A Preventive Medicine Specialist is a medical doctor acquiring additional specialist qualifications enabling advanced focus on the health of people within defined populations to promote and maintain health and well-being, and to impede disability, disease, and unnatural death. These doctors may be specialists in General Preventive Medicine, Occupational Medicine, Aerospace Medicine, or Public Health.
The distinctive sub-components of Preventive Medicine include:
- Environmental health factors
- Occupational health factors
- General health services administration
- Assessments of cultural, social, and behavioral influences on health
- Developing and evaluating health policies and procedures, population disease and health management programs, and regulatory/legislative processes to enhance health
In general, all doctors practice elements of preventive medicine when managing their patients. The difference lies in the scope and scale of the patients treated by the specialty. Public Health and Preventive Medicine aims to treat an entire community or a specific population and not just one patient. Using the knowledge that they have about populations in the form of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, these specialists advise or manage an entire community and draft health programs or policies. Public Health and Preventive Medicine may also be called Community Medicine is some places.
Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialists are health advocates and leaders who look at the concept of health from a holistic perspective. They take into consideration broad aspects that affect health including the environment, economy, education, culture, politics, and others.
Examples of public health solutions to community public health problems:
- The implementation of immunization programs set by the public healthcare officials for infants and for other identified special populations.
- The implementation of isolation or quarantine procedures to contain spreads of infection especially during times of outbreaks or epidemics.
- Health standards for driver’s licenses or pilots