The College of Public Health and Occupational Physicians (CPHOP) was formed on 1 February 2013 as a non-independent college of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore. The first steps towards the formation of the College started on 15 May 1980, when 12 members of the Academy wrote to the Council proposing the formation of a Chapter of Community Medicine. During the Annual General Meeting of the Academy on 29 November 1980, it was moved that a new Chapter called Chapter of Community and Occupational Medicine, be formed. The inaugural meeting of the Chapter was held on 21 January 1981.


Over the years, the name of the Chapter of Community and Occupational Medicine underwent several changes to reflect the changing terminology of the disciplines. It was re-named the Chapter of Community and Occupational Physicians in January 1987, and subsequently the Chapter of Public Health and Occupational Physicians in June 1999.  Following the accreditation of aviation medicine as a subspecialty in May 2014, Academy Council approved the admission of aviation medicine physicians under the College on 3 November 2014.


The College provides professional leadership and continuing education in public health, occupational medicine and aviation medicine. It also provides recommendations to the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, on specialist qualification and training, and Fellows of the College serve on national specialist training committees and academic programme committees of the three specialties. The College collaborates with Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, in organising continuing medical education programmes. The College also supports the training of residents of the Preventive Medicine Residency, and senior residents of the Public Health, Occupational Medicine and Aviation Medicine Senior Residency programmes.



College Council 2016 - 2017
Rank Name
President Dr Vernon Lee
Immediate Past President Dr Benjamin Ng
Vice President Dr Jason Yap
Secretary Dr Lim John Wah
Treasurer Dr Clive Tan
Council Members Dr Angela Chow
  Dr Kenneth Choy
  Dr Toh Cheong Mui
Co-Opted Member Dr Gan Wee Hoe
Our Motto
Populi Salus Summa, which is Latin for Advancing the Health of Populations.
Our Vision
An Entrusted Profession for a Healthy Population
Our Mission

To promote and protect the health and well-being of everyone in society by:

• Equipping the practitioner
• Enriching our community
• Exemplifying excellence
• Engaging public health challenges

Our Values

• Passion for Prevention
• Integrity
• Leadership
• Excellence

Our Emblem

The crest represents the core focus of public health, occupational medicine and aviation medicine.

• The circle of people with linked hands represent the community and population at large
• The Rod of Asclepius marks the taking up the responsibility and gaining the knowledge required to ensure good health and workplace safety practice
• The globe represents the setting Singapore as the benchmark to the world.
• Treatment and cure provided by occupational and aviation medicine physicians, represented by the garland uplifting the whole process, are needed when prevention has not been successful. • The Academy, learning and knowledge of our fellows are represented by the open book.

A Strategy for the College

In its attempt to define its own set of corporate strategic statements, the College undertook a well-thought out process with wide engagement of our Fellows. As these statements would be guiding the College for years to come, it had to have undergone a series of logical, yet robust iterative discussions.


Our motto of Populi Salus Summa ("Advancing the Health of Populations") provided the firm foundation upon which to build our strategic identity, and was adopted as our core mission. This decision to focus the core mission for Public Health, Occupational and Aviation Medicine physicians on the health of the population was not only appropriate, but was also very timely as society faces the challenges of an ageing population.


Subsequent discussions centred on how this mission could be achieved and the roles adopted by the College Fellows for greatest impact. The College is an educational institution under the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, and should focus on the capabilities and character of our professional community. In addition, it also has a responsibility to society and may be called to more direct action. Four elements were identified to be critical for the College’s role, that we:


(i) equip practitioners to do their jobs well;
(ii) enrich our community for collaboration and synergy;
(iii) exemplify excellence in practice and ethics; and
(iv) prepare our professionals to engage public health challenges.


The long term goal of the College could then be summed up as helping each of our specialities to become "An Entrusted Profession for a Healthy Population". This phrase which captures both our aspiration for who we will become as a College and as the profession, and our objectives for those we serve.


Several rounds of discussion on the values guiding the College resulted in a consensus on Passion for Prevention, Integrity, Leadership and Excellence. These four values coincidentally matched our four roles in our mission as well. Our passion for prevention fuels and directs the challenges we engage; integrity speaks not only of character but also of completeness of training and competencies; leadership is needed to create synergy and value in enriching communities; and ultimately our professionals must exemplify excellence in practice and significance.


The above is neatly summarised in the diagram below which serves as a comprehensive guiding framework for the College.


What is Public Health?

Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". It is concerned with threats to health based on population health analysis. The dimensions of health can encompass "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity", as defined by the United Nations' World Health Organization. Public health incorporates the transdisciplinary approaches of epidemiology, biostatistics and health services. It encompasses areas as wide ranging as community health, environmental health and injury prevention, chronic diseases, epigenetics, the science of aging, mental health, behavioural science, health economics, public policy and disaster response.


The focus of public health intervention is to improve health and quality of life through the prevention and treatment of disease and other physical and mental health conditions, through surveillance of cases and health indicators, and through the promotion of healthy behaviours.

What is Occupational Medicine?

Occupational medicine is the study and practice of medicine related to the effects of work on health and health on work, and an individual’s capacity for particular types of work. It is concerned with the promotion and maintenance of physical, mental and social well-being of the working populations, the prevention among individuals of departures from health caused by their working conditions, the protection of individuals in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health, placing and maintenance of an individual in an occupational environment adapted to his/her physiological and psychological constitution, and prevention and treatment of accidental injuries occurring at work or in specific occupations. The goal of occupational medicine is the adaptation of work to people and of each person to their job.


Occupational medicine focuses on the health of workers, including the ability to perform work, the physical, chemical, biological, and social environments of the workplace, and the health outcomes of environmental exposures. Occupational medicine physicians need to have knowledge and skills in the promotion of health in the work place, workplace hazard analysis, the prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness, and disability, and ensuring workplace compliance with laws and safety standards. Their training includes public health, preventive medicine, population medicine, epidemiology, toxicology, and research, with emphasis on employee health and conditions caused by workplace exposures.

What is Aviation Medicine?

Aviation medicine is a specialized branch of medical science concerned with medical problems encountered in human flight in and beyond the atmosphere. It is a medical subspecialty which combines aspects of preventive, occupational, environmental and clinical medicine with the physiology and psychology of man in flight. Medically significant aspects of aviation travel include exposure to changing atmospheric pressures and ambient temperatures, large inertial forces, oxygen deprivation, noise, air sickness, and aircrew fatigue, as well as the spread of disease by air travel. Problems range from aircrew fatigue in long-haul flights to recognizing an ear block in an infant traveling on an airliner with elevated aircraft cabin pressure altitude.


Aviation medicine is concerned with the health and safety of those who fly, both aircrew and passengers, and those involved in flight operations and technical support, as well as the selection and performance of those who hold aviation licenses. It strives to treat or prevent conditions to which aircrews and others involved in flight are particularly susceptible, and applies medical knowledge to the human factors in aviation safety.