History and Archives

Special Interest Section
Section Members: Log In to Access Community Site
Who Should Join?

ACOEM members interested in exploring and promoting the history of occupational and environmental medicine.


Function: To explore and promote understanding the history of occupational and environmental medicine and to advise on the management of ACOEM's historical resources.

Responsibility: To explore the history of occupational and environmental medicine with an emphasis on the United States and the historical forces that shaped it, to document the history of ACOEM, its component societies, and the context in which the national and its component regional organizations developed, and to educate College members, colleagues, and the public on the history and traditions of our field.

Organization: The Section will have a chair and a secretary elected by its members. It will charge nominal dues, seek contributions, and work with ACOEM to identify funding sources for special projects.

Mission: The Section on History and Archives will be the memory and the conscience of the College, preserving and communicating knowledge of the past accurately and in context.

Vision: The Section is the intellectual custodian of the College's past, helping the staff who are physical custodians of the College's historical assets. Together with staff and the elected leadership of the College, the Section's activities and programs will preserve, document, and make accessible the history of our field; contribute to understanding the forces that shaped it, and the events that led us to where we are today; identify lessons to be learned from our past; conserve the historical resources of the College; and apply historical knowledge to the College's present, as in special events and exhibits.  The Section plans to record interviews with the leaders, senior scholars, and major historical figures of occupational and environmental medicine to preserve the history of the field and of ACOEM.

Values: The Section on History and Archives is committed to the principle that for occupational and environmental medicine to know where it is going, it must know where it has been. We believe that history shapes the present and provides positive role models for members, and that insight into past problems and issues helps us to avoid future mistakes. 

Highlighted Activities  
  • The Interview Project: Section members will record interviews with the leaders, senior scholars, and major historical figures of occupational and environmental medicine in order to preserve the history of the field and of ACOEM, both as its national representative and as a major shaping force in the organized field of practice.
  • Hold annual in-person meeting at AOHC.                                                                             
ENTER THE CONTEST                                                                                                               
In conjunction with ACOEM's 107th American Occupational Health Conference, the History and Archives Section is sponsoring an essay competition for medical and APP students. In keeping with the location of AOHC 2023, the topic is "Proponents of Worker Health and Safety in Philadelphia."

Submit essays via this Google Form. Deadline is Noon, EST on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

This contest is open to medical students, nurse practitioner students, and physician assistant students. Essays can be entered for one of two awards:                                           

This category is open to students nationally and internationally.  
  • Virtual conference registration
  • $500 first prize, $150 second prize                                                                                           ​
In Person. 
This category is open to students who are able and willing to travel to Philadelphia at their own expense.
  • $500 first prize, $150 second prize
  • In person conference registration
  • An invitation to the History and Archives Section Annual Meeting                                     
Top essays from both categories will be published in ACOEM's newsmagazine, ACOEM Quarterly (AQ)! 
Essays should describe how a historical or contemporary figure made significant improvements in worker health and safety in Philadelphia. 

Essays must be:
  • The original and unpublished work of the student.
  • Four to six pages in length (plus a cover page), formatted for standard 8.5” x 11” paper with 1” margins, double-spaced, in 12-point type, with numbered pages
  • In the English language.
  • Include a bibliography of cited sources. 
Criteria for Judging
The ACOEM History and Archive Section Essay Committee will determine winning essays. 
Criteria will include:
  • Content
  • Demonstrated understanding of the topic
  • Support for the topic and ideas with research and attribution to sources
  • Presentation
  • Quality of writing – style, clarity, vocabulary, and flow
  • Organization – structure, introduction, and conclusion
Awards shall be given to the best essays submitted based on the criteria set forth above,  and will be determined at the sole discretion of the committee. Decisions will be final.

Essays will become the property of ACOEM’s History and Archives Section once submitted, and ACOEM will have the right to publish any or all portions of the essays on its website or in other print or electronic publications, along with attribution of the author.

Questions?  Contact our contest coordinator, Dr. Pam Krahl. Good luck!