In this episode Consultant Occupational Medicine Physician Dr Kent Haworth joins WEM host Dr Will Duffin to discuss assessing medical fitness for extreme environments.

Occupational Health is concerned with the impact of health on work and vice versa.  We discuss the key approaches and broad principles in matching an individuals medical background with the environment and making sensible decisions about whether they should participate with a focus on diving, military deployments, offshore oil and gas and expeditions.

We cover:

  • Why preparation is the key to success!
  • Mapping the individual and their condition to the environment.
  • The key components of the ‘dive medical’, the role of respiratory and ENT problems
  • The unique challenges of a remote maritime environment.
  • A patient with a history of anaphylaxis to peanuts – can they be safely deployed to a remote oil rig that is over a days travel from definitive care?
  • Doing a risk assessment - who is at risk and why - what can you do about it?
  • Proactive and reactive components of a risk assessment.
  • The issue of non-disclosure on health questionnaires. Helping the organisation asking the right questions in the first place!
  • The role of occupational medicine in protecting the individual AND the organisation (in that order).
  • Being able to back yourself when you feel exposed in your decision making and manage risk and uncertainty.
  • An approach to pre-existing mental health problems
  • Taking a positive approach: Screening people in rather than screening them out.

Why the UK military believe it’s important to join well, train well, live well, work well and leave well. 

  • Identifying and managing the return and transition to an individuals normal home environment after a long deployment.



Guest Bio: Dr Kent Haworth



Consultant Occupational Medicine Physician


Kent studied medicine at St. Andrews and Manchester Universities graduating in 1992. While at university he joined the British military and spent many happy, professionally rewarding years in uniform in the British Army and Royal Navy, travelling extensively and practising medicine in wide range of physical environments.


Initially trained in general practice, he then commenced higher specialist training in occupational medicine gaining approval as a consultant in 2010. Thereafter followed a variety of clinical and policy/strategy development roles before hanging up his uniform for the last time in 2018. For his final assignment he led the department responsible for occupational medicine aspects of Army recruitment. On leaving the military he entered independent practice in the City of London before moving to Saudi Arabia in 2019. He returned to the UK in 2021 and is based in the South East of England.


Kent was elected a Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians in 2017. He is passionate about occupational medicine and its application to maximum benefit in real-world working environments.


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