The two-year residency program includes the academic (Master of Public Health) and practicum experiences required to meet the board requirements of the American Board of Preventive Medicine. The program does not provide the prerequisite clinical year of training required for preventive medicine training.  

The first year is primarily an academic year at the UNC Gilling’s School of Global Public Health, one of the premier schools of public health in the country with a world-renowned faculty. Residents complete the Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Leadership: Population Health for Clinicians curriculum. Residents who have already completed the MPH degree may be eligible to enter the program with minimal additional coursework. All residents are required to complete core areas of competence in preventive / occupational medicine including: 

  • Epidemiology  

  • Biostatistics, computer science and research methods

  • Public health administration

  • Environmental health science

  • Health behavior and education 

  • Toxicology

  • Safety and ergonomics

  • Industrial hygiene

  • Total Worker Health 

The practicum training is focused on clinical rotations, health and safety investigations, lifestyle and wellness programs, employee assistance and research projects. Rotation sites include: 

In addition, residents are required to complete clinical consultations on a variety of toxicological and musculoskeletal cases, attend journal club, conferences and Duke Faculty didactic sessions on a wide range of occupational medicine topics. Other consultations may require on-site evaluations of employees in their work setting to assess chemical, biological, and ergonomic hazards. Additional information is available on practicum sites, a list of faculty, and practicum preceptors. 

Interdisciplinary Training 

During the MPH program, Duke OEM residents share classes and group projects with students from UNC including general preventive medicine residents and graduate students in exposure science, epidemiology, and behavioral health. N.C. State graduate students in safety and ergonomics are also part of the mix of trainees who contribute to the interdisciplinary training experiences as one of the other core programs of the NIOSH NC Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center. Courses stress the development of problem solving skills using a programmatic approach that involves the integration of specialists in all of the occupational health disciplines.  

Occupational medicine residents also work with multidisciplinary teams of nurses, safety and industrial hygiene professionals when working on investigations of health hazards and policy development at Duke Employee Occupational Health & Wellness, Federal OSHA, NC Health Department and other practicum sites. The semi-monthly Occupational Seminar and Journal Club also create an opportunity for interdisciplinary perspectives since speakers and attendees include physicians, nurses and safety and ergonomics and hygiene professionals from Duke Health and the community.

Research Activities 

Residents have the opportunity to work with Duke OEM and UNC-Chapel Hill research faculty to develop research interests and master’s projects. Research opportunities are also available locally at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. 

Resident Research Project 

Each resident also participates in one major research project as well as several minor research projects pertinent to the onsite practicum experience. The resident is expected to play a major part in the design, conduct, and evaluation of such projects. Projects at practicum sites include experiences in the programmatic approach to solving occupational health problems (including ergonomic problems, health promotion programs, and health hazard control). Trainees are expected to work closely with management, occupational nurses, industrial hygienists, ergonomics specialists, and safety personnel in carrying out such projects.