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American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) is the medical society in the United States that represents the over seven thousand physicians specializing in occupational and environmental medicine. ACOEM was founded in 1916 by surgeons caring for the nation's work force, and it has grown to become the world's largest organization of "physicians dedicated to the health of workers and our environment." The college is composed of thirty-one component societies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that hold scientific meetings and network on a regular basis. The oldest and largest of these societies is the Central States Occupational Medical Association, which was established in 1919 and granted component status in 1937. The board of directors of ACOEM governs two councils (Special Occupational Health Interests, and International Occupational and Environmental Medicine). Each council is composed of sections that focus on subspecialty areas.

The vision of ACOEM is that it is "the preeminent organization of physicians who champion the health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environment." The mission is to provide "leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments by: educating health professionals and the public; stimulating research; enhancing the quality of practice; guiding public policy; and advancing the field of occupational and environmental medicine." ACOEM defines the mission of occupational and environmental medicine as "the medical specialty devoted to prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness, and disability, and promotion of health and productivity of workers, their families, and communities."

ACOEM presents a wide variety of educational activities. ACOEM cosponsors the annual American Occupational Health Conference each spring in association with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. Each fall the college conducts the State-of-the-Art Conference. Continuing education courses are offered on topics such as the basic curriculum in occupational medicine and the core curriculum in environmental medicine; and training programs are offered in drug/alcohol testing, impairment and disability evaluation, as well as board review courses in occupational medicine courses and medical review officer (MRA) courses. These courses are offered in print, web, and seminar formats. ACOEM recognizes the finest health programs in North American companies through the Corporate Health Achievement Award, and publishes the monthly Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the ACOEM Report Newsletter, and the MRO Update Newsletter, as well as a variety of texts.

ACOEM supports manpower development in occupational and environmental medicine and residency training. In 1998 and 1999, the college opened a Washington office to complement its Chicago area headquarters in order to provide leadership and direction in public-policy efforts. ACOEM produces guidelines and physician statements to assist in this effortincluding guidelines for employee health services, health care facilities, and for protecting health care workers against tuberculosis; as well as ethical guidelines and a code of ethical conduct. A variety of physician statements are produced on topics such as the epidemiologic basis for an occupational and environmental policy on environmental tobacco smoke; multiple chemical sensitivities; idiopathic environmental intolerance; potential adverse human and environmental health impacts of chlorinated chemicals; and the role of the occupational physician in enhancing productivity.

ACOEM's national headquarters are located at 1114 North Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004. Information and various publications can be accessed online at

William W. Greave

(see also: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Occupational Disease; Occupational Lung Disease; Occupational Safety and Health; Occupational Safety and Health Administration )

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