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J Occup Environ Med. 2005 Feb;47(2):161-7.

Influence of residency training on occupational medicine practice patterns.

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1
Division of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90024-7027, USA. pharber@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A relatively high proportion of occupational medicine (OM) specialists have not had formal residency training in OM. Members of the Western Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association, a professional organization of OM specialists, completed a postal questionnaire (160 of 561 members).

METHODS:

Educational background, practice setting, practice activities, and skills considered relevant were compared between those with and without formal training.

RESULTS:

Both groups had considerable focus in clinical care, musculoskeletal medicine, and workers' compensation. However, those with formal training practice in a broader variety of settings were less likely to have practiced another specialty, and used additional skills (toxicology, industrial hygiene, and epidemiology) in their practices. Formal education appears to create a greater diversity of skills and opportunities, but it does not appear to create a group of physicians disinterested in "front-line" occupational medicine practice.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data support the need for formal residency programs but also highlight the importance of access to formal training for midcareer physicians.

PMID:
15706176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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