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So you're considering a career in Occupational Medicine?


It is difficult to know where to start explaining about Occupational Medicine.
One thing is for sure: 'It's different'. 

This page provides some information on the subject. Instead of 're-inventing the wheel' the main body of this page entitled 'Careers Information on Occupational Medicine' has been reproduced by courtesy of Dr Eugene Waclawski (2000).  Some hyperlinks to further information are also provided.

Careers Information on Occupational Medicine 

Occupational Medicine is a clinical specialty, which has developed from a clinical base of diagnosis and management of occupational diseases. The specialist is also involved in assessment of medical suitability for employment, rehabilitation back to/ into work, studies of working populations to identify causes of disease and advising workers and managers of ways to improve the workplace to prevent health problems from occurring.

The work varies according to the hazards of the industry to which the doctor provides advice. It combines clinical medical activity and investigation of workplaces and workforces. Doctors can work in multi-disciplinary teams that can include nurses, ergonomists, occupational hygienists, physiotherapists and health, safety and environmental specialists. 

Research is encouraged and a dissertation forms part of the specialist qualification.

A very useful internet resource maintained by Prof Raymond Agius of the University of Manchester is worth accessing to find out more about Occupational Medicine.

Specialist Training

The requirement for entry to specialist training is a minimum of two years of General Professional Training in a range of posts at SHO (Senior House Officer/Physician) level, satisfactory completion of General Practice Vocational Training or possession of a Certificate of Equivalent Experience. Training in SHO posts can include posts in surgical specialties and obstetrics/ gynaecology.

A post-graduate qualification, e.g. MRCP (UK), MRCGP, etc., is desirable but not essential.

Specialist training must be undertaken in an approved training post. Such posts may be within the NHS (National Health Service) or industry. The minimum training period is 4 years. A CCST (Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training) can be provided on satisfactory completion of all the competencies required by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine with the issue of a RITA G form, and completion of the MFOM (Membership of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine).

Further information on the training requirements can be obtained from 
the Faculty of Occupational Medicine website.

Career Opportunities

Once the CCST is obtained there are a variety of opportunities open to 
the specialist:
  • A Consultant post in the NHS
  • A medical post within the Health and Safety Executive (Medical Inspector)
  • A post in a UK industry
  • A post overseas
  • An academic position in a University

Seniority within an organisation will require an ability to manage other staff including doctors. Leadership, negotiating, communication and problem solving skills require to be present for such a role.

Non-specialist Opportunities

Occupational Medicine can be undertaken as part of a general practitioner’s role.  Knowledge of Occupational Medicine can improve the care provided to patients. In addition, a sessional commitment to the NHS or a local employer can provide income to the practice. The Faculty of Occupational Medicine encourages doctors undertaking sessional work to attain the Diploma in Occupational Medicine. Further information on the Diploma is available at the Faculty website.

Dr ER Waclawski
Regional Specialty Adviser (for the Faculty of Occupational Medicine) 
South of Scotland

Postgraduate University Courses:

(This section is not yet complete) 

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