Introduction The core competencies required for occupational physicians (OP) need to be adapted continuously evolving around the world. Since 2002 the Brazilian National Association of Occupational Medicine (ANAMT) is guiding the training and certification processes, quite similar to other Occupational Health Associations in the European Union or in some other individual countries around the world. The aim of this study was to describe the process and the results of a Brazilian assessment, to actualize existing data, seek consensus and identify the common core competencies required for OP nowadays.
Methods A modified Delphi study was carried out among 223 OP’s, associate members of the ANAMT.The study was conducted in two rounds (round 1: rating of the principal competency domains; round 2: ranking) using a questionnaire based on the specialist training syllabus of different countries, expert panel reviews and conference discussions.
Result There was broad consensus on all identified competency domains with scores of 90% and over in every domain. In the first step the results were organised in six domains, 24 general competencies and 124 specific competencies. The competency to act ethically and professionally was considered as core around which the four basic domains are organised: analysis and intervention on the health condition; study of working conditions and proposals for improvement; integrated health management; safety, environmental and health promotion and education. The sixths domain, considered as transversal to the others, includes skills in communication, interpersonal relations, teamwork and leadership as well as knowledge management. In the second round of the study, this competency cast was reorganised and hierarchized, resulting in 4 main domains and 60 specific competencies.
Discussion and conclusions This study has established the current priorities amongst Brazilian OP’s concerning the core competencies required for OH practice and the results seem in concordance with similar studies conducted worldwide. These findings can serve as a platform for the qualification processes for medical residence/specialisation trainings and specialist certification.
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