Applying to the OEMR

Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency (OEMR) Admissions Letter, October 2015

Dear 2016 Applicant to the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency (OEMR),

Thank you for your interest in our two-year residency program. This program, accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), is available to those who have an MD or DO degree from an accredited medical school in the United States or Canada and have completed/are completing at least one year of internship in an accredited ACGME program (US) or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada program (Canada). The OEMR program leads to board eligibility in occupational medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
International Medical graduates are also welcome to apply providing they have completed (at least one year of, or are currently in) an accredited training program in the United States or Canada. International Medical graduates should have attended a university that is recognized by the Ministry of Education of the respective country or accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting association. For details please consult our website

*Please note that the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health uses the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) – an online application. The OEMR does not accept the Universal ERAS application at this time.

This letter provides a brief overview of the residency application process. Please visit our website for additional information.
Application to the OEMR consists of the following:
1) The SOPHAS online application (available August 20, 2015, at;
2) Information and documents required by the Residency Program sent directly to the Residency Program as indicated below. Please note: Some of these documents may duplicate information and documents required by SOPHAS, but this is intentional. For 2016 entrance, the deadline for OEMR applications is October 15, 2015. If this October deadline is a problem for you, please contact Ann Backus at (617) 432-3327 or by email at
1) The SOPHAS Application (for MPH degree and special students)
A. Access the application at after August 20, 2015.
B. Suggestions for completing the SOPHAS application:
For applicants who do not have an MPH:
• Statement of Purpose and Objectives: Use the opportunity provided in the SOPHAS application to provide a personal statement that reflects your particular interest in the Harvard OEMR. For example, you may want to describe how you believe your strengths, goals, and interests will be served through our program.
• Transcript Tip: Applicants are required to enter all coursework from US institutions attended in the Coursework section of the SOPHAS application and submit official transcripts and degree conferrals for all institutions attended. If you do not wish to enter courses and grades, SOPHAS offers a fee-based service to do it for you. Applicants who have coursework from institutions outside of the United States of America must submit a credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES, Evaluations from WES will allow our reviewers to understand more completely the education system in which you studied, which may be beneficial for your application review. We recommend that you order two official copies of each transcript: one for SOPHAS and one to be held by you, to be presented to the Admissions Office unopened upon matriculation, if admitted. Additionally you should obtain two unofficial copies of all transcripts for all US institutions attended: one for your SOPHAS data-entry purposes and one to send to the Residency Program administrator (see below).
• Letters of Recommendation: For letters of recommendation, follow the process as outlined in SOPHAS. In SOPHAS, each reference is asked to write a recommendation that will be applicable for any (participating) school of public health to which you designate your application. For the HSPH Residency Program requirements for letters of recommendation please see below under “Residency Program.”
• Please also note that HSPH Admissions will be glad to add to your file any additional letter(s) of recommendation that discuss(es) how the Harvard OEMR is suited to your needs and interests. Any letters specific to the HSPH should be mailed directly to the Admissions Office at 158 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115-5810.
• Specifying the OEMR in SOPHAS: To specify your interest in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency, under “School Designations” select “Harvard Chan School of Public Health,” then select “MPH, Occupational and Environmental Health.” Click “Search” and choose “Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency,” then under optional offering, check Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
For applicants who already have an MPH:
• If you already have an MPH, according to the new ACGME requirements for Occupational Medicine, you will need to complete your residency over two years, and the likelihood is high that you will need to take additional courses at HSPH. Please contact Ann Backus and send an unofficial copy of your MPH transcript to so that the residency director and faculty can advise you whether or not additional courses are needed in order to meet our academic competencies for Occupational Medicine.
• If some additional courses are required, but the credits are not enough to constitute a full degree program, you may be asked to apply through SOPHAS to HSPH as a non-degree special student rather than as a degree student.
• If applying as a special student, in SOPHAS under “School Designations” select “Harvard School of Public Health,” then select “Non-degree, Department of Environmental Health.” Click “Search” and choose “Special Student Status Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency” then under optional offering choose “Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency.”
• Special students will send documents to the Residency Program in addition to completing the SOPHAS application. (Please see below.)
2) Documents Required by The Residency Program Office
• Application to The Residency requires that you complete the SOPHAS application and submit the following documents directly to Ann Backus by October 15, 2015:
Ann Backus, MS
Coordinator, OEMR
Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology (EOME) Program, Room 1-1402
665 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115
1) A statement of purpose and objectives;
2) Your current CV with month year start and end dates for academic and experience entries;
3) Unofficial undergraduate and medical school transcripts;
4) Official USMLE scores for all steps taken send from F
5) Unofficial MCAT (US/Canadian Medical Graduates) or GRE scores (International Medical Graduates);
6) Valid ECFMG certification (if an international medical graduate);
7A). If you have completed a prior US/Canadian residency program: Submit one original letter of recommendation from the Program Director of your most recent training program that includes the following statement: “In accordance with ACGME requirements, as Program Director, I verify that Dr. ____ has demonstrated sufficient competence to enter practice without direct supervision.” This letter must be signed across the envelope seal and sent (to Ann Backus) directly from the recommender.
7B) If you are presently in a training program (PGY 1 or higher): Submit one original letter of recommendation on letterhead from the Program Director signed across the envelope seal and sent directly from the recommender.
8) Two additional original letters of recommendation on the recommender’s letterhead (each signed across the envelope seal and sent directly from the recommender). At least one of these recommenders should have direct knowledge of your clinical skills.
9) If you have completed only one year of US/Canadian clinical training (PGY-1 internship or transitional year) (or greater than one year, but will not have completed a full residency by July 2016) you also need: The ACGME Global Resident Competency Rating Form filled out by your most recent program director. Please request this form from Ann Backus
• Although some of the documents required by the Residency Program are duplicates of those required by SOPHAS, it is crucial that SOPHAS and the Harvard OEMR each receive all required documents.
We encourage all prospective applicants to contact the OEMR coordinator directly so we can help track and facilitate your application throughout the process, as well as answer any questions. Her contact information is:
Ann Backus, MS
(617) 432-3327 or (603) 361-2141
Questions about the SOPHAS application can be directed to the Admissions Office:
(617) 432-1031
I also encourage you to contact me directly regarding your interest in the residency and for any questions regarding program content.
Thank you. We look forward to working with you during the application process.
Sincerely yours,
Stefanos Kales, MD, MPH
Director, OEMR
(617) 665-1580