For more than 30 years, the Duke Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) has been committed to improving the health of working populations. Duke OEM offers a variety of services including clinical evaluations, corporate consulting, toxicological assessments, and injury prevention.

As one of the top academic OEM groups in the country, the division is also dedicated to training physicians through its residency program. Residents are trained to serve as leaders in academia, public health, the military, and corporations.

Specialty Services

  • Toxicological assessments
  • Work-related injury and illness treatment
  • Substance abuse awareness
  • Health risk appraisals
  • Injury prevention programs
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Health maintenance exams
  • Disability assessments
  • Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) examinations
  • Worker’s compensation evaluations
  • 24-hour blood and body fluid exposure services
  • Drug testing
  • Medical Review Officers services
  • Job-related immunizations
  • Corporate consulting

Occupational and Environmental Medicine History

For more than 30 years, the Duke Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) within the Department of Community and Family Medicine has been committed to improving the health of working populations. The division began with a vision by Leonard Goldwater, M.D., who began working at Duke University Medical Center in 1968. Goldwater was a well-recognized occupational health specialist who received a medical degree in 1928 from the New York University College of Medicine, then known as University and Bellevue Hospital College of Medicine. After World War II he became a professor of industrial hygiene at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Read More OEM History


Duke OEM offers a variety of ergonomics consulting services, including work site evaluations, risk assessments, facility design, and professional training courses related to ergonomics. These courses focus on office ergonomics, supervisor and manager training, manual materials handling and reducing injuries in the health care environment.

Occupational Mental Health

Duke OEM offers a broad range of executive, leadership, performance, interpersonal and communication coaching, consulting, workshops, management trainings through their Professional and Personal Development Program (Duke PPDP), as well as, local short-term counseling through their Employee Assistance Program (Duke EAP). These services are designed to help build and maintain a healthy and productive workplace.

Work Disability

At certain times, your workplace faces important questions about an individual’s ability to fill a position or the risk factors involved with a certain job function. Duke OEM can help you answer these questions. The division offers a collaborative, work-specific Functional Capacity Assessment, which is tailored to questions specific to your organization. Furthermore, it incorporates consultations with other specialists in fields such as neurology, orthopaedics, and cardiology.

Corporate Consulting

Duke OEM offers a variety of corporate consulting services. These services are designed to provide problem-specific, short-term assistance to companies facing challenges such as policy development, regulatory compliance, human resource situations, productivity or liability concerns, and health cost reduction.

The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine:

  • Is a founding member of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics committed to improving the practice of occupational and environmental medicine through clinical excellence, information sharing, and collaborative research
  • In partnership with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and NC State University is one of only sixteen National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOSH) regional centers established by NIOSH to assure an ample supply of well-trained professionals in the area of occupational safety and health
  • Is one of the top comprehensive academic OEM groups in the United States
  • Is composed of a multi-disciplinary team with over 30 years of experience in almost all aspects of occupational and environmental health
  • Provides corporate consulting ranging from development, management, and evaluation of entire occupational health programs to problem-specific, short-term assistance
  • Trains highly skilled physicians through the OEM residency program to serve as leaders in academia, public health agencies, military occupational medicine and as corporate medical directors
  • Works with the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment to provide a master’s degree in environmental management
  • Conducts multi-disciplinary clinical and epidemiological research involving occupational diseases, toxicology, indoor air quality, and biohazard sciences