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Graduate training program.

Authors
Grey-MR
Source
NIOSH 2004 Sep; :1-12
Link
NIOSHTIC No.
20025493
Abstract
The University of Connecticut's Occupational Medicine Residency Training Program was established in the fall of 1993 in response to recognized national needs for training in the field of worker health as well as in the broader area of environmental hazards. This innovative model for training in Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) at UCHC represents a linkage between multiple stakeholders in the government, labor, corporate, and research communities, and seeks not only to train physicians for practice within these disparate communities, but also to enhance training and expertise in population medicine and public health in the Medical Center, the University, and the state. The residency program focuses on investigative skills, both clinical and population-based, that assist in evaluating cases of work- or environmentally-related illness and their underlying causes, while placing a premium on the development of preventive measures that control and reduce new disease. Residents have taken the lead on investigations of large outbreaks of lung disease occurring in such diverse places as a metal machining plant, and a large state office building; their work has lead to national recognition in peer-reviewed publications and presentations at professional society meetings. Most importantly, the training program has proven uniquely flexible and responsive to the new and substantial challenges to the public's health following the events of September 2001. Rapid development and promotion of training modules targeted to recognition of potential terrorist use of biological, chemical, and radiation hazards, and guidance in the public health response has been one result of the expertise developed in this program; a more visible effort has been resident involvement in the effort to vaccinate first responders against the threat of smallpox. Physicians in this training are functioning on the front lines of response to protect the health of workers and the public. It is a unique and innovative model for OM training, with few comparable programs in the U.S. Since the submission of our last NIOSH grant, the OEM residency has been strengthened through addition of faculty, enhanced educational, research and clinical offerings, interdisciplinary collaboration, and increased recruitment of residents. Areas of specialty expertise within the DOEM have provided residents with in-depth experience in the evaluation of upper extremity disorders, illness arising from indoor environments, medical center occupational health, and pregnancy exposure risks. Major collaborating institutions outside of the University of Connecticut consortium include the Connecticut Department of Public Health, United Technologies/Pratt and Whitney, Electric Boat/General Dynamics Corp., and Travelers Insurance. As of July 2004, we will have graduated eleven residents and will have two additional residents in the practicum year. The majority of these individuals were recruited directly from the internal medicine residencies at UCHC, indicating that our long-stated goal of establishing a viable training pipeline from the medical center's GME programs to the occupational medicine residency has been achieved. Despite nationwide problems in recruitment, the program has remained full across the past three years. The DOEM now includes eight full-time faculty, including five physicians, as well as a Ph.D.-level ergonomist, an industrial hygienist, a biomedical engineer, and a sociologist/epidemiologist. All faculty have external funding to support their research. Research activities focus on ergonomics, indoor environments, hospital employee health, and reproductive hazards. The program serves as the medical expertise in outbreak investigations, policy development, and research support for the occupational branch of the CT Department of Public Health. The MPH program has an energetic new director, and linkages to the public health and environmental health departments at the main UConn campus in Storrs are laying the foundation for a projected new Public Health Institute. Core courses in the MPH program are complemented by specialist courses for occupational medicine trainees; these include industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental epidemiology, and occupational disease. The UCHC Occupational Medicine residency has continued to grow and expand training opportunities in occupational medicine, as well as challenging residents to respond to new and current threats to worker and public health.
Keywords
Education; Training; Occupational-medicine; Occupational-health; Health-care-personnel; Environmental-health; Environmental-medicine
Contact
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030
Publication Date
20040929
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
114438
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2004
NTIS Accession No.
PB2005-100148
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T01-CCT-112056
NIOSH Division
OEP
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
CT
Performing Organization
University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030
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