Navy Medicine > Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center > Environmental Health > Occupational and Environmental Medicine > Occupational and Environmental Medicine Division (2023)

Medical surveillance and certification examinations contribute to the overall goal of a healthy and safe work environment, the prevention of work-related diseases, and the maintenance and promotion of work ability of employees.

Medical surveillance and certification examinations are mandated by specific regulations. These programs are implemented to meet regulatory requirements, guidelines, or established standards of practice to help prevent occupational disease and to protect the health and safety of employees. Regulations include the Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Defense issuances, and Military Department issuances.

  • Surveillance Examinations

    Surveillance examinations are performed in the context of work that involves known health hazards. Surveillance examinations should be linked to environmental surveillance. The process of medical surveillance involves the direct medical evaluation of individuals at risk for the development of disorders related to health hazards in the workplace. Surveillance examinations are a systematic monitoring of individual workers as well as a systematic approach for healthcare providers in order to recognize occupational disease and injury. The goal of surveillance examinations is prevention and is based on the principle that occupational diseases and injuries are preventable.

    Medical surveillance examinations are designed to identify early evidence of work-related health effects while they are still reversible. They are a search for unrecognized disease at a stage at which intervention can slow, halt, or reverse the progression of the disorder. Effective surveillance examinations should identify disease at an early stage, before it would otherwise become evident. Early identification is important because interventions are more beneficial when applied early in the disease process.

    In some cases, surveillance is designed to detect exposure rather than disease. In these cases, biological monitoring is used. Biological monitoring is the measurement of a chemical, its metabolite, or a biochemical effect for the purpose of assessing exposure. The purpose of biological monitoring is to detect exposures that are occurring even at levels that do not imply the presence of disease.

    Effective medical surveillance programs not only target interventions of direct value to the affected individual, but to others at risk of developing the same disorder. A critical intervention is to control the environmental factors that are responsible for causing the disease. By recognizing work-related disease or injury, health professionals can initiate activities to ameliorate the hazardous condition.

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    A critical concept is that medical surveillance is one technique in a continuum for the prevention of occupational disease. Other techniques include: eliminating hazards from the workplace or substitution of a nonhazardous substance for a hazardous one; containing hazards with engineering controls including installation of engineering controls and devices; work practice alternatives; and protecting workers with personal protective equipment.

    Another critical concept is that medical surveillance is an indicator of the effectiveness of existing workplace control measures. Detection of adverse health effects provides evidence of control failures in the workplace. Early detection of disease or abnormality can identify inadequate control measures, allowing them to be corrected so that other workers can be protected. Prevention starts at the workplace and not with medical surveillance. Medical surveillance examinations screen for the presence of disease that has already begun or for exposure that has already occurred. Medical surveillance is just one element of an effective safety and occupational health program.

    It is important to note that medical surveillance is a secondary preventive measure in the control of occupational illness. The primary control measure is to reduce the hazardous exposure. To be effective, medical surveillance must be directly linked to preventive action in the workplace. Actions prompted by the surveillance system should be directed not only at the individual case, but also at the responsible workplace factors.

    In summary, medical surveillance exams are part of a comprehensive process that helps to bring about changes that prevent exposure to health hazards, and enhance the quality of working conditions and the employee's health, well-being, and work ability.

  • Certification Examinations

    Certification examinations are performed in the context of work that involves specific health requirements. Requirements can be found in the governing instruction for the work process or equipment. When they are not, the medical examiner will use the position description and knowledge of job functions. These exams are an individualized assessment of the employee’s ability to perform job functions and to perform those functions safely. The medical examiner correlates the individual’s medical conditions to job functions and makes recommendations based on the impact of the medical condition on the safe performance of the job functions. The goal is to place employees in work commensurate with their physical and emotional capacities, which can be performed without endangering the worker or fellow employees and without damaging property.

  • Types of Examinations

    For each surveillance and certification examination, there can be up to three different types of examination. These types are baseline, periodic, and termination. Surveillance exams typically include all three, while certification exams typically include only baseline and periodic examinations. For each examination there will be specified, relevant medical history, physical exam elements, and laboratory tests. There will also be a specified exam periodicity. The content of the exams is in accordance with the objectives of the work and health requirements inherent in the work. Surveillance and certification exams are planned events that are part of broader programs and are not for situational exposures.

    Baseline surveillance examinations are conducted prior to initiating work that might be reasonably anticipated to cause occupational exposure to a potential hazard. These examinations are also used to develop an individual baseline for use in assessing future changes. Baseline certification examinations assess whether the employee is physically capable of performing essential job functions safely. In both cases the medical examiner can make recommendations to adjust the work environment. Additionally, these examinations can be used to educate employees on the hazards of the work, prevention, and the connections between work and health. Ideally the final outcome of a baseline examination is the placement of an employee into a job that justifiably suits his/her health.

    Periodic examinations are administered at regular intervals as dictated by regulations or the expected timing of health effects in relation to occupational exposure to a potential hazard. In the case of surveillance examinations, the medical evaluation is performed for the early detection of occupational illness. Periodic examinations are designed to detect, as early as possible, potential changes in health, the onset of diseases, and indications of problems in coping and the threat of lowered work ability. The medical examiner assesses work ability and recommends limitations when necessary. These exams can also be used to promote employee health and work ability. Outcomes of periodic examinations include: employees who are aware of the connections between lifestyle and health and work ability and of the influence of work on health; workplace managers who are aware of an employee's work ability and of problems arising from work; and workplace managers who make changes to working conditions to maintain healthy working conditions.

    Termination examinations closely mirror the other exam types. These examinations are frequently used by employers to document that the employee has suffered no adverse health effects from employment or to establish the extent of any such effects. Termination examinations are administered at the time of termination of employment or at the time the employee is no longer occupationally exposed to the potential hazard.

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    • Baseline Examinations
    • Periodic Examinations
    • Termination Examinations
  • Examination Content

    Occupational medical examinations are designed to be simple, noninvasive and safe. The examinations should be sufficiently comprehensive to achieve the goal of the examination. Only information that is necessary for achieving the goal of the examination is collected. The methods used by the medical examiner should be scientifically validated, correctly used, and their results correctly interpreted. Furthermore, the chosen methods must be used in the same way for each examination. The medical examiner should be provided with a description of the duties and physical abilities required by the job, protective equipment used by the worker, an estimate of the exposure level (in the case of surveillance examinations), and any other information pertinent to the clinical evaluation. Ideally, medical examiners should gain first-hand knowledge of workplace conditions by visiting worksites to observe job requirements. At the conclusion of the examination the medical examiner issues a statement on the work ability of the employee and, if necessary, clearly defined limitations and recommendations on restrictions. The medical examiner may also make recommendations for workplace improvement and/or suggest measures to support continued work.

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    Successful safety and occupational health programs have good coordination between management, employees, and healthcare providers.

    Roles and responsibilities of management include:

    - Assessing workplace control measures and personal protective equipment

    - Correcting conditions that lead to occupational health morbidity

    - Managing restrictions imposed on an employee as a result of the medical examination that limit the employee from performing certain functions of a work-related task

    - Ensuring employees are in the correct surveillance and certification programs and informing the employees of the requirement

    - Communicating with employees and healthcare providers

    - Ensuring employees report for medical examinations

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    Roles and responsibilities of employees include:

    - Keeping all appointments with the healthcare provider and completing the required medical examinations and tests

    - Taking an active interest in one’s health

    Roles and responsibilities of medical examiners include:

    - Being familiar with clinical medicine and toxicology

    - Understanding the applicability of industrial hygiene exposure measurements

    - Comprehending the importance of a standardized approach to exam performance

    - Being cognizant of existing laws and regulations

    - Interpreting results and presenting the findings to management and workers

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    - Making consistent and well justified decisions concerning employees’ suitability for work

    - Determining causality

    - Being responsible for quality control of the medical aspects of the program including the use of properly calibrated and functional equipment, using certified and proficient laboratories, and having appropriately trained staff

  • Tips for a Successful Program

    - Assess the workplace - define the baseline situation, identify work and work processes, and identify equipment used

    - Obtain the Industrial Hygiene Survey – excellent source of recommendations to improve the workplace

    - Communicate with and involve employees and healthcare providers

    - Know the regulations – in particular, service level instructions

    - Set goals – improve the workplace and make is a safer place to work

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    - Take responsibility!


What is occupational health military? ›

​Occupational Health Sciences fosters the prevention of workplace exposure related injury, disease, and death by providing a wide range of occupational health and injury prevention services in support of Soldiers and the civilian workforce, Commanders, policy makers, and the Army Medical Department leadership.

Which Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit operates within the Pacific area of responsibility? ›

Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit Five is located in San Diego, CA and operates in the Pacific area of responsibility.

Is the surgeon general in the Navy? ›

Navy Rear Adm. Darin Via, deputy surgeon general of the Navy since June 2022, has been nominated to serve as the service branch's next surgeon general, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Tuesday.

Who is in charge of Navy medicine? ›

Navy Medicine Leadership
Rear Admiral Darin K. Via Acting Surgeon General, Deputy Surgeon General and Acting Chief, Deputy Chief, Bureau of Medicine and SurgeryMaster Chief Michael J. Roberts Force Master Chief and Director, Hospital CorpsVacant Executive Director, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
1 more row

What is the military equivalent of OSHA? ›

The Army Safety Program regulations are laid out in Army Regulation 385-10, which was introduced in 2000. It incorporates OSHA standards and applies to the Active Army, the Army National Guard of the United States, the U.S. Army Reserve, Army civilian employees, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Civil Works.

What is role 3 medical military? ›

Role/Echelon 3 support is normally provided at Division level and above. It includes additional capabilities, including specialist diagnostic resources, specialist surgical and medical capabilities, preventive medicine, food inspection, dentistry, and operational stress management teams when not provided at level 2.

What does a preventive medicine technician do in the Navy? ›

Help administer a wide range of preventive care and medications, including immunizations and intravenous fluids. Conduct physical examinations and assisting in the treatment of diseases and injuries.

What is the Navy focusing on environmental programs that aim for? ›

The overarching goal of the Navy Environmental Restoration Program is to reduce risk to human health and the environment from past hazardous waste disposal operations at Navy and Marine Corps installations and restoration sites.

What is Pomi Navy? ›

Description: The Plans, Operations and Medical Intelligence (POMI) Course is designed as a three-week resident training program that addresses strategies, concepts, and tools necessary for the POMI officer and enlisted staff to grow into a POMI assignment.

What rank would a doctor be in the Navy? ›

If you enter as a licensed physician, your rank will typically begin at captain or major (Army/Air Force) or lieutenant or lieutenant commander (Navy), but it may be higher depending on where you are in your civilian career.

Who is the highest ranking doctor in the Navy? ›

The Chief of the Medical Corps is RDML Guido F. Valdes, who concurrently serves as Commander, Naval Medical Forces Pacific.

Is a medical officer in the Navy a doctor? ›

OMOs are licensed, practicing physicians who may or may not be residency trained in a specialty. Going on a GMO tour gives graduates the opportunity to join and directly support U.S. Sailors and Marines working within operational units.

Do Navy doctors get paid more? ›

This means that if you're in the Army or Air Force, your monthly payment will range from $3,477 to $13,183. Navy doctors can receive around $4,637 to $7,386 per month in pay. For more information, you can always check your pay rate according to the current military pay chart available online.

Do Navy doctors see combat? ›

Most Navy corpsmen do not see combat up close. Typically, they serve in a hospital or clinical setting, aboard ships or submarines or out in the field during a deployment or exercise.

Do Navy doctors get bonuses? ›

Any medical officers who sign an agreement to remain on active duty for at least one year may be eligible to receive an annual bonus ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 depending on the specialty qualification and whether they receive Multiyear Special Pay (MSP).

Does the Navy use OSHA? ›

Employees shall comply with all OSHA and approved Department of the Navy occupational safety and health standards, policies and directives.

Does the US military fall under OSHA? ›

In accordance with Executive Order 12196, issued February 26, 1980, and 29 CFR Part 1960, military personnel and uniquely military equipment systems and operations are specifically excluded from OSHA coverage.

Does OSHA work with the military? ›

Employers across the country are required to comply with applicable OSHA standards for their place of work, which may be inspected by an OSHA official at any time. The U.S. military, however, is exempt from OSHA standards, with some exceptions.

What disqualifies you from the Navy? ›

  • Contagious diseases that would endanger the health of other personnel.
  • Conditions or defects that require excessive time lost for necessary treatment or hospitalization.
  • Conditions demanding geographical area limitations.
  • Conditions aggravated by the performance of required duties and/or training.

What is the highest medical rank in the military? ›

The Surgeon General of the United States Army is the senior-most officer of the U.S. Army Medical Department (AMEDD).

What rank is 3 in the military? ›

Army Ranks Chart
Pay GradeRankAbbreviation
O-2First Lieutenant1LT
O-5Lieutenant ColonelLTC
25 more rows
Feb 9, 2023

Is there a medical field in the Navy? ›

Whether you're stateside at a hospital or abroad on a warship, Sailors in Navy medical jobs are the backbone of the fleet. Ranging from emergency medicine to forensic toxicology, medical jobs in the military cover a wide span of specialties and needs.

How long is Navy Medic training? ›

After you attend Boot Camp, you'll report to Fort Sam Houston, TX, to attend “A” school for 14 weeks. Here, you'll develop a working knowledge of basic principles and techniques of patient care and first aid procedures in preparation for your first assignment.

What training do military doctors go through? ›

Military doctors must go through medical school, the same as any other doctor. This means they will need to acquire a bachelor's degree, apply to medical school, and be accepted, completing seven to eight years of postsecondary schooling total.

What is the Navy's focus? ›

The United States is a maritime nation, and the U.S. Navy protects America at sea. Alongside our allies and partners, we defend freedom, preserve economic prosperity, and keep the seas open and free.

What is the Navy environmental Command? ›

The Navy's environmental initiatives at U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) are served by the Fleet Installations and Environmental Division (N46). N46 develops and executes policy and procedures, and manages USFFC environmental planning and compliance programs in support of the fleet.

What is the mission of environmental services? ›

To create healthy homes and sustainable communities by identifying and removing hazards, engaging people, and advancing equitable environmental solutions.

What does PSD mean in the Navy? ›

Personnel Support Detachment. An official website of the United States government.

What does MWR stand for Navy? ›

Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR)

What does IAP mean in Navy? ›

IAP – In Assignment Processing. IAP is a temporary status where a SELRES member is drilling in a paid status but does not hold a billet. Members in IAP status should only remain there for 90 days. If a member does not find a billet within 90 days of assignment, Navy Reserve Forces Command may move them to the VTU.

Do Navy doctors go to bootcamp? ›

Since military physicians enter as officers, they receive training in leadership and military culture in addition to attending medical school. This isn't boot camp, it's specialized training that prepares military physicians for future success.

Will the Navy pay for med school? ›

Attend a school of your choice and you may emerge debt-free. With the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), you may receive 100% tuition coverage during medical school, plus a monthly stipend, reimbursement of expenses and up to $20,000 sign-on bonus.

Do Navy doctors get deployed? ›

Military physicians can be deployed to provide relief after natural disasters. For example, Navy physicians have traveled on the U.S. Navy Ship (USNS) Comfort to provide aid to earthquake victims. This humanitarian part of the mission may also extend to providing relief to civilians in war zones.

How long does it take to rank up in the Navy? ›

Moving up the Ranks: Your basic eligibility for advancement to PO1 is based on the following requirements and a Navywide competition: Your CO's recommendation. Seven years' time in service (TIS) 36 months' time in rate (TIR)

What is the lowest rank in the Navy? ›

Seaman Recruit

Seaman recruits are the lowest enlisted ranks in the U.S. Navy. Navy seamen are apprentices during training for their warfare community. They were once called “seaman third class,” the U.S. navy's entry-level rank.

What are the Navy pay grades? ›

  • O-1. Ensign. $89,058.12 Avg. Yearly Pay w/ Benefits. ...
  • O-2. Lieutenant Junior Grade. $97,644.60 Avg. Yearly Pay w/ Benefits. ...
  • O-3. Lieutenant. $108,738.36 Avg. Yearly Pay w/ Benefits. ...
  • O-4. Lieutenant Commander. $118,338.48 Avg. ...
  • O-5. Commander. $130,069.32 Avg. ...
  • O-6. Captain. $145,650.24 Avg. ...
  • O-7. Rear Admiral (Lower Half) $175,828.80 Avg.

Do Navy doctors do a residency? ›

The Health Professions Scholarship Program offers a full-tuition scholarship to the medical school of your choice plus a monthly stipend exceeding $2,300 per month and a $20,000 signing bonus in return for a 3 or 4-year commitment after residency to serve as a Navy physician.

How old do you have to be to be a Navy medical Officer? ›

Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP): 36 (for the Navy, you can be no older than 42 at the time you enter Active Duty, following your degree completion — unless you were granted an age waiver when you were recruited)

What is the acceptance rate for Navy medical school? ›

How hard is it to get into USUHS? Over 3,000 applicants apply each year for around 170 spots, and the USUHS acceptance rate is around 9%. Representation varies by branch, but generally there are 63 Army students, 51 Air Force students, 51 Navy students, and 2 Public Health Service students.

Who pays more Navy or Marines? ›

Conclusion. Which military branch pays the most? The United States Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Space Force are all equal in terms of basic pay. The basic military pay you earn is determined by military rank and years of service.

Who has the highest salary in Navy? ›

What is the highest salary in Indian Navy? The highest-paying job at Indian Navy is a Director with a salary of ₹36.2 Lakhs per year. The top 10% of employees earn more than ₹26 lakhs per year.

Do military doctors get extra pay? ›

Special Pay for Medical Officers: An Officer of the Medical Corps of the Army, who is on active duty under a call or order to active duty for a period of at least one year, is entitled to additional compensation from three main areas: Variable Special Pay, Board Certified Pay, and Incentive Special Pay.

Do Navy doctors carry guns? ›

In modern times, most combat medics carry a personal weapon, to be used to protect themselves and the wounded or sick in their care. By convention this is limited to small arms (including rifles).

How often do Navy doctors get deployed? ›

After residency training is complete, the Navy physician will be stationed at a military hospital, clinic, or operational unit. Deployment frequency depends upon the needs of the Navy and type of billet, but a good rule of thumb is to expect to be deployed at least once during a typical Navy ADSO.

Do Navy nurses see combat? ›

Navy nurses deploy in support of combat operations, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance missions, providing the best care our nation can offer ashore and afloat.

What is the biggest Navy bonus? ›

In February of 2022, the Navy raised the maximum enlistment bonus to $50,000 to recruit and attract “high-quality future Sailors.” Along with the maximum bonus, the Navy is now adding the opportunity for members to receive $65,000 in loan repayments.

What is a Navy doctor called? ›

A naval surgeon, or less commonly ship's doctor, is the person responsible for the health of the ship's company aboard a warship.

How much is the signing bonus for the Navy? ›

JOIN TODAY & EARN UP TO $115K. TEXT NAVYBONUS TO 764764 FOR INFORMATION.* For a limited time, active duty Future Sailors who leave for boot camp before August can earn up to $115K. Reserve duty Future Sailors who leave for boot camp before August may qualify for bonuses up to $25K.

What are 3 examples of occupational health? ›

The science and practice of occupational health involves several disciplines, such as occupational medicine, nursing, ergonomics, psychology, hygiene, safety and other.

What is occupational therapy in the military? ›

Occupational therapists in the Military provide direct patient care, readiness training, wellness education, and injury prevention to service members. They plan and administer therapy to help patients adjust to disabilities, regain independence, and prepare to return to work.

What are the three types of occupational health? ›

The four categories of occupational health hazards are biological, ergonomic, chemical, and physical hazards.

What does occupation mean military? ›

Occupation may be defined as the effective control of a foreign territory by hostile armed forces. This definition derives from. Article 42 of the Hague Regulations of 1907, which states that “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under. the authority of the hostile army.

What are the 4 categories of OSHA? ›

What do the OSHA Standards Say? OSHA standards fall into four categories: General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture.

What are the 4 types of occupational hazards? ›

Occupational hazards are risks associated with working in specific occupations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) describes five categories of occupational hazards: physical safety hazards, chemical hazards, biological hazards, physical hazards, and ergonomic risk factors.

What are the 4 main hazards? ›

There are many types of hazards - chemical, ergonomic, physical, and psychosocial, to name a few - which can cause harm or adverse effects in the workplace.


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