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Occupational Medicine 

Occupational Medicine
Chapter:
Occupational Medicine
Author(s):

Robert R. Orford

and Hamid Rehman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199743018.003.0014
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date: 19 August 2019

Occupational medicine is the medical specialty devoted to 1) prevention and management of occupational injury, illness, and disability, and 2) promotion of health and productivity of workers, their families, and communities. Historically, occupational medicine was termed industrial medicine when heavy industry (eg, lumbering, automobile manufacturing, mining, railroads, steel manufacturing) employed physicians to provide acute medical and surgical care for workers. However, by 1945, medical programs had spread to business organizations that predominantly were staffed with clerical and service employees (eg, banks, insurance companies, mercantile establishments). The broader designation of occupational medicine then came into common use. Occupational medicine was recognized as a specialty by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in 1955.

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