Occupational Medicine

 Occupational Medicine vs Occupational Health

Last Updated: May 05, 2023
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​Occupational Medicine

A medical specialty aligned with environmental medicine and aviation medicine under the umbrella of preventive medicine. Occupational medicine focuses on the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses in employees and groups of employees, and provides medical advisory support to human resource personnel and line managers who make civilian employment decisions regarding hiring, retention, termination, and accommodation. Diagnosis and treatment may, but does not necessarily, occur as part of occupational medicine practice. Occupational medicine practitioners work closely with disciplines that monitor and analyze potential work-related hazards, to include industrial hygiene, laboratory science, ergonomics, and safety. (DODD 6490.02E, AR 40-5)

Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) is a board-certified specialty under Preventive Medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses. OEM is the medical specialty ranked among the highest in satisfaction and lowest in professional burnout. (ACOEM)

Occupational Health

Promotes maintenance of the highest degree of physical and mental health and well-being of employees by, monitoring employee health, and identifying and eliminating or mitigating workplace hazards. Occupational health supports human resources and line management when making employment decisions to hire, retain, terminate, or accommodate civilian employees. Occupational health involves the integrated application of many different disciplines including industrial hygiene, ergonomics, physical therapy, laboratory science, policy development and implementation, epidemiology, statistics, engineering, education, psychology, computer science, nursing, and medicine. (DODD 6490.02E, AR 40-5)

Occupational health deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards. The health of the workers has several determinants, including risk factors at the workplace leading to cancers, accidents, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, circulatory diseases, stress related disorders and communicable diseases and others. (WHO)