• What is OEM?

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  • Entering the Field in Mid Career 

    ACOEM announces a new curriculum for physicians and other health professionals entering the field at any stage of their careers!

    Is it possible to enter this field in mid career? 

    Yes! ManOEM Doctory physicians enter occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) later in their career because they find themselves seeing more and more patients for clinical evaluation and treatment for injuries and illnesses that are occupationally or environmentally related.

    It may be reassuring to learn that about half of the members of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) are NOT board certified in OEM by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). You don’t need to be boarded in OEM to practice occupational medicine or to join ACOEM! 

    Who should consider entering this field? 

    While a career in occupational and environmental medicine is rewarding at any stage, it is common for medical professionals to move into occupational and environmental medicine at a later stage in their career. 

    Here are a few of the diverse backgrounds in which occupational medicine professionals often get their start:  

    • Entering the field in Mid CareerFamily Medicine;
    • Internal Medicine;
    • Urgent Care; and
    • Emergency Medicine

    Other specialties also provide good backgrounds for occupational and environmental medicine practice, including:

    • Surgery;
    • Orthopedics; and
    • Rehabilitation Medicine.

    This breadth of training of those from many fields who become, to a greater or lesser degree, OEM physicians is matched by the very wide range of opportunities for these OEM physicians and other health professionals. 

    Where are opportunities? 

    Value of OEMOccupational and environmental medicine physicians are important to corporations, group practices, hospitals, consulting firms, and educational institutions. Federal and state government service, including the military, offers additional opportunities for careers in occupational and environmental medicine. Epidemiologic, toxicologic, and clinical research is performed in government facilities, academic institutions, and corporate research centers, often on a contract basis.  

    What are the benefits of this career?
    There are countless benefits of transitioning into a career in OEM. ACOEM members have indicated the following as several of the most rewarding benefits of this career:

    • Intellectually challenging
    • Ability to impact populations and costs by preventing disease and injury
    • Diverse practice settings from corporate office to industrial plants and everywhere in between
    • A good balance of clinical & administrative work
    • Practicing cost-effective care
    • Positive quality of life including    
      • 9 AM - 5 PM and no call
      • Higher salary than many other medical professions

    Resources on OEM Career Opportunities 

    • You may obtain an overview of OEM areas of practice from the descriptions of the 18 Special Interest Sections that ACOEM members have formed to share experiences and create action papers. These sections meet virtually throughout the year, and in person at the annual American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC).
    • A number of ACOEM members have described their career experiences and practice settings in a series of audio conferences, which you may listen to from this website.
    • The ACOEM Career Center also provides career insights, as well as listings of open positions in all areas of OEM.

    ACOEM Sessions and Courses

    ACOEM offers many scientific sessions and courses on subjects directly related to the practice of occupational and environmental medicine. Sessions are held at the annual spring American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC). Continuing medical education offerings are also provided to College members at state and regional component society meetings and other locations throughout the country.  An expanding offering of webinars and self-assessments provides a convenient form for continuing education.

    Please visit ACOEM’s Continuing Education for more information.

    More Resources for the Mid Career Physician:

    • The diversity of career opportunities in OEM can best be explored in person. The local ACOEM Component Societies provide a variety of activities where members and prospective members can get to know one another. You may receive an overview of these Component Society activities from the Component Society Showcase.
    • FELLOW status is a mark of distinction in OEM. Members may apply to become a Fellow of the College after 3 years of membership. For more information, please go to Earning Fellow Status.
    • Visit ACOEM’s YouTube channel for more!  
    • Find more resources to help kick-start your OEM career in the ACOEM’s Idea Marketplace™ (members-only), where members share helpful practice resources, presentations, and other OEM material in more than 35 topic areas!