FAQ: Occupational Medicine

What is Occupational Medicine (OM)?

Occupational Medicine is the science and art of detecting, managing and preventing work-related health problems. To be effective, the occupational physician is required to co-work with other specialists in the field of work and health, e.g. occupational hygienists, safety engineers and health managers. Common to all occupational physicians is a strategic, pragmatic and goal-oriented approach in their evaluations and interventions to keep employees healthy at work.

What is the OM specialization?

The OM specialization is one of the 2 current specializations of the DAS Work+Health. It gives you all the theoretical training to become an occupational physician and an interdisciplinary team player.

What are the admission criteria?

A university degree in medicine and at least two years of professional experience. Applicants with other backgrounds may take some OM modules according to their prior knowledge and skills.

Which modules do I have to take?

To achieve the DAS Work+Health diploma in Occupational Medicine, you participate in all common modules (C1 to C10), all OM modules (OM1 to OM5) and the final interdisciplinary project work (C11). Successfully passing these total 16 modules is mandatory. There is the opportunity to take 1 additional specialization module of the other specialization meaning Occupational Hygiene (OH) for free. For achieving the FMH title in occupational medicine, the Swiss Association of Occupational Medicine (SGARM/SSMT) defines the mandatory modules, which can be found on their website.

What do the DAS Work+Health modules comprise?

In the common modules, the generic topics of work and health are introduced. The DAS Work+Health program emphasizes that you learn from and share your skills and knowledge with your colleagues by interdisciplinary group work, discussion rounds and case studies. In the specialization modules OM1 to OM5, you visit work sites in different companies to deepen your specific knowledge and train the practical skills of an occupational physician. In the concluding interdisciplinary group work of C11, you work independently with two colleagues on a given project in the industry. Within this project you prove that you are ready to take over the occupational physicians’ responsibilities and efficiently work in interdisciplinary teams.

Is there a final exam?

Yes. Your part of the final C11 project work counts as the final exam. First, you present your project, its results and conclusions to your fellow students, write your part of the final report and then present the project results, conclusions and recommendations to the officials of the projects’ company. You receive a final grade and extensive feedback on your report.

How do I get acknowledged after passing the DAS Work+Health in OM?

Once you have successfully passed the DAS Work+Health in Occupational Medicine, you have all the theoretical knowledge and a sound basis of practical skills in Occupational Medicine in Switzerland. To achieve the FMH title in Occupational Medicine, please find detailed information on the SGARM/SSMT website.

How is the DAS Work+Health in OM useful for me?

As far as we are aware of, the DAS Work+Health is the only postgraduate program in the field of work and health providing interdisciplinary learning. By your participation in the DAS Work+Health in Occupational Medicine, you get all the skills and knowledge to evaluate and diagnose workplaces, optimize workplace safety and preventing injuries and diseases. Furthermore, you get embedded in an interdisciplinary network of the different specialists in work and health, e.g. occupational hygienists and organizational health managers. Thereby, you have access to additional resources, skills and knowledge you may need to assess and solve complex problems or provide services that go beyond your own tasks.