Training and development (occupational medicine)
This page provides useful information on the training and development for this specialty and also has tips for people at all stages of their training including medical school.
Specialist training in occupational medicine starts at ST3 and lasts four years. Before embarking on this higher specialist training you need to complete one of the following core training (CT1/2) or specialist (ST1-2/3) routes:
- CT1 and CT2 - Core Medical Training, CMT - two years
- CT1 and CT2 - Core Surgical Training - two years
- CT1 and CT2 in anaesthetics, or radiology, or paediatrics - two years
- CT1-3 - Acute Care Common Stem, ACCS (acute medicine) – three years
- CT1/ST1 and CT2/ST2 in psychiatry – two years
- ST1-3 in general practice – three years
- phase 1 of the Faculty of Public Health training – two years
The length of training can vary, for example it is possible to train flexibly if you fulfil the criteria for Less than Full Time Training (LTFT).
It is possible to undertake ST3 specialty training either within the NHS or whilst working for a private organisation. Training outside the NHS must be approved by the local HEE office/deanery.
The training is a 4 year training program (ST3-6). Depending on the training post this can either be in one placement (ie non-rotational) or multiple placements (rotational - usually involving NHS and industrial placements). The assessments for the training program include two exams and a dissertation as well as a portfolio. The exams are Part 1 (written exam) completed within the first year of training and Part 2 (written and practical) completed in the second half of training. The dissertation can be completed at any stage of training. A number of trainees complete an Advanced Diploma or Masters in Occupational Medicine during their training although this is not compulsory.
Experience of extra-curricular activities, achievements and interests relevant to occupational medicine are also desirable.
Selection panels also look for evidence of academic and research achievements, which as well as additional academic qualifications include prizes, awards, distinctions, publications and presentations. An understanding of research, audit and teaching is also important as is evidence of the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Good leadership and organisational skills are also important.
A demonstrable interest in and understanding of the specialty is also required. A wide range of clinical experience is needed, although previous experience in occupational medicine is not essential. However, if you have spent time working in occupational health services this is an advantage.
Applicants for specialist training must demonstrate awareness of workplace issues and current policy developments.
Find out more about:
- the GMC information on the curriculum for occupational medicine training
- the specialty on NHS Specialty Training website
Getting in tips
It is important to develop your practical skills and interest in occupational medicine as early as you can. This will also give you valuable experience to add to your CV.
Tips for medical students
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- attend conferences on occupational medicine – this will give you an opportunity to network and meet your future colleagues
- undertake a placement in occupational medicine
- undertake a student selected module or project in occupational medicine
Tips for foundation trainees
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- make contact with a local occupational medicine department and find out how you can get involved
- aim to get a rotation in occupational medicine- contact local occupational health departments or occupational physicians
- try to ensure your e-portfolio has broad clinical experience and that this is kept properly up-to-date
- try to gain teaching and management experience
- join Society of Occupational Medicine
Tips for specialist trainees
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- undertake a relevant research project
- try to get some of your work published and present at national and international meetings
- teach junior colleagues
- take on any management opportunities you are offered
- join the Faculty of Occupational Medicine as a trainee member