Occupational & Environmental Medicine skills and expertise
Accurately determining the cause of a work- or environmentally-related disease or illness and its specific association to a chemical (toxicological), biological, or physical exposure, hazard, or condition is the key to effective treatment and prevention, as well as to compensability and preserving a job, occupation, or home.
Many occupational or environmental diseases—if accurately diagnosed—can be effectively treated by removal of the identified or suspected offending substance(s) or conditions. In some cases, temporary or permanent relocation from a job or home is necessary. Certain diseases require medication or other medical intervention.
For occupations with hazardous exposures, disease prevention and regulatory compliance (e.g., OSHA, MSHA) is achieved through medical surveillance, biological monitoring, exposure monitoring (industrial hygiene), and statistical analysis of individual and group trends. Training is also an essential component to protect employees’ health.
The Occupational and Environmental Medicine physician diagnoses and treats not only individuals, but also evaluates and prevents disease in populations (small or large groups of people) with a common exposure, illness or disease in a workplace, industry, occupation, dwelling, or community.