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The program is designed to provide structured, supervised training and experiences to ensure that residents achieve competency in all areas required for the American Board of Preventive Medicine Examination in Occupational Medicine (ABPM-OM) and for the specialist practice of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM). The program also addresses the competencies specified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) for Residency Training in Preventive Medicine – Occupational Medicine and the core competencies identified by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). Additionally, there is emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes in leadership and organizational management. Read the Journal Article OM Residency Training Program University of Pennsylvania (PDF).

The program consists of two interrelated components, a didactic component and an applied clinical component. Both components work in tandem to help residents meet the requirements to sit the ABPM-OM exam, and to allow acquisition of all ACGME Milestones, as well as ACOEM, ACGME and program competencies for Occupational Medicine. Qualified applicants have completed at least 1 clinical year and have an MPH or equivalent degree, or a plan for completing the degree prior to graduation, in keeping with ACGME requirements.

There are two tracks: Internal Track (IT) and External Track (ET). The UPENN ET helps overcome barriers that deter otherwise motivated physicians from specialist training. It provides supervised practicum training for residents employed full-time in occupational medicine practice, most at community-based clinical training sites (CTS). Both years are competency-based where the outcome measures focus on the achievement of specific measureable competencies rather than mainly on the amount of time spent on the desired skill, in keeping with the ACGME Milestones program.

The IT is designed for more recent medical school graduates and provides residents the opportunity to complete rotations at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania OEM clinic, the affiliated Philadelphia VA Medical Center and other affiliated organizations, governmental agencies and industries. However, mid-career physicians have participated in both tracks.

There are five subject area rotations (SAR) for each of the trainee years, both the OM1 and OM2, and each SAR has specific measureable competencies. There are also seven longitudinal courses offered over the course of the residency. The curriculum includes experiential learning, production of and presentation of supervised projects (including quality improvement and safety projects), direct observation of each resident in various settings, and formative and summative feedback at multiple points. Rotation directors are diplomats of the ABPM and national experts in the area covered by the rotation for which they are responsible. We also have several faculty members who direct the SAR component.

Subject Area Rotations (SAR) and Didactic Activities: During the first year (OM1) residents undertake an intensive 3-day per month didactic program at UPENN in Philadelphia arranged around five 2-month long competency training rotations. Residents will meet on a successive Thursday, Friday and Saturday each month with the dates set prior to matriculation. Each session provides approximately 30 hours of direct teaching. For each of these five competency-based SARs, residents must complete a substantive project demonstrating competence in application of skills necessary for OEM specialist practice. The second year curriculum consists of six 1-month long SARs and two non-credit graduate level courses. The OM2 year builds upon the first, stressing the acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills, with opportunities for the residents to pursue individual interests relevant to OEM.

The clinical rotation competency objectives, arranged into six sets of clinical core competencies, required by the ACGME, are achieved through supervised clinical training at the approved CTS. Overall, all the competency objectives for the program are framed to meet the demands of contemporary OEM. The UPENN program places an additional emphasis on Organizational and Healthcare Management, preparing our residents for leadership positions in OEM where they will be tasked with managing the health of populations, whether in a corporate, hospital, clinical or government setting. Both cohorts must complete their clinical work at approved CTS where suitably qualified, and board-certified preventive medicine physicians, whose credentials are reviewed as a part of the resident’s application process, serve as the CTS supervisor.

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