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Occupational Medicine Activities and Skills: An Empiric Study

This project helps define curricular needs in occupational/preventive medicine. Focusing on occupational medicine as an example, the project will use a work sampling technique complemented by questionnaires and focus groups to define the actual work activities and skills used. For work sampling, participants will report activity/ task/ task element for a series of 15-minute work samples. The project will include local, regional, and national samples. Multifaceted participant recruitment methods will create a broad-based sample, including self-identified medical providers of worker care who are not members of organizations. Organized "guidance groups" will guide the project, assist interpretation of data, and facilitate meaningful dissemination. Analyses will be both descriptive and address specific questions, such as determining the impact of formal education and evaluating whether occupational preventive medicine is a homogeneous field or composed of distinct subgroups. Improved understanding of the actual activities of occupational health professionals and the specific skills they utilize will facilitate improving service delivery, creating competency-based educational systems, and making effective use of educational resources. Project funds come from the National Institutes of Health. 

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