Rural and Agricultural Occupational Medicine

The Texas Institute for Occupational Safety and Health® (TIOSH®) was first awarded a Training Project Grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 2007 to offer innovative training for Occupational Medicine residents in the areas of rural and agricultural occupational medicine. This nationally competitive grant is the first training project grant of its kind for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, and it was most recently competitively renewed for five years in 2020. The National Center for Farmworker Health, based in Buda, Texas, is a partner in the grant.

Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries, with a high risk for fatal and non-fatal injuries and work-related disease conditions. Many occupational medicine physicians have little experience with agricultural-related health issues, such as the risk factors that contribute to illness, disability and death in rural settings.

The goals of the grant are to:

  • Sustain and increase the supply of qualified occupational medicine residency trained physicians, particularly in U.S. Public Health Region 6
  • Expand service capacity by increasing the number of occupational medicine resident graduates who develop knowledge and awareness of rural/agricultural occupational health, through a range of didactic, experiential, and practicum learning activities
  • Nurture interdisciplinary collaborations between an accredited occupational medicine residency program, the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention, and Education, and multiple other regional stakeholders including the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health NIOSH ERC located in Houston at The University of Texas School of Public Health

TIOSH® is an Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) member clinic and has a multi-disciplinary faculty and staff engaged in a wide array of educational and research activities with funding support from organizations, including NIOSH, EPA, and ATSDR.