The PHB description of the Medicine skill is paltry. Wild Shape doesn't seem to cover skills like Medicine, though it does say you retain skill proficiencies.

Can a druid in Wild Shape use the Medicine skill to stabilize a dying creature?

In my situation, the character in Wild Shape was trying to stabilize a humanoid. In this case, the character had become a spider. Since I found no RAW, and couldn't discern the intended interpretation either, I went with the rule of "story flow" and allowed the spider to stabilize their companion.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify, are you asking whether a character who is in wild shape can apply first aid to another character, or are you asking whether a character in wild shape can benefit from first aid applied by another character? \$\endgroup\$
    – sptrashcan
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 2:40

2 Answers 2


What a Wild-Shaped druid can physically do is up to the GM

The rules on Wild Shape include the following (emphasis mine):

  • [...] You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can’t use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense. [...]

While that doesn't really say anything about this particular case, it does show us that the physical capabilities of a Wild-Shape form do matter. And with that, we can also see that skill checks (like most things) require the character to physically do something and whether a given Wild-Shape form can physically perform that same thing is up to the GM.

Regarding Wisdom checks and Medicine checks in particular, we know very very little:

A Wisdom check might reflect an effort to read body language, understand someone’s feelings, notice things about the environment, or care for an injured person. The Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Perception, and Survival skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Wisdom checks.

A Wisdom (Medicine) check lets you try to stabilize a dying companion or diagnose an illness.

And yeah... that's all we know. Ultimately, the character does not say "I perform a medicine check" they say "I attempt to stabilize my friend" and the GM can ask (perhaps even should ask) how they plan to do that and from there they can make a ruling about the feasibility of that action and determine its DC based on the likelihood of its success.

For me, this depends almost entirely upon the druid's form, because even if you know how to stabilize somebody, doing so while the size of a spider or the weight of an elephant simply will not work (well, I've had my players surprise me more times than I can count, so maybe they really will come up with a way for a spider to stabilize their friend). There would thus be times where I would really need to be convinced that it could work and it'd be very likely that no roll would be made and there would also be times where I would say it might work and would call for a roll.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps a spider could make a web over a wound and stabilise them that way? \$\endgroup\$
    – mwarren
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 10:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mwarren And there's a pretty good example of a player explaining how their character is accomplishing the task (well, assuming there's a physical wound). Love it! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 12:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you @Medix2, I still can't think of a good idea for the elephant though. \$\endgroup\$
    – mwarren
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mwarren An elephant's trunk is surprisingly dexterous. \$\endgroup\$
    – MJD
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ The specific rules on stabilizing a creature state: "You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature and attempt to stabilize it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check." Not sure if this affects your assessment at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 3:50

I would be inclined to make a roleplaying challenge. If the player can give me a decent description of how they would do it, I'd let it work. Maybe as simple as "licking the wounds" as a dog, or something like that. Medicine is not by any means an overpowered skill, so I'm inclined to let it be as useful as the players can make it.


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