Mar 29, 2021
A white coat among blue overalls
As the Head of Medical Services, occupational physician, and emergency doctor at Röhm, Tobias works right inside the production site where raw materials for PLEXIGLAS® are produced.
His waiting room normally has few empty chairs. “As the factory’s medical officer, one of my main concerns is to care for the employees at the Worms site with preventive measures,” he says.
This begins with pre-employment check-ups, continues with preventive occupational health care, and ends with medical care in emergencies or medical treatment on site. “Even before we employ new colleagues, we need to find out if they are suitable for the work they will be doing from a medical perspective. We basically perform an all-round check-up. Can the person see well? Are they physically suited to the job? We need to ensure all of these things, as we want people to not only start work in good health but also to be healthy when they enter retirement.”
Varied work for an occupational physician
Tobias’ day starts off much the same as that of a family doctor: a briefing with the assistants, providing consultation, performing examinations and pre-employment check-ups—but now and again, his beeper reports for duty. When this happens, he stops whatever he’s doing, grabs his emergency doctor jacket, and drives his emergency vehicle to where he is needed in the factory. “Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often.”
Since early 2020, another topic has kept him on his toes: COVID-19. “The coronavirus has altered our day-to-day lives. Everything revolves around the virus. Every day we look at the new infection figures for Germany, find out what the Robert Koch Institute is recommending, and use this information to compile measures and regulations for Röhm,” he reports. This year alone, the on-site medical services team has provided more than 2000 coronavirus consultation talks. Other matters take a back seat, but are not forgotten. The health program for 2021 includes “skin cancer screening,” “colon cancer prevention,” and a “cholesterol check-up”—support services that prove very popular with Röhm employees, as they want to be able to detect potential health risks early on and prevent illness.
A passion for rescue
It’s healthy to have a favorite hobby. For Tobias, it’s emergency medical care. “Yes, for me it’s a real passion,” he confirms, smiling. As voluntary head emergency doctor, he has roughly 30 call-outs a year in his home region, the Donnersbergkreis in western Germany. He’s also actively involved in training emergency doctors, and teaches the new generation of doctors about first aid and resuscitation in Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate several times a year. “For me, this is just as much fun as my work at Röhm.”