Emory's OEM residency began in July, 1992, and is structured into three major educational elements: the academic year, the practicum year, and "continuity experiences" that run through both years. During the academic year residents earn the MPH degree .with a concentration in Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. This is a rigorous program that provides a firm grounding in epidemiology, biostatistics, toxicology, industrial hygiene, behavioral sciences and health education, policy and management, and environmental health sciences. During the practicum year residents choose from among 12 rotations, in consultation with their advisors. The rotations provide opportunities in heavy and light industry, federal, 'state, and local government, and multi-client private practice. A cadre of enthusiastic, qualified preceptors supervise the residents' work during their rotations. Continuity experiences include responding to workplace and environment-related calls to the Georgia Poison Control Center, working at the Environmental and Occupational Medicine Consultative Clinic at the Emory Clinic, participating in journal club and seminar presentations in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, and providing patient care at the Occupational Health clinics of the Dekalb County Board of Health. Currently, the residency has four full-time and one part-time resident. In the past five years, eight residents have completed the training program and one will be given his certification of completion when his final research project is complete. Two of the current residents will finish the program in December, 1999. Emory's training program in occupational medicine makes unique contributions to occupational and environmental medicine in the nation and the region in several ways. First, we provide one of very few OEM training opportunities in the Southern United States, an area that is severely under-supplied with such specialists. Second, we build on extensive collaboration with Federal agencies based in Atlanta, as well as with the state and local government. This allows a two-way flow, with Emory both offering training to government physicians and serving as a source of trained individuals for those agencies. Third. we have achieved an excellent balance of field placements for residents, offering training in heavy, medium, and light industry, academic and private practice. and several government settings. This balance reflects the range of current occupational medicine practice, as well as the range of industries in this region. Fourth, Emory is well positioned to expand traditional occupational medicine training into broader environmental concerns. The MPH coursework includes a dual emphasis on occupational and environmental issues, the field placements include plenty of environmental emphasis, and our close association with ATSDR promises rich opportunities to residents so inclined. Finally, our location in Atlanta provides us with a unique opportunity to recruit top minority candidates, an effort that has been quite successful, helping to redress a historical deficiency in the field.
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia