Occupational Medicine Residency
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency/Fellowship Program
The primary goal of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency is to train practicing physicians to be qualified for careers in occupational and environmental medicine in private practice, industry, government, military, or academia.
This two-year program includes completion of the requirements for a Master of Public Health degree, and twelve months of full-time experiential rotations in various aspects of professional practice in the field. Graduates are eligible to apply for board certification in Occupational Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education.
The interdisciplinary curriculum is based on both a clinical and public health model for practice. The major focus is on population aggregates rather than individuals and indirect rather than direct care to clients. Graduates are prepared to participate in a multi-disciplinary approach to planning, implementing, managing, and evaluating programs and services for worker health and safety and well being. A mastery of basic clinical skills and significant clinical experience is expected as a prerequisite.
Stipends, Tuition Support, and Benefits
The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UTHealth School of Public Health is one of 18 CDC/NIOSH Education and Research Centers in the United States, supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). SWCOEH is comprised of academic degree programs in occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, occupational epidemiology and total worker health, and supports active continuing education, outreach and pilot project research training programs.
Residents/fellows receive a stipend, adjusted according to post-graduate year level.*
These stipends are competitive with other national residency programs.
In addition to the stipend, tuition and fees are covered by the Residency Program, professional liability coverage, a benefits package including health insurance, and travel to one professional meeting per year are also provided to each trainee.
* Unless special funds are identified, stipend support is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
For More Information
Brett Perkison, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor and Program Director
Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
UTHealth School of Public Health
1200 Pressler, W1040
Houston, TX 77030
Peggy Weinshilboum, MBA
Applicants to the Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) Residency Program must have a minimum of one postgraduate clinical year (PGY-1) in an ACGME-accredited program. Applicants must possess or be eligible to obtain either an unrestricted Texas medical license or a State of Texas In-training Permit prior to commencing the Residency. Application is made through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) offered by the American Association of Medical Colleges. For more information you may access ERAS online at www.aamc.org/eras. The applicants' documentation is first reviewed by the Program Director, who then forwards acceptable applications to the OEM Residency Advisory Committee. After review of all candidates, residency positions are offered to approved candidates according to a resource-based prioritized list. Selected candidates receive an application form for the MPH degree program at the School of Public Health. Admission to the OEM Residency Program is contingent upon admission to the School of Public Health.
Master of Public Health Degree
Typically, coursework required for the MPH degree is completed over 18 months. At least one course in each of the Public Health core disciplines of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental sciences, management and policy sciences, and behavioral sciences is required. Supplemental courses serve to broaden and enrich the program and are selected through the academic advising process tailored to the individual trainee. Common selections include: Industrial Hygiene, Toxicology, Clinical Occupational Medicine, Field Trips in Occupational Health, and Workplace Safety. Trainees are also able to choose from many electives and independent studies available within the School. To fulfill the requirements for the MPH degree, a practicum and an integrative learning experience project are also required. During the academic year, progress is monitored by a Master's Advisory Committee that meets with the student at the end of each semester. Opportunities for research projects exist in many areas.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine Practicum
The practicum consists of 12 months of full-time applied public health administrative and clinical rotations. These include a minimum of four months of assignments at some of the large industries in the Houston area, four to six months of rotations at various occupational medicine and subspecialty clinics, and at least one month in a public health agency. Industrial rotation sites include:
- Chevron (Houston)
- Dow Health Services (Freeport)
- Shell Health Services (Pasadena, Houston)
- The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston)
Where feasible, these rotations are scheduled through both corporate medical offices as well as plant medical departments. Clinical rotation sites include:
- Concentra Medical Centers
- International SOS
- Memorial Hermann Health System
- Nova Medical Centers
- Respiratory Consultants of Houston
- University of Texas Health Services
Opportunities also exist for elective rotations with various specialty clinics and government agencies, including Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (Houston), OSHA (Washington DC), NIOSH (Cincinnati OH and Morgantown WV), Texas Department of State Health Services (Houston), and NASA Johnson Space Center (Houston). Clinical and elective rotations are typically one to two months in duration. One day each week the trainees convene at the School of Public Health for formal clinical didactic sessions. A reciprocal evaluation system is in place for trainees, rotation sites and faculty preceptors.
The monthly Journal Club features presentations by occupational medicine residents/fellows and occupational health doctoral students. Academic and community professionals in the fields of occupational medicine, occupational nursing, industrial hygiene, and epidemiology attend this forum.
The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UTHealth School of Public Health is one of 18 Education and Research Centers in the United States, supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The Center is comprised of academic degree programs in occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, and occupational epidemiology, and supports active continuing education, outreach and pilot project research training programs.
Occupational Medicine Faculty
Brett Perkison, MD, MPH
Brett Perkison, MD, MPH, obtained a B.S. in biology at Texas A&M University. He then obtained a medical degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He completed residencies in Family Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine followed by a residency in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston. Dr. Perkison is board certified in both specialties and a Fellow in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Perkison’s current area of research interest is measuring the effectiveness of worksite health care innovations for employees in the areas of chronic disease management, disease education programs, targeted case management, and home intervention programs. Measured outcomes will include rates of absenteeism, presentism rates, safety incidences and occupational injuries\occupational illnesses. Safety and occupational injuries are more typically measured in order to assess the degrees of workplace safety for an organization. However research suggests that improving the general health of the workplace population will also greatly reduce injury rates. He also maintains a joint appointment at the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center in the Family Medicine department where he provides primary and occupational care. Dr. Perkison's research publications are available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1pa0ucD38iwAs/bibliography/public/.
George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD
George Delclos, MD, MPH, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, Texas and Senior Researcher in the Center for Occupational Health Research at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Barcelona in 1981 and completed residency training in internal medicine and pulmonary diseases at the Baylor College of Medicine. He has an M.P.H. degree from the University of Texas School of Public Health, a Ph.D. in Health and Life Sciences from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, and is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases and occupational medicine. At UTSPH, he is past Principal Investigator of the Southwest Center of Occupational and Environmental Health (1997-2006), Director of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Science (2004-2008) and Director of the Occupational Medicine Residency Program (1993-1998, 2008-2020).
Dr. Delclos remains active in clinical practice, which he combines with teaching and research. In 2015 he received the University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and was inducted in 2016 into The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, MD Academy of Health Science Education. With over 200 peer-reviewed publications, his research presently focuses on 3 areas: a) occupational and environmental asthma, b) national surveys of working conditions and health, mainly conducted in emerging countries and c) determinants of sickness absence and disability at an international level. Dr. Delclos’ research is conducted mainly in Texas, Spain and Latin America (Colombia and Central America). Dr. Delclos' research publications are available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1FWc9gTMiMm5l/bibliography/public/?sortby=pubDate&sdirection=ascending
Arch "Chip" Carson, MD, PhD
Arch “Chip” Carson, MD, PhD is an adjunct professor in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the UTHealth School of Public Health. He is a physician (The Ohio State University), board certified in Occupational Medicine (American Board of Preventive Medicine), who holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Toxicology (University of Cincinnati, Kettering Laboratory). He has served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati and the New York University Medical Center and joined the faculty of the University of Texas School of Public Health in 1992 in its Environmental Sciences Discipline and Occupational and Environmental Health and Aerospace Medicine Module. Prior to his current role as Principal of Environmental Medicine Consultants, he was Associate Professor of Occupational Health, directed the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program and was a member of the research team of the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, a NIOSH Education and Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In his role as Medical Director for the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, he was responsible for the health monitoring and care of more than 15,000 employees. He maintains a clinical practice of occupational medicine and medical toxicology and is a frequent consultant to governments, corporations and the legal community on matters related to industrial chemical exposure, toxicology and environmental justice.
Ben Hoffman, MD, MPH
Dr. Ben Hoffman MD, MPH is an adjunct professor in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the UTHealth School of Public Health. Dr. Hoffman also is the Chief Medical Officer at WorkSTEPS. He is a highly-seasoned physician executive with an extensive background in occupational and environmental health, clinical medicine, and transportation safety. He has been employed by government agencies, non-profits and multinational corporations including GE, Baker Hughes, Waste Management, Anheuser-Busch and DuPont. Dr. Hoffman trained at Yale, Brown and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine, preventive medicine and environmental/occupational health. He has published widely and holds Professorships (Adjunct) at the University of Texas School of Public Health and Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition. He is active on numerous committees and boards including Global Health at the National Academy of Sciences/IOM, IPIECA/OGP and former Chair, US DOT/FMCSA Medical Review Board.
Blythe Mansfield, MD, MPH, MS, FACOEM
Mirna Puesan, MD, MPH
Mirna Puesan, MD, MPH is an adjunct professor in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the UTHealth School of Public Health. Dr. Puesan is the Head of Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, a multi-disciplinary practice specializing in internal medicine, occupational medicine and lifestyle medicine. She obtained her medical degree from the Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago (Dominican Republic) and completed residency training in internal medicine at Abington Memorial Hospital (Abbington, Penn.) and in occupational and environmental medicine at the University of Texas. Dr. Puesan has extensive experience in the chemical and petrochemical industry with expertise in chemical exposures, occupational hearing loss, offshore work and travel medicine. Board-certified in lifestyle medicine and a provider of the National Diabetes Prevention Program since 2016, she aims to advance evidence-based lifestyle intervention as the foundation of all health and health care. She enthusiastically extends this focus in disease prevention and health promotion beyond her practice to employers, corporations, health care, faith-based organizations and her community.
Occupational Medicine Residents
Thomas Holcombe, MD
Thomas Holcombe, MD is a first-year resident in the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health - Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program. Prior to medical school, Dr. Holcombe attended Covenant College, earning a BA in chemistry. He then earned his medical degree from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine with the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) in the U.S. Navy. After graduation from medical school, Dr. Holcombe completed his internship in general surgery at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, VA. Following internship, he received flight surgeon training at Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) in Pensacola, FL before serving two tours as a flight surgeon, first at Carrier Air Wing EIGHT (CVW-8) and then at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO-EIGHT (HSC 28). Dr. Holcombe then transitioned to the selective reserves prior to starting occupational medicine residency as a civilian. His research interests include ethical issues related to occupational medicine, public health, and aviation medicine with a focus on virtue ethics and moral formation of the physician. Dr. Holcombe is married and has three young daughters.
Matthew Manighalam, MD
Matthew Manighalam, MD, is a second-year resident in The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health - Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Manighalam earned his medical degree from the University of Queensland - Ochsner Medical Program. He earned a bachelor of science from The University of California - Riverside in chemistry prior to earning an MD. He also practiced in Pain Management and Family/Rural Medicine as a licensed Assistant Physician in Missouri prior to the start of his PGY-1 Residency, which was in Family Medicine at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno. His research interests include Evidence Based Clinical Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine, and plans to incorporate those aspects of health in his transition into Occupational Medicine.
Ravi Parekh, MD
Ravi Parekh, MD, is a second-year resident in The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health – Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Parekh earned his medical degree from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. He completed his internship at Penn State Health in Hershey, Pennsylvania. His research interests include chronic work-related injuries within occupational medicine for interventional pain medicine therapies.
Nur Zakirkhodjaev, MD
Nur Zakirkhodjaev, MD, is a first-year resident in the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health - Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program. Raised in Uzbekistan, Dr. Zakirkhodjaev immigrated to the United States and worked as a home health aide and became interested in various health aspects of geriatric patients. Dr. Zakirkhodjaev graduated with honors in Biology and Chemistry from Brooklyn College (Brooklyn, N.Y) and earned his MD from the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University (N.Y.). After medical school, he had residency training in Anesthesiology and General Surgery. His interests include preventing and treating occupational injuries and creating a safe working environment. He believes that a better working environment can help manage chronic illness and is fascinated by the link between the working environment and occupational injuries and how to prevent occupational injuries in the working environment. Dr. Zakirkhodjaev is married and has three children.