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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31826bb509
Original Articles

Career Paths in Occupational Medicine

Harber, Philip MD, MPH; Bontemps, Johnny BS; Saechao, Kaochoy MD, MPH; Wu, Samantha BS, MS; Liu, Yihang MD, MS; Elashoff, David PhD

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Abstract

Objective: To describe career path patterns for occupational medicine (OM) physicians.

Methods: A convenience sample of 129 occupational physicians described work activities and locations at several career points up to 20 years ago, first OM position, and 10 years after expectations.

Results: Clinical activities were important throughout (eg, 41% and 46% of occupational physicians reported frequently treating patients 20 years ago and currently). Practice locations changed more markedly, with increased multisite clinics and hospital/medical center-based practices. Performing mainly clinical activities in a first job increased from 82% to 97% over the past 20 years. Career transitions between clinical and nonclinical roles were common (40% of participants). Many anticipate transition to nonclinical work over 10 years.

Conclusions: Activities have not fundamentally changed, but practice locations have evolved. Both clinical and management activities remain important, and path to managerial positions increasingly begins in clinical practice.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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