Special Study Module in Occupational Medicine

University of Edinburgh - School of Medicine
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Instructor(s): Agius, Raymond
Subject area: Health / Medicine
Department: Medicine
Level: Undergraduate Medical
Number of participants: 10
Duration of exercise: 10 weeks
Cost/equipment needed: Lots of time and goodwill
Learning objective: Develop Individual Skills, Provide Information
Teaching style: Active Learning

Please note that the copyright for this course project is retained by the instructor.

The Special Study Module in Occupational Medicine is presented to undergraduate medical students at the University of Edinburgh as part of the policy of the Faculty of Medicine to institute Special Study Modules. Many specialists in occupational medicine, workers and employers are of the view that the average medical graduate in the UK is not adequately equipped with the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge to deal satisfactorily with issues regarding occupational medicine, as they manifest in general medical practice, or hospital practice. The Special Study Module in Occupational Medicine addresses this and fulfills specified learning objectives for a small number of medical students who select it out of a number of equivalent modules offered the medical curriculum.

This Special Study Module includes lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and guided workplace visits. Two clinical cases are presented: 1). a researcher who develops skin rashes and respiratory symptoms, and 2). occupational asthma. It also features short attachments to a workplace during which students working alone or in small groups of two or three, tackle a problem related to occupational medicine. The module addresses identifying hazards, assessing risks to health, drafting recommendations for reducing those risks, for individual worker rehabilitation and so on.

Instructor comments:

  • How was the assignment implemented and integrated into your course?
    This module incorporates case studies, workplace visits, workplace-based projects, and computer-assisted instruction (the WWW supplement is at
    < www.med.ed.ac.uk/hew/info/ocmedstu.html >). The WWW site provides students with an interactive open learning resource on a number of topic and equips them with the skills necessary to search and critically appraise relevant information on the subject on the Internet.

  • What products/outcomes/goals were anticipated? Which were accomplished?
    Improvements in attitude, risk assessment skills, as well as in knowledge base were achieved.

  • What were the learning experiences and impressions for you and your students?
    More time consuming than I thought, but very rewarding.

    Also, please see the following:
    A longer account than the above, entitled "The Special Study Module: A novel approach to undergraduate teaching in Occupational Medicine", including the favourable [(sic) favorable] result of the module's evaluation, was published in Occupational Medicine (Fletcher, G. and Agius, R.M., Vol. 45, pp 326-8, 1995).

    A brief note indicating the availability of this page on the Internet, entitled "Innovations in Undergraduate Occupational
    Medicine Teaching" was also published in Occupational Medicine (Fletcher, G. and Agius, R.M., Vol. 46, pp 246-7, 1996).

  • Provide any suggestions/recommendations for other instructors using this activity.
    We need to network more closely so we don't all re-invent wheels, but share our resources, such that each of us has his/her own "home" ethos and flavour [(sic) flavor], but then the individual units would be partly his/her own and partly shared with others in a mutually beneficial way.

    This document was last modified on 04/18/2001 11:21:42 AM

    This resource was acquired by CEEM (Consortium for Environmental Education in Medicine), a program of Second Nature, under the auspices of a NIEHS grant to gather and disseminate environmental health educational resources over the internet in order to help medical and allied health sciences faculty identify, locate and use resources for incorporating environment and health perspectives into their curricula. CEEM has authorized the use of these materials on this website for archival purposes. Please note that the copyright for this material is retained by the instructor and/or contributing institution.