We all have heard the term preventive medicine. But what exactly does it mean? Is it the right career choice for you? And is there an increase in the demand for preventive medicine physicians? Let’s learn more about it in this blog.

What is Preventive Medicine?

As the name indicates, the main objective of preventive medicine is to prevent disease, disability, and death among individuals and communities. It is a recognised medical specialty. Unlike other medical specialties where physicians are experts in one particular field, preventive medicine physicians require a broad range of medical skills. Some of the core skills a preventive medicine physician must possess include epidemiology, healthcare organization management, behavioural sciences, health services planning and evacuation, social sciences, etc. 

This career is interesting because these physicians not only diagnose and treat diseases but also create healthier communities, prevent diseases, save lives, and transform healthcare. 

Types of Preventive Medicine

There are three types of preventive medicine, namely occupational medicine, aerospace medicine, and public health and general preventive medicine. 

While aerospace medicine focuses on the safety and health of all individuals using air and space vehicles, occupational medicine focuses on making social conditions better for people at a workplace. 

Occupational medicine improves workers’ physical and mental health by checking their working conditions and taking corrective measures frequently. 

Public health and general preventive medicine focuses on creating healthier communities and individuals by preventing diseases before they are even contracted.

Importance of Preventive Medicine

Imagine a world where you can only diagnose a disease after it has struck you. It’s such a hopeless world to live in. However, if you have an option to prevent diseases before they even attack you, the physical and mental health of individuals and communities will improve significantly. 

Doctors diagnose a health issue after it occurs and take corrective measures against it. Preventive medicine physicians take preventative measures. They ensure that preventive medical care is accessible to everyone in the community. They promote awareness and best health practices in society. They help people stay hygienic, quit harmful habits such as smoking or drinking, provide support for people with mental illnesses, educate organisations on how vital their worker’s health is, ensure proper working conditions are given for all, etc. These physicians support all age groups to create a healthy community. This is why preventive treatment is critical. It offers a plethora of benefits for individuals and communities. Some critical examples of preventive treatment include:

  • Vaccinations
  • Poison control
  • Wellness visits 
  • Cancer screening 
  • Drug de-addiction drives
  • Ensuring healthy and safe pregnancies 
  • Counselling for both the physically ill and mentally ill
  • Managing rehabilitation centres, retirement homes, and hospice centres
  • Health drives for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and other basic checks

Are You Meant to be a Preventive Medicine Physician? Is this the Right Career Choice?

If you are someone who loves to help communities and finds preventing diseases before they attack, you might enjoy being a preventive medicine physician. You will be required to perform many other roles as it does not always involve engaging with the community and learning about diseases. The other questions you must ask yourself are:

  • Do I like to research health-related issues?
  • Do I understand the larger picture and why this is important to the world?
  • Am I passionate about this?
  • Would I strongly advocate preventive medical care to healthcare organisations, businesses, government, and communities?
  • Would I be interested in space or undersea travel-related health issues?
  • Will healthcare managerial roles be boring for me?

The demand for preventive medicine physicians is increasing, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. Individuals, healthcare organisations, and businesses are all encouraging preventive medicine now more than ever. Will you be the next preventive medicine physician?