Occupational and Environmental Medicine Specialist

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Occupational and Environmental Medicine is a medical speciality where highly-trained specialists focus on the effects of work on health. Specialists in this field analyse and understand the full range of workplace and environmental hazards (chemical, physical, biological, psychosocial), the associated risks of exposure to such hazards and how these may cause an adverse impact of biological health, such as injury or illness. By understanding the effects of work on health, occupational medicine specialists aim to prevent and manage occupational health problems.

Employment opportunities in this field are above average as an ageing population, rising healthcare costs and the increasing cost of work-related disability have led to an increasing need for occupational and environmental medicine specialists.

Unlike other RACP training programs which are predominantly hospital-based, Occupational and Environmental Medicine training does not involve a series of registrar-level rotations at accredited training sites and is instead nearly always conducted in community settings. Training is a vocational, on-the-job educational program that must be applied for through the Australasian Faculty of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Prospective trainees must find their own jobs encompassing OEM within a set of broad guidelines.