Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Maritime Medicine

  • ECTS credits3
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeELMED207
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian (if non-Norwegian speaking participants, the course can be conducted in English.)
  • Resources

Teaching semester

Spring (january)

Objectives and Content

Maritime medicine is a medical discipline encompassing all medical aspects of working at sea, like public health, occupational medicine, general practice, emergency medicine, telemedicine i.a. Approximately 1,5 million merchant seafarers and 33 million fishers have their jobs at sea, often days and weeks from shore, outside reach of helicopter. Maritime medicine has an international character as we are serving the shipping industry, the only true global industry in the world.


The topic aims at providing

  • a general overview of maritime medicine
  • an overview of specific occupational health related challenges in the most important export industries in Norway
  • a basic introduction to principles of selection medicine
  • an overview of Norwegian maritime rescue services
  • an introduction to different tools for remote medical treatment, their limitations, advantages and disadvantages

An overview of the content of Norwegian maritime medicine today will introduce the course. Furthermore, we will focus on the most important health challenges in a public and occupational health perspective. The Norwegian preparedness for medical emergencies at sea will be discussed. The participants will be trained through exercises on remote medical treatment by using a telemedical approach. Introduction to and training in the use of medical selection principles will be a part of the course.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • has knowledge about the most important international regulatory mechanisms for maritime medicine and how these are implemented in Norwegian legislation
  • has an overview of the most important working environment challenges in the maritime industries in Norway and their public implications
  • demonstrates knowledge about the statistics of illness and injuries in the maritime industry and where to find such information
  • understands the basic principles for selection medicine
  • knows how the medical emergency preparedness and the rescue service at sea is organised
  • understands the limitations of maritime telemedicine and be able to evaluate different methods of telemedicine


The student

  • is able to navigate in the relevant international conventions regarding 1) working and living conditions for seafarers (MLC 2006 with guidelines), 2) medical and capability requirements for seafarers (STYCW-Convention with guidelines) 3) requirements for safety on board ship and medical equipment(SOLAS-convention with guidelines) and 4) protection against pollution of the environment and humans against such pollution
  • demonstrates how different purposes for selection leads to different outcomes
  • is able to utilize basic principles of medical selection in the assessment of safety risk on different maritime workplaces
  • is able to use basic principles of selection medicine on different medical conditions
  • demonstrates how to make contact from ship to rescue coordination centres and telemedical maritime assistance services vie coast earth stations
  • demonstrates how the civil health service providers can cooperate with the maritime rescue services and telemedical maritime assistance services
  • describes how medical diagnostics and treatment needs modification when the patient cannot see the doctor in office
  • describes the limitations connected to the level of knowledge and skills among nautical officers when treating patients on board ship
  • is able to use telemedical tools independently and sound way

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Textbook of Maritime Medicine is the only textbook on maritime medicine for health professionals. The «book» is published by the Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine, The Department of Occupational Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, and is freely available on the interne ton the following website: http://textbook.ncmm.no

Access to the Course

Cand.med. degree programme

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

The topic consists of lectures, visit to working places, group work (team based and case based learning) and simulator exercises.

Lectures (including course test): 20 hours

Visits to working places: 4 hours

Group work: 14 hours

Simulator exercises: 8 hours.

Self-studies and preparation for group work not included in the hours mentioned above.

Number of students

Minimum: 8

Maximum: 30

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Lectures: 8 hours

Visits to working places

Group work: 8 hours (including presentations)

Simulator training: 8 hours

Forms of Assessment

Course test (multiple choice test)

Grading Scale


Course Coordinator

Institutt for global helse og samfunnsmedisin og Norsk Senter for Maritim Medisin / Yrkesmedisinsk avdeling / Haukeland Universitetssjukehus

Alf Magne Horneland (seksjonsleiar NSMM)


Marit Grønning (avdelingsdirektør YMA)


Course Administrator

Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care


Contact Information

Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care: studie@igs.uib.no