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In response to the 2002, vol. 22, no. 4 article entitled: The rise and fall of occupational medicine in the United States.
Mitchell CS; Moline J; Avery AN; Baker D; Blessman JE; Carson AI; Cosby O; Darcey D; Ducatman A; Emmett EA; Forst L; Gerr F; Gochfeld M; Guidotti TL; Harber P; Hu H; Hegmann KT; Kipen HM; Levin J; McGrail MP; Meyer JD; Mueller KL; Prince S; Rubin R; Schwerha JJ; Sprince NL; Taiwo O; Upfal M
Am J Prev Med 2002 Nov; 23(4):307-309
Dr. LaDou has offered a thought-provoking analysis of occupational medicine in the United States today. While we agree that there are significant challenges to occupational medicine, we differ with his conclusions on the value of residency training and believe that he has failed to address some of the central problems confronting occupational medicine today. Specifically, we believe that the future of occupational medicine can be bright, if it follows the lead of other medical specialties in requiring specialty training and board certification for its practitioners, and if it defines itself more broadly as occupational and environmental medicine. As directors of occupational medicine residency programs, we have been involved for years in efforts to strengthen and expand the field of occupational medicine, broadening it to include environmental medicine, thereby enhancing our ability to attract physicians and medical students. We meet regularly, as LaDou states, but a central theme of our meetings is the recognition that the number and quality of applicants to our programs, and the number of graduates from our programs, remains a concern for all of us. Furthermore, these sessions are always held with the involvement and participation of concerned stakeholders, including representatives from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which funds most of our training programs, as well as the Occupational Physicians Scholarship Fund, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics. NIOSH has been an essential partner in our discussions about the need to strengthen the field. Recent NIOSH initiatives, including an increase in research funding disbursements to education and research centers and a boost in training program grants, are evidence of a solid response to a pressing concern. We have also worked with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on projects to increase the visibility of occupational medicine in medical schools.
Occupational-medicine; Environmental-medicine; Health-care; Medical-care; Physicians; Training; Education
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah