What do Preventive Medicine Physicians do?

Apply knowledge of general preventive medicine and public health issues to promote health care to groups or individuals, and aid in the prevention or reduction of risk of disease, injury, disability, or death. May practice population-based medicine or diagnose and treat patients in the context of clinical health promotion and disease prevention.

  • Supervise or coordinate the work of physicians, nurses, statisticians, or other professional staff members.
  • Identify groups at risk for specific preventable diseases or injuries.
  • Design or use surveillance tools, such as screening, lab reports, and vital records, to identify health risks.
  • Teach or train medical staff regarding preventive medicine issues.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed risk reduction measures or other interventions.
  • Coordinate or integrate the resources of health care institutions, social service agencies, public safety workers, or other organizations to improve the community health.
  • Prepare preventive health reports including problem descriptions, analyses, alternative solutions, and recommendations.
  • Develop or implement interventions to address behavioral causes of diseases.
  • Design, implement, or evaluate health service delivery systems to improve the health of targeted populations.
  • Perform epidemiological investigations of acute and chronic diseases.
  • Provide information about potential health hazards and possible interventions to the media, the public, other health care professionals, or local, state, and federal health authorities.
  • Direct public health education programs dealing with topics such as preventable diseases, injuries, nutrition, food service sanitation, water supply safety, sewage and waste disposal, insect control, and immunizations.
  • Direct or manage prevention programs in specialty areas such as aerospace, occupational, infectious disease, and environmental medicine.
  • Deliver presentations to lay or professional audiences.
  • Document or review comprehensive patients' histories with an emphasis on occupation or environmental risks.

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Necessary Skills

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Writing
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Speaking
  • Monitoring
  • Active Learning