The Future of Military Occupational and Environmental Medicine in the Department of Defense

Pamela L. Krahl, Richard J. Thomas, Joel C. Gaydos, Timothy M. Mallon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective:Transfer of military medical facilities to the Defense Health Agency is transforming the Military Health System. Our objective is to inform this transformation with respect to optimum application of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) expertise.Methods:We defined and analyzed the external influences on military OEM practice using a structured framework to identify key drivers.Results:Key drivers are political and economic factors. These may change the size or military/civilian ratio of the specialty. Limited career development pathways should prompt consideration of making OEM a second or combined residency, and military-funded training of civilian physicians may be required. OEM specialist utilization should be reassessed.Conclusions:OEM is a highly adaptable specialty defined by the needs of its stakeholders. Comprehensive analysis of external influences can ensure that OEM practice remains in step with changing needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Defense Department
  • PESTEL analysis
  • key drivers of change: economic and political factors
  • military health system
  • occupational medicine practice
  • public policy


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