Occupational medicine

Occupational medicine involves the study and practice of medicine related to the effects of work on health and health on work. It has clinical, preventive and population based aspects.

Occupational physicians practise to ensure:

  • effective prevention and appropriate management of people with illness and injury due to work and industry; and
  • the appropriate rehabilitation of people to facilitate their return to work.

Vocational training in New Zealand

Vocational training in occupational and environmental medicine is undertaken through the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Once AFOEM training is completed the doctor is awarded the Fellowship of the AFOEM (FAFOEM).

Am I able to apply to work as a recognised specialist in New Zealand?

To apply for vocational registration in occupational and environmental medicine, you need either:

  • the FAFOEM qualification; or
  • an international postgraduate medical qualification in occupational and environmental medicine, where your combination of qualifications, training and experience will then be assessed against the standard of the FAFOEM.

What standard will my training, qualifications and experience be compared against?

Recognised specialists in New Zealand must complete 5 to 6 years of training and satisfy the requirements below:

  • 2 years of general medical experience
  • a postgraduate course, at diploma level, in occupational and environment medicine or a related field
  • 3-4 years of advanced training in which the trainee must:
    • include at least one academic year of full time course work in occupational and environmental medicine
    • acquire a broad knowledge of the principles and practice of occupational and environmental medicine
    • achieve a satisfactory level of clinical competence
    • pass the AFOEM exit examination
  • participate in the AFOEM maintenance of professional standards programme.

Once a trainee has successfully completed all the examination and training requirements they will be awarded the FAFOEM.

I want to make a vocational registration application

To make a vocational registration application, please refer to the Vocational Registration Homepage and select the option appropriate for you.

Am I able to apply for other types of registration?

You may be able to apply for more than one type of registration. To find out which is the best fit for you, please use our self assessment tool.