Adams paves the way

13 December 2007 | Story by Newsroom

Going places: Dr Shahieda Adams is the first occupational medicine specialist to be trained in South Africa.

UCT has made history by producing the first South African-trained occupational medicine specialist.

Dr Shahieda Adams, an occupational medicine registrar in the School of Public Health, graduated this week, paving a path for others currently doing the course.

Occupational medicine is a sub-speciality that focuses on the relationship between work and health and seeks to promote workplace health and safety. There are a few occupational medicine specialists around the country but all have qualified abroad. UCT now offers the course as a fully-fledged area of specialisation within the division of public health.

“It was a privilege to be trained at UCT by the best occupational medicine specialists in the country,” Adams said.

Adams added that her achievement was largely due to the support from members of the Occupational and Environmental Health Research Unit - and her family.

“One has to be focused and grab opportunities as they come along. This enables you to develop and grow as a researcher and a medical specialist.”

Adams performs clinical work at the occupational diseases clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital and works for the Provincial Medical Advisory Panel, which assesses and resolves occupational disease claims for the Department of Labour.

She is currently exploring a proposal to do her PhD next year.

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