Trends in the training of occupational physicians are discussed. The previous practice of Board certification for occupational medicine and specialization is traced from its beginning in 1948 until 1970, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed and grants for these programs were terminated. Development in the middle 1970's of new university programs and of NIOSH Educational Resources Centers is described. A program established in Minnesota to train occupational physicians in patient care and preventive medicine through specialization in internal medicine is explained. The author concludes that this emphasis will enable the physician to command a high degree of respect from the community and his peers, and will train him to be an effective liaison between the patient and the private physician. Another new residency program in general preventive medicine is described, which illustrates features common to occupational and preventive medicine. These are a defined location and availability of patients, cost effectiveness, good communications and records systems, easy recall and reinforcement, and transmission of information from the employee to his family. A proposal currently under consideration is discussed, which focuses on the established physician who is interested in occupational medicine but does not have access to a structured training program. The author proposes that such training include short, intensive courses, weekend sessions and conferences, and homework and project reviews.
Occupational Safety and Health Symposia 1978, Division of Technical Services, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio