Bio

Clinical Focus


  • Occupational Medicine

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Board Certification: Occupational Medicine, American Board of Preventive Medicine (2003)
  • Medical Education:Tufts University (1999) MA
  • Residency:Harvard School of Public Health (2002) MA
  • Internship:Brown University Hospitals (2000) RI

Publications

Journal Articles


  • Introduction to Biostatistic Concepts Epidemiology and Biostatistic Secrets Wittman R, Kim S 2006
  • Neurologic issues with solvents. Clinics in occupational and environmental medicine Rutchik, J. S., Wittman, R. I. 2004; 4 (4): 621-?

    Abstract

    Reports of injury began after the introduction of chlorinated solvents in the 1920s. In 1987, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reported that 9.8 million workers were exposed to organic solvents in occupational settings, with most of these exposures being to mixtures of solvents. Although solvent mixtures have been noted to be responsible for neuropathy, seizures, and encephalopathy, identifying the culpable agent has been difficult, because the associations between many solvents and their biologic effects have not been well defined, and solvent interaction in mixtures have not been well or easily characterized. In some cases, these exposures have been estimated to be below levels designated in regulations as acceptable for workers.

    View details for PubMedID 15465472

  • Cadmium exposure and nephropathy in a 28-year-old female metals worker ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES Wittman, R., Hu, H. 2002; 110 (12): 1261-1266

    Abstract

    A 28-year-old female presented for evaluation of left flank pain and polyuria after having been exposed to cadmium in the jewelry manufacturing industry for approximately 3 years. This patient possessed both elevated 24-hr urinary ss2-microglobulin and elevated blood cadmium levels. Approximately 6 months after initial presentation, the patient resigned from her job due to shortness of breath, chest pain, and anxiety. Exposure to cadmium in the jewelry industry is a significant source of occupational cadmium exposure. Other occupational sources include the manufacture of nickel-cadmium batteries, metal plating, zinc and lead refining, smelting of cadmium and lead, and production of plastics. Cadmium is also an environmental pollutant that accumulates in leafy vegetables and plants, including tobacco. Major toxicities anticipated from cadmium exposure involve the renal, pulmonary, and, to a lesser extent, gastrointestinal systems. These include the development of renal proximal tubular dysfunction, glomerular damage with progressive renal disease, and respiratory symptoms including pneumonitis and emphysema. Low-level cadmium exposure has also been associated with increased urinary calcium excretion and direct bone toxicity, effects that recent research suggests may result in the development of osteoporosis. The body burden of cadmium, over half of which may reside in the kidneys, is most often measured through the use of urinary cadmium levels. Blood cadmium measurements generally reflect current or recent exposure and are especially useful in cases with a short exposure period and only minimal accumulation of cadmium in the kidneys. Both ss2-microglobulin and alpha1-microglobulin serve as organ-specific, early-effect biomarkers of tubular proteinuria and thus play a role in identifying early signs of cadmium-induced renal damage in those with potential exposures. In addition to ensuring workplace compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration-mandated monitoring and screening measures, it is prudent for those with cadmium exposure to maintain adequate intake of both iron and calcium, appropriate measures even in the absence of exposure.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179810600031

    View details for PubMedID 12460807

  • Fire Fighter Dies at Three-Alarm Structure Fire - New York NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality and Investigation Program Baldwin T, Wittman R 2002; F2001 (32)
  • MEDICAL PERSONNELS KNOWLEDGE OF AND ABILITY TO USE INHALING DEVICES - METERED-DOSE INHALERS, SPACING CHAMBERS, AND BREATH-ACTUATED DRY POWDER INHALERS CHEST Hanania, N. A., Wittman, R., Kesten, S., Chapman, K. R. 1994; 105 (1): 111-116

    Abstract

    Current treatment strategies for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) emphasize the inhalation route, yet patients often misuse metered-dose inhalers (MDI). To address this problem, patient education by medical personnel has been recommended and a variety of alternate inhaler devices have been developed.We surveyed medical personnel to assess their knowledge of and ability to use three widely used inhaler devices; MDI, MDI with a spacing chamber (Aerochamber, Trudell Medical, Canada), and a breath-actuated multidose dry powder inhaler (Turbuhaler, Astra Pharmacy, Inc., Conada). Thirty respiratory therapists (RT), 30 registered nurses (RN), and 30 medical house staff physicians (MD) were asked to demonstrate the use of each device using placebo inhalers and to answer 11 clinically relevant questions related to the use and maintenance of the tested devices.The RT's percent mean knowledge score (67 +/- 5 percent) was significantly higher than those achieved by either the RNs (39 +/- 7 percent) or the MDs (48 +/- 7 percent) (for all p < 0.0001). Similarly, percent mean demonstration scores for each device were significantly higher for RTs than either RN or MD groups; for MDI, 97 +/- 3 percent versus 82 +/- 13 percent and 69 +/- 24 percent, respectively (p < 0.0001); for the Aerochamber, 98 +/- 2 percent versus 78 +/- 20 percent and 57 +/- 31 percent (p < 0.0001); and for the Turbuhaler, 60 +/- 30 percent versus 12 +/- 23 percent and 21 +/- 30 percent (p < 0.0001). Knowledge of and practical skills with the devices were roughly proportional to the length of time the device had been in clinical use, Turbuhaler demonstration scores being lower than either MDI or Aerochamber scores (p = 0.05 and p = 0.09, respectively). More RTs (77 percent) had received formal instruction on the use of devices at school than either RNs (30 percent) or MDS (43 percent) (p < 0.05).We conclude that (1) many medical personnel responsible for monitoring and instructing patients in optimal inhaler use lack rudimentary skills with these devices, (2) nurses and physicians seldom receive formal training in the use of inhaling devices, and (3) newer inhaling devices designed to obviate problems of technique are at present less likely to be used well by medical personnel soon after their introduction.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994MQ72100027

    View details for PubMedID 8275720

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