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Preventive medicine or preventive care is measures taken to prevent illness or injury, rather than curing them. This type of care is best exemplified by hand washing and immunizations. It can be contrasted not only with curative medicine, but also with public health methods (which work at the level of population health rather than individual health).
Professionals involved in the public health aspect of this practice may be involved in entomology, pest control, and public health inspections. Public health inspections can include recreational waters, pools, beaches, food preparation and serving, and industrial hygiene inspections and surveys.
Preventive care may include examinations and screening tests tailored to an individual's age, health, and family history. For example, a person with a family history of certain cancers or other diseases would being screening at an earlier age and/or more frequently than those with no family history.
As a medical specialty
- General preventive medicine and public health
- Aerospace medicine
- Occupational medicine
In order to become board-certified in one of the preventive medicine areas of specialization, a licensed U.S. physician (M.D. or D.O.) must successfully complete a preventive medicine medical residency program following a one year internship. Following that, the physician must complete a year of practice in that special area and pass the preventive medicine board examination. The residency program is at least two years in length, and includes completion of a post-graduate masters degree in public health (MPH) or equivalent. The board exam takes an entire day: The morning session concentrates on general preventive medicine questions. The afternoon session concentrates on the one of the three areas of specialization that the applicant has studied.
In addition, there are two subspecialty areas of certification:
These certifications require sitting for an examination following successful completion of an MT or UHB fellowship and prior board certification in one of the 24 ABMS-recognized specialties.
Rose's Theorem states that "a large number of people at small risk may give rise to more cases of disease than a small number who are at high risk."
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Leading cause of preventable death
Leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States as of the year 2000.
|Cause||Number of deaths resulting|
435,000 deaths or 18.1% of the total deaths
|Overweight and Obesity||
365,000 deaths or 15.2% of the total deaths.
85,000 deaths or 3.5% of the total deaths.
75,000 deaths or 3.1% of the total deaths.
55,000 deaths or 2.3% of the total deaths.
|Motor vehicle collisions||
43,000 deaths or 1.8% of the total deaths.
|Incidents involving firearms||
29,000 deaths or 1.2% of the total.
|Sexually transmitted infections||
20,000 deaths or 0.8% of the total.
|Illicit use of drugs||
17,000 deaths or 0.7% of the total deaths.
- Alternative medicine
- Drug abuse prevention
- Health behaviour
- Health maintenance organizations
- Health promotion
- Health screening
- Holistic health
- Physical examination
- Prenatal care
- Relapse prevention
- Association of Preventive Medicine Residents
- US Preventive Medicine
- The Prevention Plan
- American College of Preventive Medicine
- American Board of Medical Specialties
- American Board of Preventive Medicine
- American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
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