Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, T01-CCT-420005, 2007 Mar; :1-36
The goal of the Duke Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency (OEMR) program is to train ethical, board-certified, occupational and environmental physicians who possess the knowledge and skills necessary to provide occupational and environmental health professional services in a wide variety of settings, including academia, public health agencies, corporate occupational health, and community based clinical occupational medicine. There is a critical need for residency trained board certified OEM physicians regionally, nationally and globally. This need has been well documented in the past and is reiterated in the most recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, "Safe Work in the 21st Century: Education and Training Needs for the Next Decade's Occupational Safety and Health Personnel (2000)." This report cites the current state of training which provides only approximately 100 residency trained physicians a year, barely enough to replace retiring physicians. The Duke Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program (OEMR) is housed in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine within the Department of Community and Family Medicine (CFM) at Duke University Medical Center. Established in 1966 CFM took an early leadership role in developing programs to improve the health of communities including working populations. Graduate medical education has been a key element in the mission of the Department and the OEMR Program is one of many graduate-training programs supported by CFM. In fact the OEMR program has been active in residency training for 20 years, graduating 40 physicians, many of whom have taken leadership roles in corporations, academic institutions, the military and Public Health Agencies regionally and nationally. Many graduates are also active in leadership positions including Greg Stave, MD, JD, MPH and Thomas Faulkner, MD, MPH who currently serve on the Board of Directors of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The institution remains dedicated and committed to providing a quality education for professionals in occupational and environmental medicine. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) provides academic programs to fulfill the Master's in Public Health degree. The UNC School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The program has received NIOSH funding as a core program in the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center (NC OSHERC) from 1983 to 2000 and through a competitive five year Training Project Grant from 2001 through 2006. NIOSH funding has benefited the program by providing the resources to continue supporting the stipends and tuition of trainees, National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) research projects, and administrative and faculty support. The program is two-years in length with the first year devoted to academic training leading to the completion of the Master in Public Health degree including coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental science, toxicology, industrial hygiene, safety, health and behavioral science and health administration. The second "practicum" year involves supervised training in clinical occupational medicine, mentored research and interdisciplinary occupational health hazard assessment with other occupational health professionals. During the practicum year residents participate in rotations at an industrial occupational health service, a comprehensive university hospital based employee health clinic at Duke Medical Center, a regional community based occupational health clinic, the NC State Department of Health, and government agencies including OSHA and NIOSH. Since the knowledge and skills necessary to practice preventive medicine and occupational and environmental medicine are acquired over the course of a career, lifelong learning skills are emphasized (see the Duke OEM web site <a href="http://dukeoccmed.mc.duke.edu/"target="_blank">http://dukeoccmed.mc.duke.edu/</a>). In addition to training OEM residents the Duke OEMR program will continue to provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities for all trainees in the NC OSHERC by offering on-campus and distant learning programs. The extensive outreach and continuing education offerings to the regional and national occupational health and safety community will be continued and expanded as the OEMR rejoins the NC OSHERC. NORA related research efforts are extensive with emphasis placed on projects that translate into practice and lead to improvements in occupational safety and health. The residency program has also been successful in attracting a diverse group of trainees over the project period including four out of ten residents representing minorities.
Dennis Darcey, MD, MSPH, Duke Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710