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Background: Occupational medicine and occupational health were taught in 20 hours through out our whole 6 years curriculum. From a survey done in the year 2001, our 6th year medical students had low confidence when diagnosing occupational diseases. Since the year 2002, a teaching session at a factory setting was added for the 5th year medical students.
Objective: To assess the knowledge and understanding of occupational medicine among 6th medical school students in the year 2004.
Study design: Descriptive study
Method: The 6th year medical students were given a self-administrated questionnaire. The data collected were general information and specific knowledge and understanding about occupational medicine.
Result: There was 62% response rate. 86% of the respondents understood the role of doctor toward occupational medicine at an average level. 63% were not confident about the diagnosis of occupational disease. 70% emphasized on history taking for the diagnosis of occupational disease. 52% do not know the correct funding source for the workers’ compensation however they knew better than the study done in 2002. 84% knew that doctors were required to write a sick leave certificate only. 53% of the students knew the correct procedure for writing a medical opinion for the claim form. Nevertheless, some thought that doctor should evaluate the workplace as well. In addition the students are aware of the occupational health and safety principles while working at hospitals.
Conclusion: When compare with the previous study, our students’ understanding about the doctors’ role in occupational medicine remain the same as compared with the earlier study. However, the student had more ability to emphasize on the history taking for the diagnosis.
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