Practicum Sites and Preceptors

Duke Employee Occupational Health and Wellness

Duke Employee Occupational Health and Wellness (EOHW) is responsible for health care delivery to over 33,000 employees at Duke University and the medical center.

About the Preceptor

Carol Epling, MD, MPH, a member of the faculty, supervises this rotation.

About EOHW

EOHW provides employee fitness-for-duty evaluations, on-the-job injury care, and coordinates medical surveillance activities required by regulatory agencies, such as implementing the blood borne pathogens standard and tuberculosis surveillance program.

EOHW also employs counselors for its Employee Assistance Program, and manages a contracted health promotion program, LIVE FOR LIFE, which serves Duke employees.

During their rotation with EOHW, residents:

  • will participate in projects with the industrial hygiene and safety staff learning principles of worker protection, spill clean-up and chemical waste disposal
  • will gain experience in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal disorders
  • will guide patients through a rehabilitation program
  • will attend weekly disability case management conferences attended by a multidisciplinary team of OEM faculty members, physical therapists, occupational nurses, a social worker, and a vocational rehabilitation specialist
  • may chose a project regarding management of a wide variety of health promotional services provided to university employees


About the Preceptor

Residents are supervised by corporate medical director David Siebens MD, MPH, a former Duke OEM faculty member. Dr. Siebens' special interests include biological hazards and medical legal issues, hazards in the pharmaceutical industry, smoking cessation programs and corporate wellness programs.

About GlaxoSmithKline

The GlaxoSmithKline Occupational Health Services (OHS) staff includes physicians, physician assistants, occupational health nurses, toxicologists, industrial hygienists, radiation specialists, and biohazards safety specialists. GlaxoSmithKline OHS provides a broad variety of services designed to protect and enhance employee health.

Clinical programs include post-hire medical evaluations, medical surveillance, work site visits and hazard assessment, reproductive health evaluations and medical emergency response. Work-related injuries and illnesses are evaluated and treated at onsite clinics.

Other activities include development of internal health and safety exposure limits for new chemical entities, health promotion and worker productivity programs, and consultation to human resources to select managed care and workers compensation plans.

The manufacturing facilities in Zebulon, NC, and research laboratories provide examples of worker protection via containment, and an opportunity to assess ergonomic hazards and chemical and biological related exposure concerns.

During their rotation with GlaxoSmithKline, residents:

  • will spend up to four months at this practicum site and work closely with onsite physicians, nurses, industrial hygienists, toxicologists and safety personnel
  • are given responsibility for projects focused on improving work site safety as well as administrative program development and health promotion projects
  • are responsible for at least one major project and participate in all activities of the occupational health service

North Carolina Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Section

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology (OEE) is the branch of public health that deals with environmental and occupational conditions and hazards that may pose a risk to human health. OEE identifies and quantifies exposures to environmental and occupational contaminants; conducts risk assessments and risk communication; provides medical evaluation and surveillance for adverse health effects; and provides health-based guidance on levels of exposure to such contaminants.

About the Preceptor

Rickey Langley, MD, MSPH, is a former Duke OEM faculty member who serves as the onsite preceptor for resident projects. Dr. Langley is a medical epidemiologist at the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Section of NC Health and Human Resources in Raleigh, NC. He has certifications in internal medicine and preventive medicine/occupational medicine. His special interests are in occupational and environmental epidemiology.

About NC Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology

The primary educational objective of the practicum experience at OEE is to offer resident trainees an opportunity to actively participate in public health investigations of occupational and environmental health hazards that have statewide impact.

Secondary objectives include understanding occupational and environmental health statutes and regulations, and understanding the legal and ethical constraints when mediating between legitimate citizen health concerns vs. industry/economic interests.

During their rotation with OEE, residents:

  • are involved in longitudinal activities or block rotations. Objectives include understanding occupational and environmental health statutes and regulations, and understanding the legal and ethical constraints when mediating between legitimate citizen health concerns vs. industry/economic interests
  • are involved in the initial assessment of a health hazard, planning and conducting an investigation, and preparing recommendations for action by the state health department
  • have an opportunity for hands-on training in environmental monitoring techniques and interpretation of data generated from sampling results

Additional opportunities include designing epidemiologic studies and interpretation of occupational disease surveillance data.

Resident projects include a written report that is reviewed by the onsite preceptor and Duke faculty. Some studies may lead to publication.

Resident health hazard evaluations have included:

  • Evaluation of health risks to community residents living near a hazardous waste incinerator
  • Health risks to community residents living near a polyurethane manufacturing plant
  • Health of watermen living on the North Carolina coast exposed to pfiesteria
  • Investigation of a cancer cluster in a wood-working plant
  • Evaluation of teachers complaining of multiple chemical sensitivities that developed after exposure to sewer gas in a day care facility

Occupational Health Services, Wilmington, NC

About the Preceptor

John Cromer, MD, MS, MSPH, is medical director of Occupational Health Services in Wilmington, NC. He holds a certification in preventive medicine/occupational medicine, and has interests in hospital occupational health and corporate consulting. Formerly a full-time faculty member at Duke OEM, Dr. Cromer directs this busy community-based occupational health service in Wilmington, NC, and serves as the resident preceptor.

About Occupational Health Services

The OEM team consists of Dr. Cromer and a physician assistant, as well as four nurses, an x-ray technician, an occupational health nurse, and a physical therapist.

Residents see patients for medical surveillance and injury care in the clinic as well as at onsite industrial clinics. Most of their time, however, is spent in addressing work-related concerns through site visits in association with company safety and industrial hygiene personnel. A detailed written evaluation of safety and health concerns and recommendations for changes for each site visit is required by the end of the rotation.

Work site opportunities include General Electric Aerospace division plant that manufactures aircraft engines and nuclear reactor components, Corning Glass (manufacturing fiberoptic cables), American Crane (manufacturing and welding steel products), Interroll (manufacturing bearings and rollers), Bulk Lift (manufacturing bag house materials), Siemens (manufacturing circuit breakers), City of Wilmington (serving police, fire fighters, waste workers, etc.) and many other local industries.

Additional Preceptors

Brian Caveney, MD, JD, MPH

  • Assistant Professor
  • Vice President, Medical Director of Health Care Consulting, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Certification: Preventive/Occupational Medicine, 2006
  • Special Interests: health promotion and disease prevention, workers' compensation, disability management, corporate occupational health programs