The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a $2 million grant over the next five years to the Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) Residency Program in the department of emergency medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. This grant will help train the next generation of OEM physicians.
“The Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency program at Penn helps address a national need: the shortage of residency trained Occupational and Environmental Medicine physicians in the United States,” said Judith McKenzie, professor of emergency medicine and OEM Residency Program Director and Division Chief. “This funding will provide critical support in helping us to continue to train OEM physicians, with specific aims to further diversify the workforce and help alleviate the national shortage.”
OEM physicians are devoted to the conservation and restoration of the health of the workforce and promotion of worker health, productivity and well-being. They diagnose, treat and prevent occupational and environmental injury and disease, are experts in prevention, exposure assessment, work fitness and disability evaluations, and hazard recognition, evaluation and control. OEM specialists are also versed in toxicology and disaster preparedness and emergency management. These physicians work in various settings such as corporations, government and academia.
Since the program’s inception in 1997, Penn has graduated 125 OEM residents. Dr. McKenzie and her team plan to train 30 more residents over the next five years.