Why OEM?

Why should I choose a career in Occupational and Environmental Medicine?
As the nation’s workplaces become more complex, occupational and environmental health specialists play an increasingly visible role in preventing diseases and promoting wellness among workers by evaluating the interaction between work and health. OEM physicians are part of a business organization and understand both management's and labor's concerns and opportunities, in addition to administering the medical program and supervising medical personnel. Here are some of the reasons to consider a career in OEM...


1-(1).pngLow burnout rate
OEM professionals experience lower burnout than other specialists according to Medscape’s 2022 Physician Burnout and Depression Report, which surveyed more than 13,000 physicians across nearly 30 specialties. In this year’s report which shows overall burnout increasing by 5% across all specialties, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, which includes Occupational and Environmental Medicine, had the lowest burnout rate at 26%.

2.pngMeaningful work

Practicing occupational and environmental medicine allows you to help people stay healthy and safe in their workplaces and communities. By working to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses, you can make a real difference in a patient’s life.

3.pngHigh demand

There is a growing need for occupational and environmental medicine specialists, as employers and governments increasingly recognize the importance of workplace safety and environmental health.

4.pngDiverse opportunities

OEM offers a wide range of career opportunities, from working in large hospitals and clinics to consulting with businesses and government agencies. ACOEM members work in a variety of settings, from the nation’s leading hospitals to automotive manufacturers, entertainment, and more.


Competencies of the OEM Physician

  • Ability to diagnose and treat occupational diseases and injuries and identify health outcomes of environmental exposures
  • General knowledge of worksite operations and familiarity with toxic properties of materials and the potential hazards and stressors of work processes
  • Ability to determine an employee's physical and emotional fitness for work
  • Ability to educate workers on health, wellness, and sanitation
  • Proficiency in workers' compensation laws; local, state, and federal regulatory requirements; and systems for maintaining medical records
  • Ability to organize and manage the delivery of health services and maintain physician/patient confidentiality.

What is ACOEM's Role?

ACOEM, as the largest organization representing the voice of OEM practitioners and enthusiasts, offers a wide range of information and assistance for those just starting out or looking to advance their knowledge of the specialty. 

ACOEM members are knowledgeable and capable of treating job-related diseases, recognizing and resolving workplace hazards, instituting rehabilitation methods, and providing well-managed care. The continual emergence of new chemicals, complex tools, manufacturing methodologies, pollution and environmental impacting activities, and health care reform have focused and mandated the need for trained occupational and environmental medical specialists.

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