Program overview

ECHO Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ECHO OEM) offers 12 virtual sessions each cycle. Cycle 1 ran from September 17 to December 3, 2021 and Cycle 2 ran from April 22 to July 15, 2022.

Cycle 3 will run from September 22 to December 8, 2023 from 12:00 to 1:30pm EST.

Learning objectives of ECHO OEM

At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

Objective 1 – Recognize work-related and environmental conditions

Objective 2 – Manage injuries and illnesses that affect returning to work or staying at work to improve patients' workability

Objective 3 – Communicate effectively with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to improve access to care and a safe return to work/stay at work

Objective 4 – Collaborate effectively with workplace and allied health professionals to improve access to care and a safe return to work/stay at work

Benefits of participating

  • ECHO OEM provides a community of practice opportunity for Ontario primary health-care providers to gain up-to-date knowledge, skills, resources and expert advice. 
  • Participants learn how to identify occupational and environmental injuries and illnesses, manage complex cases and support their patients in returning to work or staying at work.
  • Participants build confidence and skills in OEM by taking part in case-based discussions, presenting their own cases and hearing presentations on key topics in occupational medicine by experts in the field.
  • ECHO OEM is free. It is a no-cost way to get expert, specialist advice, reducing patient referrals to specialists in other areas.
  • Participants earn CME credits. The program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
  • Physicians presenting a case may bill OHIP for case conferences (billing codes K707 or K701). Learn more about presenting a case.

Expectations of participants

Participants register for an entire ECHO OEM cycle. ECHO OEM participants are expected to:

  • attend as many of the ECHO OEM sessions as possible
  • complete surveys to evaluate each session and the ECHO OEM program
  • consider presenting a short, de-identified patient case, if applicable
  • contribute to case discussions as appropriate 

How ECHO OEM works

ECHO OEM links primary health-care providers with an expert interprofessional “hub” team through weekly videoconference sessions. Each session involves a case presentation and discussion and a didactic presentation on a key OEM topic. 

Before a session:

  • an agenda is sent to participants with the videoconference link and session resources
  • participants prepare their equipment (computer or smart device with a stable internet connection, camera and microphone)

During a session:

  • a patient case is presented and discussed 
  • a short didactic is presented by a content expert
  • the case presenter receives a summary of recommendations provided by participants and the expert hub

After a session:

  • participants can apply their new knowledge in practice
  • case presenters can use recommendations from the session to modify patient care
  • participants complete a feedback survey

After the program cycle:

  • Participants receive a certificate of attendance