Occupational medicine practice: activities and skills of a national sample.
Harber-P; Rose-S; Bontemps-J; Saechao-K; Liu-Y; Elashoff-D; Wu-S
J Occup Environ Med 2010 Dec; 52(12):1147-1153
OBJECTIVE: To characterize activities and skills of occupational physicians using work diaries. METHODS: A total of 260 occupational physicians from a national sample provided task/skill descriptions at approximately 25 specific times. The average percentage of activity samples using a skill and the interquartile range expressed results. RESULTS: Clinical activities, particularly musculoskeletal, were most frequent, followed by industry and health system management. Traditional public health approaches were infrequent. Injured patients, employers, and healthy workers were the most common beneficiaries. Communication about prevention and work restrictions was frequent. Interphysician variability was high for most measures. CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrated a dichotomy-many frequent activities/skills are associated with other specialties as well (eg, treating injury); others, albeit less frequently used, demarcate the uniqueness of occupational medicine (eg, preventive examinations, toxicology, benefiting employers or worker groups, assessing work ability, payment by employers).
Health-care-personnel; Physicians; Doctors; Surveillance-programs; Occupational-medicine; Questionnaires; Statistical-analysis
Philip Harber, MD, MPH, University of California, Los Angeles, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 10880 Wilshire, 1800, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles