UCSF Occupational and Environmental Fellowship/Residency Program
Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM)”?
OEM is a subspecialty of the American Board of Preventive Medicine. OEM focuses on ways that workplace, home, or community environmental factors affect human health. Our field spans workplace safety; infectious disease hazards in the workplace or community; the toxic effects of chemicals (in the workplace, food, water, air, soil, or consumer products); effects of physical agents (such as noise or radiation) on health; chronic musculoskeletal stressors and ergonomic issues; workplace stress and other psychological issues; and even global environmental health issues (such as the effects of climate change on health). OEM is an exciting field because there are many opportunities for research and intervention to help improve the health of individuals and communities.

What does postgraduate training at UCSF in Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) offer to me?
Our ACGME-accredited program was established in 1977 and is one of the top OEM training programs in the country. We specialize in training physicians for leadership positions in academic research, teaching, public health, and policy positions, as well as providing training in clinical OEM. Our trainees build a foundation of knowledge in epidemiology, toxicology, biostatistics, risk assessment and public health. Trainees then develop more in-depth expertise through industry and community site-visits, research projects, complex clinical evaluations, and presentations. Board certification in Preventive Medicine – OEM opens up many career opportunities to physicians in academia, clinical settings, industry, consulting, and government.

What are the components of OEM training?
OEM training is generally a two year program. The first year focuses on course work toward a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from U.C. Berkeley. The second year consists primarily of month-long rotations at a variety of clinical, research, and public health sites. Physicians who already have an MPH degree can generally enter the training program in the second year, although additional coursework may be needed in order to complete the requirements for Board certification in Preventive Medicine. Additional components of the UCSF training program include an in-depth research project, site visits  to workplaces and communities, Grand Rounds, research seminars, case conferences, journal clubs, and other learning opportunities such as local and national professional meetings.

Do you have part-time training opportunities? 
Yes. It is possible to tailor a part-time training program for individuals who already have an MPH degree and who are interested in continuing to work while also completing a Fellowship program.  Individuals interested in part-time training must be highly motivated, able to provide their own financial support  as well as cover the costs of their training program, and must be living in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Part-time training generally includes 2-3 days per week of class, research, and clinic time. However it is also possible to design a part-time program that includes periods of full-time training. Physicians interested in a part-time program are encouraged to contact us directly.

How many residents or fellows do you have in your program?
We are accredited to train a maximum of eight residents or fellows at any time (across a two-year program). However in practice our ability to accommodate trainees is limited by available funding. In general, we have 3-5 trainees in our program at any time. 

What are the prerequisites for your program?
Physicians who have undergone a minimum of one year of postgraduate training at an ACGME-approved program are eligible for consideration for our training program. We give strong preference to applicants who have completed a residency program (in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family Practice, or other specialty). We also look for applicants with a demonstrated commitment to OEM through experience in clinical, research, policy, or public health practice.

Can foreign medical graduates apply to the program?
Foreign graduates are welcome to apply to the program. However, all of our trainees must have a California medical license and foreign medical graduates are not eligible for California licensing until they have completed 24 months of training in the United States. In addition, all foreign medical graduates must have passed the USMLE examination and hold valid ECFMG certificates as well as either a valid J-1 visa, or permanent U.S. residency status or citizenship.  If you meet the above criteria, we will consider your application. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide stipends or funding support for non-U.S. citizens.

What financial support and benefits does the program offer?
OEM fellows who are U.S. citizens are eligible to receive a monthly stipend, in accordance with UCSF Graduate Medical Education policies.  Health insurance is provided for the fellow, and coverage for family members is available for purchase.  For more information about support and benefits, please refer to: http://medschool.ucsf.edu/gme.

What is your calendar for applications and training?
We accept applications from August 1 - October 15 for the training program starting the following July 1st.