The University of California, Irvine Occupational Medicine Residency Program is a core teaching program of the UCI Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH). The residency is based in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine. The residency program was established in 1976 and has trained over 55 physicians. Graduates of the program constitute a core of the practicing occupational medicine specialists in Southern California, as well as leaders in corporate occupational medicine and public health practice. A strength of the program is our long-term collaboration with occupational medicine practitioners and programs in the region. This collaboration provides a rich source of expertise and training experiences for our residents.

The location of the residency program is a particular strength of the program. The University of California, Irvine, is a large and respected institution in Orange County. Orange County is a major population center with more than 2 1/2 million people, located to the south of and next to Los Angeles County. This location places the program in the center of Southern California with access to training opportunities ranging from Los Angeles through San Diego. The residency program functions on a regional basis.

The University of California, Irvine has a strong commitment to the residency program. The University provides support for program faculty and staff, and for office, clinical, teaching, and research facilities at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. The residency is also a component of the NIOSH-funded Southern California Educational Resource Center (ERC), which provides support for residents' stipends.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the occupational medicine residency is to prepare residents for the comprehensive practice of occupational medicine in a variety of settings including private clinical practices, managed health care organizations, corporate medical departments, public health programs, and legal or regulatory authorities. The residency addresses the competencies specified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for residency training in preventive medicine - occupational medicine, as well as core competencies identified by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. A list of competencies addressed by the program is available for review. Graduates of the program are well prepared to take the ABPM certification examination in preventive medicine - occupational medicine.

Specific educational objectives include:

  • To enable residents to acquire knowledge of and the ability to apply the core sciences of preventive medicine - that is, epidemiology, biostatistics, health care organization and administration, occupational and environmental health, and behavioral sciences - in the identification and solution of health problems in occupational groups.
  • To help residents acquire knowledge and skills in toxicology, environmental monitoring, and safety evaluation as they apply to individuals and groups.
  • To enhance residents' clinical knowledge in care of persons with occupational or environmental exposures and in assessment of suitability for employment.
  • To teach residents about planning, management, and evaluation of occupational health programs in clinical practice and corporate settings.
  • To develop in residents an understanding of the policy-making process in occupational medicine with respect to law, regulation, and workers' compensation.
  • To create in residents an understanding of the roles and expertise of other occupational health professionals, and to collaborate with these professionals.
  • To provide an opportunity for residents to develop independent research skills and to be able to use appropriate analytical techniques in the prevention of occupational diseases and injuries and in the evaluation of occupational health care programs.

These aims are achieved through the graduate degree programs during the academic phase, the field site training during the practicum phase, the clinical training in the UCI COEH clinic, the COEH clinical case conference and didactic seminars, and the resident projects.