For two decades, the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University has firstly served the Occupational Medicine Residency training program in Thailand. Occupational physicians have dedicated their potentials to occupational medicine works in terms of health promotion in the workplaces, prevention, and occupational medical services towards Thai working population.
At present, there are 159 Thai board-certified occupational physicians. Thai occupational physicians are presently working nationwide in both public and private healthcare practice. A number of certified occupational physicians have currently occupied various top national health leading positions. Furthermore, the occupational medicine knowledge is currently essential for Thai undergraduate medical students mentioned in the Thai Medical Council’s Medical Competency Assessment Criteria.
Being awarded the postgraduate diploma of occupational medicine in Thailand can be divided into 2 categories: by attending three-year residency training or by five-year working experience in the field of occupational medicine including an elective two-month short course. Occupational medicine is a prevailingly attractive specialty-training program among Thai physicians.
As a country which occupational medicine training program is in its childhood period, lessons learned from prior occupational medicine developed countries, updating contents and employers’ demand is the key to success. In Thailand, occupational physician supply is still less than the increasing demand. Additionally, the study among the majority of Thai working populations in the informal sector, particularly in agriculture, and the advancement of current health research schemes would strengthen the training. These are future challenges influencing the progression of occupational medicine training in Thailand.