Nature of the work
Occupational medicine specialises in the
diagnosis, management and prevention of disease due to, or
exacerbated by, workplace factors. It is concerned with all aspects
of the effects of work on health and health on work.
Working in occupational medicine
Occupational physicians visit workplaces and
assess a range of work-related health issues. Helping people to
stay at work or to return to work following accident or illness is
a key part of their role. The work is varied, combining clinical
medical practice with the need to influence and shape the behaviour
of both individuals and organisations.
In addition to NHS work, there are also
increasing numbers of independent providers offering good
opportunities for part-time, varied employment. Many large
organisations in both manufacturing and service
industries have their own in-house occupational health
services offering further employment opportunities for occupational
physicians, although this is a diminishing trend.
As the importance of employment to health and
wellbeing become more understood, occupational medicine is moving
up the political agenda and likely to play a larger role in future
Common procedures / interventions
Occupational physicians assess workplace
health risks and work with others to formulate methods of
controlling those risks. They typically deal with issues such as
work-related stress, diseases caused by asbestos, noise-induced
hearing loss, occupational asthma, work-related back pain and
problems caused by exposure to chemicals and vibration.
Associated sub specialties
- Related sub specialties include:
- disability assessment medicine
- aviation medicine
- occupational dermatology
- respiratory medicine
- sports and exercise medicine
- radiation medicine
- diving medicine.
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