Occupational medicine

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Occupational medicine is the branch of clinical medicine most active in the field of occupational health. OM specialists work to ensure that the highest standards of occupational health and safety can be achieved and maintained. While it may involve a wide number of disciplines, it centers on the preventive medicine and management of illness, injury or disability that is related to the workplace.[1] Occupational physicians must have a wide knowledge of clinical medicine and be competent in a number of important areas. They often advise international bodies, governmental and state agencies, organizations and trade unions. There are contextual links to insurance medicine.


Occupational medicine aims to prevent diseases and promote wellness among workers.[2] Occupational health physicians must:

  • Have knowledge of potential hazards in the workplace including toxic properties of materials used.
  • Be able to evaluate employee fitness for work.
  • Be able to diagnose and treat occupational disease and injury.
  • Know about rehabilitation methods, health education, and government laws and regulations concerning workplace health.
  • Be able to manage health service delivery.[2]

OM can be described as:

"work that combines clinical medicine, research, and advocacy for people who need the assistance of health professionals to obtain some measure of justice and health care for illnesses they suffer as a result of companies pursuing the biggest profits they can make, no matter what the effect on workers or the communities they operate in."[3]


The first textbook of occupational medicine, De Morbis Artificum Diatriba (Diseases of Workers), was written by Italian physician Bernardino Ramazzini in 1713.

Schools that offer programs

Physicians and others trained in health and safety may specialize in various aspects of occupational medicine, including toxicology, human factors and ergonomics, epidemiology, safety studies and engineering. OM training in the U.S. is supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health through the NIOSH Education and Research Centers. Many major schools of medicine offer programs with an emphasis in occupational health and safety, including:

American schools

  • University of Cincinnati Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program [4]
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai[5]
  • West Virginia School of Medicine Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health[6]
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health[7]
  • Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute[8]
  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health[9]
  • University of Michigan School of Public Health[10]
  • University of Minnesota School of Public Health/HealthPartners[11]
  • UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health[12]
  • Harvard School of Public Health[13]
  • University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health[14]
  • University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston[15]
  • University of Utah- Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
  • University of South Florida College of Public Health[16]
  • University of Washington School of Public Health[17]
  • Loma Linda University Occupational Medicine Residency Program[18]

Australian schools

  • Monash University[19]
  • University of New South Wales[20]
  • Curtin University[21]
  • Edith Cowan University[22]
  • University of New South Wales[23]

Canadian schools

  • University of Alberta[24]
  • University of Toronto[23]
  • Université de Montréal[25]

Indian schools

  • The Tamil Nadu Dr.MGR Medical University[26]
  • West Bengal University of Health Sciences[27]

Malaysian schools

  • University of Malaya [28]

Swiss schools

  • University of Zurich and University of Lausanne[29]

Governmental Bodies


United States of America



Non-Governmental Organizations






United Kingdom

United States of America

See also


  1. Section=Home&CONTENTID=1524&TEMPLATE=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&SECTION=Article_Archives What is Occupational Medicine?, San Francisco Medical Society, Thomas McClure, MD
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.acoem.org/OccMed.aspx.
  3. Interview with Dr. Stephen Levin/Obituary, Katie Halper, The Nation, February 14, 2012
  4. http://eh.uc.edu/occmed/
  5. http://www.mountsinai.org
  6. http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/ioeh/
  7. http://www.jhsph.edu/
  8. http://eohsi.rutgers.edu/content/residency_fellowship_program_occupational_environmental_medicine
  9. http://www.med.wisc.edu/
  10. http://www.sph.umich.edu/academics/
  11. http://www.mcohs.umn.edu/academics/oem/introduction.html
  12. http://www.sph.unc.edu/school/school_of_public_health_mission_statement_119_6048.html
  13. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu
  14. http://www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/residency/
  15. https://sph.uth.edu/research/centers/swcoeh/
  16. http://health.usf.edu/publichealth/eoh/index.htm
  17. http://deohs.washington.edu/oem
  18. http://lluoccmed.com
  19. http://www.med.monash.edu.au/sphpm/
  20. http://www.safesci.unsw.edu.au
  21. http://healthsciences.curtin.edu.au/teaching/publichealth.cfm/
  22. http://www.ecu.edu.au/schools/medical-sciences/overview
  23. 23.0 23.1 http://www.occupationalmedicine.utoronto.ca/
  24. http://www.medicine.med.ualberta.ca/en/Residency/OccMedicine.aspx
  25. http://www.med.umontreal.ca/
  26. http://web.tnmgrmu.ac.in/index.php/courses/courses-fellowship-main-menu/579-mainmenunew/courses/courses-fellowship/1300
  27. http://www.aiihph.gov.in/courses/display/8-diploma-in-industrial-health(-dih-)
  28. http://spm.um.edu.my
  29. http://www.mas-workandhealth.uzh.ch