Western Occupational & Environmental Medical Association
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CME Webinars

WOEMA’s Education Committee offers CME Webinars on topics relevant to the practice of occupational and environmental medicine. These webinars can be accessed by calling a toll-free 800 number and viewing the Powerpoint presentation using your Internet browser from your own computer. WOEMA members will be notified in advance of the dial-in phone number and the URL link to access the slides. When the CME Webinar is offered live, members will have the opportunity to send questions to the presenter and have those answered in real-time on the live broadcast. Following the live broadcast, WOEMA members may view and listen to the webinar on-line and then complete the questionnaire in order to receive credit.

WOEMA CME Webinar Registration Fees
WOEMA/ACOEM Member – Free
Non-Member Physician – $20
Non-Member, Non-Physician – $15

Click here to listen/view past webinar presentations


TOPIC: Screening and Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Among Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operators
To air on December 18, 2013, 12noon PST

Speaker: Chunbai Zhang, MD, MPH, Sleep Medicine and Occupational Medicine Specialist, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Description: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a syndrome defined by breathing abnormalities during sleep, can lead to fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) with an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.  Identifying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators with unrecognized OSA during DOT exam is a major public health challenge.  While in-lab sleep study polysomnogram (PSG) is the gold standard for diagnosis of OSA, portable monitors (PMs) are being used as potentially lower cost and more accessible alternatives. Most occupational physicians are not familiar with the diagnostic challenges of OSA in the DOT examinee population:  sensitivity and specificity; the cost-benefit ratio of the PMs versus PSG; potential barriers from human factors; and evolving technological advancement.  Human factors that alter test accuracy are a major concern among commercial drivers motivated to gain/maintain employment.  This talk will help outline past and current literature on the diagnostic and screening tools of OSA during DOT exam for occupational physicians and practitioners.

Learning Objectives – Participants will be able to:

  • To understand the unique challenges in diagnosing OSA among CMV Operators.
  • To outline screening tools for OSA during a DOT exam.
  • To outline the advantages and shortcomings of portable monitoring devices used for diagnosing OSA among CMV operators

Speaker: Chunbai Zhang, MD, MPH
Dr. Chunbai Zhang, is an internist, occupational medicine and sleep medicine specialist.  His research has focused on how sleep disorders affect job-related performances.  His work has been funded by the Occupational Physician Scholarship Fund, Harvard Catalyst Grant and an NIH T-32 Training Grant.  He has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Sleep, Neurology and Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine. He has also co-authored several textbook chapters on the emerging field of “occupational sleep medicine”.  Previously, he practiced as a sleep specialist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, a medical director of employee health at Baystate Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine, and a medical director at Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA.  Currently, Dr. Zhang is the medical director of employee occupational health services (EOHS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. He is an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a consultant physician at Partners Healthcare.   His current work focuses on alignment of wellness programs, injury prevention, primary care and other related departments in an effort to make hospital employee safety and wellness one of the triads of hospital quality.

Dr. Zhang attended the Governor’s Academy (MA) and moved on to obtain a B.A. from Haverford College (PA), an M.D. from Dartmouth Medical School (NH), an M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health, and a certification in “value-based health care delivery” from Harvard Business School.

CREDIT: WOEMA is accredited bythe Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. WOEMA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

WOEMA designates this educational activity when combined with completion and submission of the on-line questionnaire, for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. CME Certificates are issued and e-mailed to those who successfully participate and complete the webinar.


TOPIC: Chronic Upper Back and Neck Pain in Workers: Stretching, Strengthening, or Ergonomics? The Answers are In
Aired on October 30, 2013

Speaker: David Rempel, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Professor of Medicine, UCSF

Description: In the past 4 years, a number of high quality randomized controlled trials, have been conducted in Europe that evaluate the effectiveness of strengthening, stretching or standard care on the treatment chronic neck and upper back pain in workers. The successful interventions can be incorporated into worksite health promotion programs. In addition, recent laboratory and field studies have identified workstation interventions that can reduce neck and shoulder pain among computer users.  These interventions may be especially important for your laptop and mobile device users.

Learning Objectives – Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the new, evidence based findings on the value of focused strengthening exercises (in comparison to stretching) in treating workers with chronic upper back and neck pain and be able to implement these exercises in worksite health promotion programs.
  • Following new research findings be able to make recommendations for workstation interventions for managing upper back and neck pain among computer users, especially for laptop users and older employees with presbyopia.
  • Understand the basic mechanisms of effectiveness of strengthening and ergonomic interventions for managing chronic upper back and neck pain

Speaker: David Rempel, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Dr. Rempel is Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, Professor of Engineering at UC Berkeley, and Director of the Ergonomics Graduate Training Program.  His clinical teaching to OEM fellows is on medical management of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders.  The laboratory research focuses on the design and evaluation of workplace tools and tasks in order to prevent upper extremity fatigue and injury. http://ergo.berkeley.edu/.

This educational event was held in collaboration with the Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association (WOEMA) and the University of California Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (UC COEH).

[Download Presentation]

CREDIT: WOEMA is accredited bythe Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. WOEMA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

WOEMA designates this educational activity when combined with completion and submission of the on-line questionnaire, for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. CME Certificates are issued and e-mailed to those who successfully participate and complete the webinar.


TOPIC: Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: OSHA Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals
Aired on August 28, 2013

Speaker: Mary C. Townsend, DrPH,
 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh and an Independent Spirometry and Epidemiology Consultant for industrial, government, and research clients.

Description: Occupational spirometry testing is often performed to comply with OSHA regulations and industry requirements.  However, the technical quality of such testing is often mediocre, producing inaccurate results, and the interpretation of test results often fails to follow best practice guidelines.  To address both of these problems, OSHA has recently released a Guidance Document on Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals.  OSHA was strongly influenced by ACOEM’s 2011 Spirometry Update.  This session summarizes key points of the OSHA guidance to familiarize occupational medicine practitioners with this new reference.

Learning Objectives – Participants will be able to:

  • Understand scope of OSHA’s Best Practice recommendations on training of technicians and supervising medical personnel.
  • Understand recommendations for procedure and frequency of spirometer calibration checks and how and why the checks vary depending on spirometer type.
  • Recognize why large real-time displays of volume-time and flow-volume curves should be visible as testing is conducted and in spirometry report.
  • Understand steps in conducting spirometry tests, criteria to be met for test validity, and measurements that will be interpreted.
  • Identify recommended set of normal reference values and recommended interpretation algorithm.
  • Identify minimum recommendations for QA review of spirometry reports and test-related recordkeeping.

Speaker: Mary C. Townsend, DrPH
Dr. Mary Townsend is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh and an Independent Spirometry and Epidemiology Consultant for industrial, government, and research clients. She consults for OSHA’s Directorate of Standards and Guidance and recently helped develop the Spirometry Testing in Occupational Health Programs: Best Practices for Healthcare Professionals Guidance Document, released on March 27, 2013. She received the 2013 American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) Award for Health Achievement in Occupational Medicine and teaches annual Spirometry for Physicians courses at the ACOEM meetings.  She is lead author of ACOEM’s Position Statements on Spirometry in the Occupational Health Setting – 2011 Update and Evaluating Pulmonary Function Change Over Time in the Occupational Setting, and has been an active member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) for over 30 years.

Dr. Townsend has no conflict of interest to disclose.

[Download Presentation]

CREDIT: WOEMA is accredited bythe Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. WOEMA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

WOEMA designates this educational activity when combined with completion and submission of the on-line questionnaire, for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. CME Certificates are issued and e-mailed to those who successfully participate and complete the webinar.


TOPIC: Cultural Considerations in Subclinical PTSD in Law Enforcement Officers

Aired on June 26, 2013

Speaker: Marius Koga, MD, MPH, Director of Refugee Health Research and Assistant Professor of International Health at UC Davis School of Medicine, Dept. of Public Health

Description: Half of the traumatized OIF/OEF veterans fear that receiving treatment would harm their careers. Another 65% believe they would be considered weak for seeking help and would lose their peers’ confidence. Since few employers disclose up-front their policies regarding pre-existing mental conditions and thresholds for disqualification, veterans seeking employment after military service as police officers and firefighters tend to hide their scars. The daily hazards of police work make this an occupation extremely vulnerable to PTSD especially in veterans with a subthreshold condition. This epidemic is not well researched, recognized, treated, or even admitted. Although screening tools, such as the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), exist to evaluate levels of PTSD severity, almost no law enforcement agency reports using one. Cultural considerations in evaluating and treating enforcement officers are important both for research and for training of primary care physicians, nurses, and HR departments of law enforcement agencies.

Learning Objectives – Participants will be able to:

  • To understand the epidemiological magnitude of subclinical PTSD in veterans and law enforcement officers and the variety of its subtle presentations in work and primary care settings.
  • To become familiar with the cultural modulators of subclinical PTSD in Latino and Latina law enforcement officers including health beliefs, help seeking behaviors, and treatment compliance
  • To use screening tools and cultural assessments to assess fitness for job and inform preventive and therapeutic interventions for law enforcement officers.

Speaker: Marius Koga, MD, MPH

Dr. Marius Koga is Director of Refugee Health Research and Assistant Professor of International Health at UC Davis School of Medicine, Dept. of Public Health. He is also a Core faculty of UC Global Health Institute, Center of Expertise on Migration and Health, and a Researcher at UCD Center for Healthcare Policy & Research. Dr. Koga’s research interests includes cultural, religious, and spiritual modulators of resilience in PTSD; fractal geometry modeling of psychiatric diagnosis, integration of transpersonal psychology in virtual reality environments and interventions. For the past ten years he has given over 100 invited talks, presentations, and workshops in US, Africa, and Europe on PTSD. Dr. Koga is the Founder of Veteran, Immigrant, and Refugee Trauma Institute of Sacramento (VIRTIS), an immigrant-driven center of expertise in global trauma.

Dr. Koga has no conflict of interest to disclose.

[Download Presentation]

CREDIT: WOEMA is accredited bythe Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. WOEMA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

WOEMA designates this educational activity when combined with completion and submission of the on-line questionnaire, for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. CME Certificates are issued and e-mailed to those who successfully participate and complete the webinar.


TOPIC: Opioids and the Pain/Addiction Interface
Aired on April 17, 2013

Speaker: Judith Martin, MD, Medical Director, Substance Abuse Services, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Description: In view of recent increase in non-medical use and overdose deaths related to opioid prescription drugs, physicians who treat chronic pain are facing the challenge of changing practice to address diversion and addictive disorders while managing pain. This session will help clinicians who treat chronic pain with opioids to be better skilled at talking to a patient about a positive urine toxicology test, be consistent in supporting clinic policies about refills of opiates, and be able to explain to patients why practices are changing with respect to opioid use.

Learning Objectives – Participants will be able to:

  • Talk to a patient about a positive urine toxicology test;
  • Be consistent in supporting clinic policies about refills of opiates;
  • Explain to patients why practices are changing with respect to opioid use.

Speaker: Judith Martin, MD

Dr. Martin is an addiction specialist who has worked with opioid-addicted patients and their families for over twenty years. She has provided training about methadone and buprenorphine treatment of addiction to physicians and clinic staff from many states. She is past president of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, and on the board of directors for the American Society of Addiction Medicine. She is Medical Director of Substance Abuse Services for the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, where she works on integrated care issues in mental health, primary care, and addiction medicine.

Dr. Martin has no conflict of interest to disclose.

[Download presentation]

CREDIT: WOEMA is accredited bythe Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. WOEMA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

WOEMA designates this educational activity when combined with completion and submission of the on-line questionnaire, for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. CME Certificates are issued and e-mailed to those who successfully participate and complete the webinar.


TOPIC:Green Chemistry / Safer Alternatives: An Emerging Paradigm for Worker Protection?
Aired on February 27, 2013, noon PST 

Speaker: Dennis Shusterman, MD, MPH Section Chief within the Occupational Health Branch at the California Department of Public Health.

Description: Traditional regulatory approaches to chemical hazard control in the workplace rely upon permissible exposure limits (PELS).  While the PEL approach is effective in many cases, rule-making has not kept pace with the introduction of new chemicals into commerce.  Further, for some chemicals, worker intoxications continue to occur despite the adoption of rigorous standards.  We examine three case studies of the failure of existing chemical policies to protect workers, and argue that substitution of safer alternatives is an under-utilized process.  The participant will develop an appreciation for up-stream regulation as a complementary measure to PELs in worker protection.

Learning Objectives – Participants will be able to:

  • Review the hierarchy of industrial hygiene controls and how it applies to chemical hazards.
  • Appreciate some of the conflicts in regulatory approach that may arise in attempting to control chemical hazards from an occupational vs. environmental perspective.
  • Understand the unique toxicology of methylene chloride and the extreme hazard it can pose to workers and consumers.
  • Identify the extraordinary exposure controls necessary to use methylene chloride-containing products safely.

Speaker: Dennis Shusterman, MD, MPH

Dr. Shusterman is trained in Family Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM), and currently serves as a Section Chief within the Occupational Health Branch at the California Department of Public Health.  He has an ongoing affiliation with the Division of OEM at UCSF, where he is Professor of Clinical Medicine, Emeritus and serves on the attending staff of the OEM clinic.  His special interests include upper respiratory tract toxicology and developing instructional media for occupational and environmental medicine.

Dr. Shusterman has no conflict of interest to disclose.

[Download presentation]

CREDIT: WOEMA is accredited bythe Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians. WOEMA takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

WOEMA designates this educational activity when combined with completion and submission of the on-line questionnaire, for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. CME Certificates are issued and e-mailed to those who successfully participate and complete the webinar.


Older Presentations:

2012 Presentations

2011 Presentations

2010 Presentations

2009 Presentations

Click Here to Listen and/or Download Webinar Presentations