Interdisciplinary Activities

The Southern California Education and Research Center prides itself on the number and variety of interdisciplinary opportunities provided for our trainees to learn about the field of occupational health. Our trainees are typically UCLA and UCI graduate students from the Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health Nursing, Occupational Medicine, and Epidemiology programs but we welcome students from all areas. We believe that the educational experience is greatly enriched by sharing with and learning from other disciplines. Through these collaborative experiences, trainees learn how to see the workplace from the point of view of other disciplines, how to bring their own perspective to the table, and how to work as a team. At most events, participants are grouped together to maximize the interactions among the disciplines and communication between first year students, second year students, and PhD candidates.

Journal Club - EHS 230

Once or twice every month during the academic year, students in the program attend a two-hour seminar where they either study an occupational health and safety article from a professional journal or participate in a book study club, and discuss in groups with students from other academic programs. This is a great opportunity for students to share their own perspective and benefit from hearing other disciplines' perspectives on the OSH topic. This is part of the 1-credit EHS 230 course series, 'Interdisciplinary Occupational Health Practice.' These meetings have been held online since Spring 2020.

Fall Workshop

We start off the academic year by bringing together all of our trainees, new and returning, and our faculty for a two-day Orientation and Workshop.

Day One at UCLA - the Fall Orientation features short presentations about each of the different programs, and presentations by returning trainees about their research projects and internships. There is a poster session where attendees move in groups from one trainee to another who explain their research and their posters illustrating the results. There is also a featured speaker who is invited to deliver a presentation on a health and safety topic.

Day Two at UC Irvine - is a Clinical Case Conference where students learn about the issues of interviewing ill or injured workers and may have the opportunity to observe an actual clinic visit. All participants must complete online HIPAA training prior to attending.

Annual Meeting

Each year during Winter quarter, we invite a prominent occupational health and safety professional to be our keynote speaker. Trainees, faculty, Advisory Board Members and Continuing Education Course Directors are invited. There are opportunities for question and answers as well as interdisciplinary activities. Past speakers have included NIOSH Director John Howard, Dean of UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health Jody Heymann, and UC San Francisco Medical Center, Professor Paul Blanc.

Clinical Case Conferences

There are three clinical case conferences hosted during the year which take place during the Fall Workshop, Winter quarter, and Spring quarter. Trainees are assigned to a case group of a specific worker-related injury or illness presented by either an occupational medicine, occupational health nursing, or industrial hygiene student. There are interdisciplinary discussions and trainees present on the cases. HIPAA training is required beforehand to participate in this event in order to keep real health patient information confidential.

Ethics Webinar

Twice a year, the Continuing Education Program offers a 4-hour webinar course on Ethics for Health and Safety Professionals. All trainees are required to attend the course once during their traineeship. The instructors are an industrial hygienist and an occupational health nurse. The course focuses particularly on ethical situations faced by occupational health and safety professionals and encourages the interaction between the trainees and working professionals who take the course for professional accreditation.

Worksite Visit

Each Spring in the past, we have visited a work-site in the greater Los Angeles area to observe the hazards and controls encountered by workers on the job. After an introduction to the company and presentations by current trainees about hazards they may observe, we tour the facility in small groups. This is followed by a working lunch where groups prepare a presentation based on an assignment. Members of the facility’s safety department attend these presentations and often find them useful in identifying improvements that can be made. At some facilities, trainees don the PPE (personal protective equipment) necessary for the safety of workers and visitors.

Occupational Health & Safety Case Studies

Throughout the academic year, an IH or OHN trainee presents a case that is typically related to an event taking place during their practicum. The preceptor, usually a faculty member, helps the student prepare the case in order to address key aspects during the presentation. Students from different disciplines provide their professional feedback to the presenter. This is part of the interdisciplinary training they receive for EHS 230.


Trainees visit a dairy farm for a Worksite Visit
Student presents their Research Training Project
Presenter at the Fall Orientation

Winter 2023 Schedule:

September 14 9:30am-3:00pmSCERC Fall Orientation (UCLA)
September 15 9:00am-3:15pmSCERC Clinical Case Conference (UCI)
October 23 10:00am-12:00pmEthics for Health & Safety Professionals Session 1
October 26 10:00am-12:00pmEthics for Health & Safety Professionals Session 2
November 15:00-6:30pmClass 1: Overview of Cal/OSHA Hazard Communication Standard
Presented by: Dr. Rachael Jones
November 85:00-6:30pmClass 2: Critiques of Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Moderated by: Dr. Rachael Jones
November 29 5:00-6:30pmClass 3: Process of Writing a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Guest Speaker: TBA

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