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Occupational medicine

Doctors in occupational medicine diagnose, manage and prevent disease that has been caused or exacerbated by workplace factors. They are concerned with all aspects of the effects of work on health and health on work.

 

Training and qualifications required

Training usually starts with a five year first degree in medicine. You’ll then complete two years of foundation training and either two years of core medical training, or three years' acute care common stem (ACCS), or two years' core psychiatry training, or two years core training in anaestetics, radiology or paediatrics, or three years' general practice training, or phase 1 of the faculty of public health training, followed by four years of specialty training (ST3-6). This period of training will include your royal college exams. Length of training can vary according to your circumstances.

Expected working hours and salary range

Doctors may work up to 48 hours a week. The working hours may sometimes extend beyond the normal working day to include early mornings, evenings, on call work is unlikely. Pay scales (2017): NHS consultants earn between £76,761 and £103,490. In the private sector salaries for consultants start at £80,000 - £90,000, but they can earn considerably more than this with added benefits such as company car and private health insurance.

Desirable skills and values

For this role you will have a strong interest in working environments and people’s workplace well-being, as well as a scientific curiosity. You'll be a good problem solver with excellent communication, organisational, clinical and diagnostic skills. You’ll need to have a holistic approach to patient care and be comfortable making decisions. It’s important that you are self-reliant whilst being emotionally resilient and having leaderships skills.

Prospects

There are 53 consultants in occupational medicine in England in 2016. Opportunities exist for research and teaching.
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