with an interactive discussion of various medical scenarios at sea and will include: 
•    discussion of the appropriate medical kit
•    assessment of the victim and how to communicate findings for remote assistance
•    review of common injuries and illnesses 
•    a section from the national campaign called “Stop the Bleed”

The seminar will be taught by Jeffery S. Wisch, M.D., fleet surgeon for the Cruising Club of America and David Schoenfeld, M.D., Director of the division of Emergency Medical Services of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. (See below for more on these two sailing doctors.)

Optional First Aid/CPR/AED Certification

Participants will receive an American Heart Association First Aid/CPR/AED certificate. The day will start with optional one-hour hands-on portion of that certification. Students doing that optional certification must complete the online portion of the course before the seminar and bring the certificate of completion with them. 

While no overall course certification is provided, all participants will receive a certificate for the “Stop the Bleed” section. Those participants that complete the First Aid/CPR/AED course will also receive certification. The First Aid/CPR/AED course meets the training requirements of the Newport Bermuda Race.

CPR and First Aid: Two crewmembers must have current CPR certificate completed within the past two years and a valid First Aid certificate completed within the past five years. The CPR certificate must have been obtained through a course which includes hands-on supervised training (online-only courses will not be accepted).  Licensed and practicing health professionals may submit a brief resume with a waiver request to accept their credentials instead of a first-aid certificate to No waivers will be granted for CPR certificates.

The seminar is limited to 50 students. Register today.

Meet Seminar Instructors: Jeffery Wisch, David Schoenfeld

Jeffrey S. Wisch is the Fleet Surgeon for the Cruising Club of America and serves on the club’s Safety and Seamanship Committee as well as the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee as Medical Advisor to the Race. Dr. Wisch received his M.D. degree at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  He trained at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Internal Medicine and completed fellowships in Hematology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Medical Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He is triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology.  He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Distinguished Physician Emeritus at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute where he specialized in Gastrointestinal Cancers.

A lifelong sailor, he actively sails with his wife Cindy and their Portuguese Water Dog, Magic on their vessel, Wischbone.  He has raced in multiple Newport to Bermuda, Marion to Bermuda, and Marblehead to Halifax Races.

David Schoenfeld MD, MPH, FACEP, FAEMS is the Director of the Division of Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and an Instructor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, he went on to complete a residency in Emergency Medicine at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is double board certified in Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services. 

A practicing Emergency and EMS physician, Dr. Schoenfeld serves as the EMS Director for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center overseeing numerous Police/Fire/EMS agencies.  

Dr. Schoenfeld grew up as a recreational sailor starting out in dinghies, logging many hours in his family’s Flying Junior and Laser II.  In college and medical school, he made the move to larger boats racing in the Eastport Yacht Club (Annapolis, MD) , cruising in the DelMarVa rally, Figawi, and cruising with his family aboard Zephyr a  Beneteau 393.

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