Recommendation 2: Extend existing training programs to support of individual Ph.D. candidates.

NIOSH should extend existing training programs to support individual Ph.D. candidates whose research is deemed of importance to the prevention and treatment of occupational injuries and illnesses, independent of academic department or program. Restricting support to students in Education and Research Centers or Training Project Grants–affiliated departments or disciplines deprives the OSH field of individuals who may have innovative responses to changing circumstances.

To address the lack of formal training among OSH professionals:

Recommendation 3: Encourage distance learning and other alternatives to traditional education and training programs.

NIOSH should encourage the use and evaluation of distance education and other nontraditional approaches to OSH education and training, especially as a means of facilitating education and certification of the many practicing OSH personnel without formal specialty training in the area.

Recommendation 4: Reexamine current pathways to certification in occupational medicine.

The American Board of Preventive Medicine should reexamine the current pathways to certification in occupational medicine. Specifically, it should consider

  • extending eligibility for its existing equivalency pathway to include physicians who graduated after 1984 and

  • developing a certificate of special competency in occupational medicine for physicians who are board certified in other specialties but who have completed some advanced training in occupational medicine.


Expected changes in the workforce and in the nature and organization of work in the coming years will result in workplaces that will be quite different from the large fixed-site manufacturing plants in which OSH professionals have previously made their greatest contributions. The delivery of OSH services will become more complicated, and additional

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