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Occupational Medicine Physician

Work with patients who have been hurt on the job.

What does an Occupational Medicine Physician do?

As an Occupational Medicine Physician, you specialize in the area of health care that is related to employment. For example, you may be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of an injury that a patient sustained while doing a dangerous job.

You may work in a variety of settings as a Occupational Medicine Physician, but the most common is a clinic that specializes in occupational health. These clinics are contracted by employers to provide basic care to their employees, particularly in cases of on-the-job injury or illness. Or you could work in-house at any of a number of large companies, treating only their employees each day as part of your Occupational Medicine Physician career.

In either patient-care setting, you oversee routine pre-employment examinations, and periodic employee physicals and drug screenings. You also determine the cause and care of everything from chemical burns to twisted ankles. In cases of workplace injury, you might be called upon to testify in litigation proceedings.

You could also work in more of a research capacity, helping industries adopt healthier practices for their workforce. This involves a great deal of research into cases of workplace illness and injury in order to establish best practices for a particular industry.

Regardless of the setting you work in though, you will need to be compassionate with your patients but impartial when employee-management conflicts arise. You should be well versed in labor laws as well as any best practices established for the industry.

In terms of Physician specialties, occupational medicine doesn’t have the drama and intrigue of cardiology or emergency medicine, but it does offer a steady schedule and a lot of variety.