The foremost goal of COEH is the academic preparation of highly qualified occupational health professionals through graduate degree programs, postdoctoral fellowships, and residency training. The Center presents students with an array of exciting training and research opportunities in medicine, nursing, and public health.
Until recent years, most occupational health education was fragmented and isolated within individual disciplines. COEH works to end this isolation by emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach. For example, physicians in the first year of the occupational medicine program on the San Francisco campus study epidemiology, biostatistics, occupational hygiene, and toxicology at Berkeley's School of Public Health, earning the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Nurses in the Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing program at the San Francisco campus may take additional courses both at Berkeley's School of Public Health and at the School of Medicine on their own campus. Occupational health graduate students at Berkeley's School of Public Health, together with the nursing students and medical residents at San Francisco, participate in the activities of occupational health clinics in San Francisco, so that a patient's work environment as well as clinical aspects of the case can be taken into consideration. The Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic at Davis provides patient services at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and in a unique, fully equipped mobile clinic for evaluating patients at worksites across Northern California. All COEH students and teaching staff are encouraged to interact with students and staff of other components and to engage in collaborative education and research.
In COEH academic programs, expertise from such diverse fields as chemistry, physiology, and engineering is applied to solve practical real-life problems. The Center gets students out of the classroom and into the workplace: they gain first-hand experience with occupational health issues through internships and special collaborative projects with outside organizations.