Dr. Marj Malabanan shares what led her to be all in on occ health 


Dr. Marj Malabanan is the head of global occupational medicine and regional occupational medicine lead for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Bayer AG. She works at the company's headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. 


In this episode of OccTok, Dr. Malabanan describes finishing her medical training in the Philippines and passing her boards and starting her career in an employee clinic. At the time, the practice of occupational medicine was new to her, and she mostly saw patients who were sick and conducted routine medical exams. Over time she started to appreciate her role at the clinic and realizing that it could be so much more, she started on a journey to expand her knowledge of the specialty.


Fast forward to early 2020 when she accepted a job at Bayer in the Asia Pacific just before the start of the COVID pandemic. With shutdowns beginning, her first days at the company were anything but normal. She jumped right in to help her new employer develop a strategy for how to respond to the ever-changing situation. She joined the company's global occupational medicine team and met colleagues from the different regions — Latin America, North America and the EMEA. Later that year, she was offered the global medical director position. 


Listen now to hear why Dr. Malabanan believes strong networks of professionals who share information and ideas is key to attracting new trainees to the field. 


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. Malabanan's personal journey into occupational medicine.