Occupational Medicine in the East of England
Occupational Medicine is concerned with all aspects of the multifaceted relationship between health and work. It is practised both in an industrial setting and in each NHS Trust and requires a broad medical education.
The role of the occupational physician is unique in medicine: a specific responsibility for recognising and preventing occupational or environmental ill-health and contributing to the management and rehabilitation of affected people.
Attractions of the Specialty
Visiting the workplace is as important to occupational physicians as examining the patient. The opportunity to explore a wide variety of working environments of your own and other industries is one of the great differences about occupational medicine. The Faculty of Occupational Medicine and the Society of Occupational Medicine, represent academic and practising physicians respectively. It is still a small speciality, with fewer than 100 NHS specialists in the UK.
The clinical work in occupational medicine involves the assessment of employees in clinic and at work. There is no inpatient responsibility and no formal on-call or weekend work. The speciality is growing both within and outside the NHS and there are opportunities to train in non-NHS posts (industrial trainees). There is as yet no facility for GPs to formally refer direct to occupational physicians in England and Wales and referrals are usually received directly from employers. The work is well structured between clinics and workplace visits, research, administration and continuing professional development activities. There can be opportunities for a Travelling Fellowship to visit industries overseas, and site visits to UK organisations are part of the ongoing education programme both within the Region and at a national level.
After completion of specialist training, occupational physicians may be involved in service management and development and in contract negotiation . There are good career opportunities within and outside the NHS, moving from one industry to another at different stages of your career.
To be accepted into specilaist training programme post, you will need: either a) full or limited registration with the GMC or b) possession of a medical qualification acceptable to the Academic Committee of the Faculty plus General Professional Training (core medical training) of at least three years following qualification, and usually a postgraduate qualification, for example MRCP or MRCGP. For CCT: four years whole time equivalent in a supervised training post, plus completion of the part I and II MFOM Membership of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (a written exam after one year of specialist training, a dissertation and an exit exam in the final year of training).
- Completion of a core medical training programme or equivalent.
- Documented evidence of achievement of level 1 competencies in general internal medicine (acute) and generic curricula.
- MRCP Part I, but note that full MRCP with PACES or MRCGP is highly desirable for progression from ST3 to ST4.
- A broad general medical interest and experience
- Particular areas of interest in health and safety, preventative medicine, psychiatry, dermatology, epidemiology, toxicology legislation and rehabilitation are useful.
- Good communication skills to work with other healthcare professionals, managers, human resources and unions and good presentation skills
- A fundamental interest in visiting workplaces and making a difference to the quality of people's working lives.