A rigorous curriculum combining public health, research, and clinical practice equips trainees to evaluate the interaction between work and health. Trainees acquire competency to:
- Recognize, diagnose, and treat occupational and environmental diseases and competently manage occupational injuries
- Determine an employee's physical and emotional fitness for work
- Gain familiarity with worksite operations, including toxins, hazards, and stressors in multiple industries, as well as best practices for health promotion
- Understand the legal and regulatory framework regarding employment, workers’ compensation insurance, and environmental protection in the U.S.
- Interact with diverse entities such as corporate management, benefits and human resources departments, legal, worker’s compensation, government regulatory agencies, labor and unions, hospitals and public health organizations to promote worker health
One Health Track in Occupational Medicine
If you took the quiz on the landing page, the answer is all of them! The industries associated with these infectious diseases are:
- Ebola: Healthcare workers
- SARS: Food and market workers
- Avian influenza: Poultry workers
- Nipah virus: Swine workers
- Q fever: Meat-packing workers
Trainees in the UW OEM program have the opportunity to specialize in the health of animal workers using the One Health model. One Health is an approach to emerging diseases that considers connections between human, animal, and environmental health. Workers in contact with animals and animal products represent the front lines of the transmission of zoonotic infections between animals and people.
This special track leverages the UW Center for One Health Research (COHR), which investigates the health linkages between humans, animals, and their shared environments and the Healthy Animal Worker Clinic (HAWC), which is the nation’s first occupational medicine clinic dedicated to the occupational health care of animal workers.
Graduate Coursework and Conferences
Most trainees obtain the Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) MPH through the UW School of Public Health, recently ranked #4 in the world. The degree is a combination of MPH common core courses and courses particularly pertinent to OEM physicians.
Required classes include:
- Foundations of Public Health
- Analytic Skills for Public Health
- Determinants of Health
- Implementing Public Health Interventions
- Public Health Practice
- Occupational Diseases
- Current Topics in OEM
- OEM Case Conference
Trainees who already have an MPH or equivalent degree when entering the OEM program, or who wish to pursue an alternative master’s degree within the UW School of Public Health, will have customized alternative educational plans.
Clinical and Public Health Training
Ranked #2 in the U.S. for primary care clinical training, the UW School of Medicine offers a diverse mix of specialty and subspecialty training, often with preceptors who are national leaders in their fields.
Clinical rotations in occupational medicine are available at the following sites:
- Harborview Medical Center OEM Specialty Clinic
- VA Puget Sound Environmental and Employee Health Clinics
- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, OEM Clinic, Bremerton, WA
- Healthy Worker Clinic, Yakima, WA
- The Work Clinic, Tukwila, WA
- Kaiser Occupational Medicine, Seattle, WA
- Valley Occupational Medicine, Renton, WA
Clinical rotations in other specialty and subspecialty clinics at UW are available in Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, Otolaryngology, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Public health rotations are available at the Washington Poison Center, Washington State Department of Labor & Industries in Olympia, WA, and Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, WA. Trainees also participate in worksite visits at several local facilities, learning how to recognize occupational hazards and participate in multidisciplinary approaches.
A research project is a required component of the training. Past projects include:
- Chronic Health Risks in Commercial Fishermen: A Cross-Sectional Analysis
- 9-1-1 Telecommunicator Occupational Stress and Strain
- Occupational Exposures to Vapors and Gases, Liver Attenuation, and Insulin Resistance: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis
See additional thesis topics on the DEOHS Student Research page.