Richard Heron, MB ChB, FRCP, FFOM, FACOEM talks about the occupational health hazards of belly dancing and how CMOs solve business problems others cannot 


Dr. Richard Heron owns Heron Health Consulting and advises organizations on work and health issues. Prior to opening his own shop, he was vice president of health and chief medical officer at BP for more than 16 years. His career also includes serving as the head of global safety, health and risk management for AstraZeneca, a professor at the University of Nottingham and honorary professor at the University of Surrey. 


Looking back, Dr. Heron can point to several experiences and encounters that spurred his interest in occupational health. Listen now to hear how grinding the bases of decorative porcelain figures and providing care to two patients at the same time during residency — a young boy whose father was an occ health physician at the postal service and a 24-year old woman who was an exotic dancer — led to him change specialties from gastroenterology to population health.


In the podcast, Dr. Heron goes on to share how having an emergency infection disease outbreak plan already in place was crucial in guiding BP's response during the pandemic, and how occ health professionals got noticed for being able to solve problems that the C-suite couldn't to keep businesses running. 


OccTok is a podcast produced by Enterprise Health to support the mission of ACOEM's Ambassador Program, an initiative to increase awareness of occupational and environmental medicine among medical and APP students and residents and provide opportunities for real-world experiences for interested trainees.


The Ambassador Program is led by a group of occupational health professionals who recruit others in the specialty to volunteer as ambassadors and present at lunch and learns at medical and physician assistant schools throughout the U.S. The presentations introduce attendees to the specialty and its benefits which include high satisfaction and low burnout rates, and provide information on common work environments including hospitals and health systems, colleges and universities, the public sector, sports and entertainment, and a wide variety of corporate and manufacturing settings. 


Listen now to hear Dr. Heron's personal journey into occupational medicine.