December/January 2011/2012 (vol. 08/4)

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Dilemma: The rise or fall of occupational medicine

Is occupational medicine an ageing profession in decline?


Has occupational medicine had its heyday? Two leading practitioners debate whether the profession is ageing and in decline, or flourishing in the 21st century.


Despite the welcome decline in the prevalence of occupational diseases in industrialised countries, Ali Hashtroudi believes that occupational physicians will continue to contribute hugely to improving the health of the working population.

I would like to disentangle the two focal points of this question: ‘ageing’ and ‘in decline’. I cannot disagree that.…

Dr Ali Hashtroudi is a consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and honorary senior lecturer at King’s College London.



Alison Rimmer maintains that occupational medicine has always been a profession with a higher proportion of older practitioners than other specialties; however, its response to change will determine whether or not it also faces decline.

Stand at the back of the lecture theatre at a FOM or SOM meeting and look over the audience. There are quite a lot of grey heads and one could be forgiven for thinking the question is answered. However.…

Dr Alison Rimmer is a consultant occupational physician and clinical director of Sheffield Occupational Health Service.

Author: Hashtroudi A, Rimmer A


Occupational Health at Work December/January 2011/2012 (vol. 08/4) pp28-29

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