Training Program for Family Physician in Environmental and Occupational Health

In Eastern Mediterranean region it is estimated that around 19- 25% of total burden of diseases are due to environmental exposure and the work-related injuries and illnesses are also common.  In Oman, the preliminary statistics shows that the prevalence occupational injuries are high. Despite of all these facts, the training in the field of environmental and occupational medicine has traditionally received limited emphasis in the medical school curriculum. Physicians should be able to recognize and manage conditions related to occupational and environmental factors. Training of primary care physicians to care for patients with Environmental and occupational injuries and illnesses has become a necessity. Family practice residents should have exposure to environmental and occupational medicine and its concepts. Family Physicians are expected to cover a spectrum of medical condition in order to recognize and treat common condition as well as recognizing when appropriate referral is necessary. Well-rounded instruction in Environmental and occupational medicine as part of family medicine residency training is feasible through a 2 weeks rotation program.  Such training would help equip family medicine residents to integrate occupational medicine into their practices.


  1. Understand the important elements in environmental and occupational health program in Ministry of Health
  2. Understanding of the basic concepts of occupational medicine and its main principles
  3. Integration of environmental and occupational health practice in primary health care
  4. To build up the following diagnostic Skills in Family physicians
  • Ability to perform an occupational history
  • Performance of a job-specific physical examination 
  • Recognition and early detection of the common illnesses that may have an occupational cause
  • Management of common workplace-related health care problems
  • Evaluation and management  of Patient With Chemical Exposure
  • Ergonomics  and its implication
  • Principle of Toxicology

General Description

timing: 31/January - 11/February, Annually

Period: Two Weeks

Venue: Environmental and Occupational Health Department/MOH
Course Coordinator: Dr. Salim/ Dr. Issa/Dr Salah / Dr. Zahir Al-Anqoudi (Oman
Medical Specialty Board)


The program will last for two weeks where the resident will be exposed to different aspects of occupational and environmental medicine. The curriculum will cover the following aspects:

  1. Occupational health
  2. Environmental health
  3. Basic principle of toxicology and role of toxicology laboratory in diagnosis of occupational diseases

The program will be implemented with a variety of teaching strategies including:

  • Lectures, case study, presentations, group discussions
  • Worksite risk assessment.
  • Laboratory exposure 


Topics Classification


  • Introduction to the course, History of Environmental and Occupational medicine
  • Principals of Environmental & Occupational Medicine
  • Environmental and Occupational Health Program in MOH (Current situation, objectives, achievements, multi-sectoral approach)
  • Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals
  • Occupational Health Surveillance
  • Evidence based  Occupational medicine
  • Role of primary health care physician in environmental and occupational medicine
  • Occupational health for Health care worker
  • Environmental Occupational and health laws and regulations in Oman
  • Taking Occupational History


Occupational Hygiene

  • Occupational Hygiene- Basic, Occupational Exposure Limits (OEL) & OES
  • Principle of Risk assessment at workplace


Occupational history and medical examination in occupational and medicine

  • Fitness for work, Pre-placement and periodic testing and examinations (General /Job-specific )
  • Disability determination and appropriate guidelines


Environmental Health

  • Environmental Health-basics
  • Water quality and health Principle of waste management , Managing waste at health care setting
  • Air Quality and Pollutant
  • Food Safety and Hygiene -basic principle 
  • Climate change and health effects
  • Environmental health during disaster


  • Basic principle of Ergonomics
  •  Manual handling in health care
  •  Work-station problems
  •  Repetitive trauma and Carpal tunnel syndrome


  • Basic concepts in Toxicology
  • Posing Control Center and Central Registry of Poisoning cases
  • Importance of Biological Monitoring in Exposure Assessment
  • Diagnosis and treatment of some common acute and chronic toxic exposures (common Mining and Agriculture exposure)
  • Decontamination Methods

Occupational and work-related diseases

  • Occupational and work-related diseases
  • Health effects of Vibration, Heat and Cold
  • Environmental and Occupational Cancer
  • Ionizing Radiation & Non-Ionizing Radiation
  • Health Effects of Noise - Noise induced hearing loss
  • Aviation medicine / Health and diving
  • Occupational Respiratory Diseases
  • Non-communicable diseases and work: cardiac diseases , diabetes, HTN
  • Occupational Skin Diseases
  • Mental Illness and Work/ Somatistatin Syndrome at Work
  • Stress at work
  • The working time/ Shift work & Health effects
  • Low back pain and work
  • Occupational Exposures and Pregnancy
  • Occupational exposure in oil and gas sectors
  • Health effects of aluminum exposure
  • Health promotion/education in workplace /Healthy workplace Initiatives


  • Ergonomic analysis of the workplace/ jobs
  • Visit to Toxicology Laboratory
  • Practical: Risk assessment exercise

Case Study

  • Case study 1 : Noise Induced Hearing Loss
  • Case study 2 : Occupational dermatitis
  • Case study  : Stress at work
  • Case study 3: Low back pain and work
  • Additional : Occupational Asthma/Asbestosis related diseases 
  • Additional : Heat Stroke

Additional Topics

    1. Risk communication in Environmental health
    2. Toxicology of Alcohol
    3. Healthy housing  condition
    4. Genetically modified food and food coloring
    5. Injury Prevention and safety promotion
    6. Health impacts assessment