Occupational Medicine

Occupational Health Doctors at HMC in Sugar Land

Dr. Jianzhang Xu - Occupational Medicine

Jianzhang Xu M.D.
(713) 781-4600

What is Occupational Medicine?

Occupational Medicine is “a branch of medicine concerned with the prevention and treatment of occupational diseases,” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.  The occupational doctor is concerned with ensuring workplace health and safety for all employees and business owners.

What an Occupational Health Doctor Does

An occupational health doctor is a licensed physician who specializes in work-related illnesses and injuries.  They assist businesses in taking steps to enhance the safety of the the workplace and provide preventative medicine, clinical care, disability management, and research and education in safety.  Occupational health doctors are trained to determine the ability of employees to perform work and the health risks involved in that particular job.  Many occupational health doctors will visit workplace facilities and assess the risks workers may face and considers the affects of stress and fatigue workers may experience based on their particular job and the hours they work. One of the most important aspects of an occupational health doctor’s job is the return-to-work process.  This process is a system of health monitoring and treatment that ensures the ill or injured worker is able to return to work and perform the tasks needed as quickly as possible without further injury or illness. Occupation health doctors are an extremely important part of the workplace and are connected to almost every aspect of the business, from senior management to human resources.  They must understand the needs of each level of the workplace and how to handle the unique challenges they all present.

Education Requirements for Occupational Medicine

All occupational health physicians are required to hold an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) degree from an accredited medical school.  After graduating, a one- to two-year internship is required at a general hospital.  When this internship is complete, doctors must complete a residency that can be up to six years long.  The student will work under the guidance of experienced occupational health doctors.  Once the residency is complete students will be able to take the proper licensing exams to be able to legally practice occupational health independently.