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Environ Res. 1992 Oct;59(1):93-100.

Sentinel pathophysiologic conditions: an adjunct to teaching occupational and environmental disease recognition and history taking.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Community Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway 08854-5635.


Primary care physicians have an increasingly important role in identifying occupational and environmental (O/E) disease. However, the basic skills in O/E history taking, diagnosis, and management have not been adequately incorporated into traditional American medical education or practice. Reasons for these educational barriers are discussed. A new approach to O/E history taking, based on a modified list of occupational sentinel health events, is described. This list will give medical students and residents a practical, directed approach to recognizing O/E conditions and evaluating exposures in formulating a differential diagnosis. Through improved detection and assessment on the part of primary care physicians, appropriate referrals to occupational health specialists can be made for further investigation and public health surveillance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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