Occupational Medicine Residency

Group of workers at industrial site

Contact Us

Eric Wood, MD, MPHEric Wood
Director of Occupational
Medicine Program
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

An electrician who fell off a ladder and shattered his ankle at a jobsite. An assembly line worker who’s developed De Quervain tenosynovitis so severe that it’s limiting her ability to hold a spoon or button a jacket. A warehouse worker who can no longer walk up stairs without becoming severely short of breath.

Each year, more than 2.7 million Americans experience workplace injuries or illnesses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an occurrence that comes with devastating repercussions, including the human toll on injured workers and their families and a nationwide economic burden that is in line with that of heart disease and cancer.

Physicians in occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) — a specialty within preventive medicine concerned with the health, safety, and performance of workers and their families and communities — have critical roles in limiting the impacts that stems from occupational injuries and illnesses. OEM physicians become intimately familiar with job requirements of myriad occupations, a key factor that distinguishes OEM providers from other specialties. 

The practice of OEM professionals is far beyond high-quality clinical injury care, however, with OEM physicians assuming other roles such as organizational management of corporate occupational health and safety programs, policy development, and work in public health settings, or even impacting community health domestically and internationally. There was no more important medical discipline in managing the corporate response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, for instance.

Our Program

RMCOEH boasts one of the largest and longest-running Occupational Medicine Residency programs in the country, dating to the 1970s, and we take pride in offering doctors a path to a satisfying career in which they improve the lives of workers.

Our two-year residency, housed in the renowned University of Utah School of Medicine, is rigorous and engaging, with unparalleled opportunities for physicians. Elements that define our program include state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary occupational and environmental health courses taught by experienced faculty from all RMCOEH's programsexceptional clinical experiences; diverse rotations in corporate and governmental settings; and the opportunity to perform research with major clinical impacts. Importantly, residents learn to identify the highest-quality evidence-based practice guidelines and how to apply them to maximize recovery in the most time- and cost-efficient manner, enabling workers to return to life and productive employment. 

We’re particularly proud that, in a 2022 survey of physicians who’ve completed our program, 100% indicated they were pleased with their time at RMCOEH (70.6% “very satisfied,” 29.4% “satisfied”). And, we continue our unending commitment to ensuring residents leave with both world-class training and memorable educational experiences.

“RMCOEH offers experiences that are not offered at any other training program,” one former resident said in the anonymous survey. “I was able to rotate with toxicologists, corporate OM directors, (government) organizations and highly trained/knowledgeable physician specialists all associated with the RMCOEH program. I have absolutely no doubt that I received the best occupational medicine physician training in the United States.”

What Our Training Involves

RMCOEH’s Occupational Medicine Residency takes two years to complete and consists of two phases, with the clinical experiences integrated over the residency:

Academic Phase

  • Complete Master of Occupational Health (MOH) degree

Practicum phase (See rotations Below)

  • At least eight weeks at corporate sites (institutions that provide comprehensive occupational health services to defined work groups)
  • At least six weeks at population-based occupational and/or environmental sites, such as OSHA, the Utah Labor Commission, NIOSH, or public health departments
  • At least 12 weeks in occupational medicine community clinics with patient continuity experiences
  • Additional specialty rotations, such as Utah Miners Clinic, pulmonary, orthopedics, or dermatology (selected based on a resident's prior training and experience)
  • Completion of a research project

Throughout the program, residents will also participate in the RMCOEH Journal Club, occupational medicine grand rounds, clinical case conferences, Richards lectureships, and regularly scheduled teaching sessions, as well as providing community education on asbestos and other topics and participating in field data collection for major ongoing research projects at RMCOEH.

Career Outlook

Occupational medicine physicians are in high demand throughout the U.S., and doctors from our residency are heavily recruited, with most, if not all, employed immediately after completing the program. The median salary is highly variable based on workplace, level of responsibility and geographic location. Starting salaries are generally $200-300,000+. Clinical and managerial positions have higher base salaries.  Corporate positions provide additional remunerative sources. 

The rewarding nature of the career is remarkable. Occupational medicine is ranked among the highest medical specialties in physician job satisfaction and has the lowest measured burnout rate. Doctors who’ve come through our program can attest to that: all respondents remained employed in occupational medicine. Our alumni work across the entire spectrum of occupational medicine including leadership roles in clinical occupational medicine and corporate occupational medicine as well as careers in academia and governmental agencies.

Other Resources


Letter to Prospective Residents

Thank you for your interest in the University of Utah Occupational Medicine Residency program. The rapidly expanding scope of occupational medicine and increasing demand for graduates of residency programs make the field a particularly attractive one. Our residency is part of the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH), which is jointly operated by the University of Utah and Weber State University.

The Rocky Mountain Center was established in 1977 and has maintained an occupational medicine residency program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) since 1978. The residency is a two-year program with the first year OEM-1 (formerly PGY-2) focused on academic coursework and applicable clinical rotations and the second year OEM-2 (formerly PGY-3) focused on a combination of academic, clinical, practical (field), and research experiences. All residents are required to obtain a license to practice medicine in the state of Utah.

The OEM-1 year includes coursework leading to a Master of Occupational Health (MOH) degree. The MOH core courses include Introduction to Industrial and Environmental Toxicology and Physiology, Introduction to Occupational Epidemiology, Applied Occupational Biostatistics, and Administration and Management of Health and Safety Programs. Residents are also required to take courses in industrial hygiene, ergonomics, occupational safety and health, preventive medicine, and occupational injuries and diseases. The MOH degree requires 32 semester hours of academic credit completed over two semesters. Application to the graduate school for the MOH degree should be submitted along with application to the residency program.

During the OEM-2 year, at least 14 weeks of preceptorship are required at available industry and government locations to gain experience in comprehensive occupational health and safety programs. Current sites include locations such as Chevron (Houston, Texas), Hill Air Force Base (Ogden, Utah), NASA Kennedy Space Center (Florida), Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (Bremerton, Washington), OSHA (Washington, D.C.), National Institutes of Safety and Health (Alaska and Ohio), Workers Compensation Fund (Utah), and state labor and public health agencies. Residents are trained in the comprehensive management of workers with occupational injuries and diseases at the University of Utah Occupational Medicine Clinics. Rotations in other specialties are selected according to the resident’s prior training. It is rare for OM residents to have night or weekend calls.

RMCOEH’s faculty includes occupational medicine physicians, certified industrial hygienists, specialists in safety/ergonomics, epidemiologists, nutritionists, and physical therapists. Faculty members of the University of Utah’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and other departments provide training in other specialty areas. The Occupational Medicine Residency program participates in the voluntary program established by directors of occupational medicine residencies to encourage uniform dates for applications and notification about acceptance to residency programs.

Please submit your application and attachments as soon as possible. We make offers for positions beginning on the date agreed to by the national OM Residency program Directors for the following year. RMCOEH seeks to provide access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. Reasonable prior notice is needed to arrange accommodations.

To review the ACGME specialty requirements for residency training in occupational medicine, visit ACGME, and to review the current board certification requirements visit the American Board of Prevention Medicine.

Please feel free to call us at any time at 801-581-4800 if you need any additional information. We appreciate your interest in our residency training program.


Eric Wood, MD, MPH
Director, Occupational Medicine Residency

Receive the Latest News