In order to cope appropriately with a variety of workers’ health topics, all health professionals should know about the two-ways relationship between work and health. So far, the teaching of occupational medicine shows substantial differences in content, quality and quantity across European countries and is complicated by limited staff and teaching time, coupled with a large number of medical students. Educational institutions are increasingly aware of the need to provide a common and updated training at medical undergraduate level.
In the framework of a project, financed by the European Education Agency’s LifeLongLearning Programme, a new study module is in development to extend awareness and competencies of health and work issues among medical students. On the basis of a needs-analysis and a questionnaire survey on the nature and extent of undergraduate occupational medicine teaching across Europe, the overall architecture and content of the module containing different course packages is designed.
The learning objectives, teaching formats and assessment criteria have been specified. The course will be available in English and will use a blended learning model by including both traditional face-to-face teaching and self-directed learning materials online such as case studies, student assignments, and multimedia. The module will be delivered as a 5-day taught programme with a workload of 84 hours (3 European credits). A prototype module will be ready at the start of the new academic year (October 2011) and will run on test-basis during six months. After evaluation and feedback from students and teachers, an optimized module will be delivered.
Through this joint developed module, we want to meet the needs for an attractive, improved and harmonized training in occupational medicine for medical students. The final result will be disseminated and shared free of charge with all interested parties.