Preventive medicine specialists seek to prevent illnesses. This relatively new field of medicine is also concerned with reviewing present health services and anticipating and planning to meet future medical needs.
Physicians from every field have made contributions to preventive medicine. Practitioners range from immunologists (who seek to prevent illness with inoculations) to urban epidemiologists (who search out the causes of widespread illnesses, such as childhood lead poisoning, and try to alter the environment so that illnesses can be prevented).
Preventive medicine specialists often recommend regular or periodic physical examinations, prescribe certain regimens, and warn against toxic environments.
Preventive medicine specialists are often faculty members at medical schools and do research in this area. They complete at least three years of specialized training and one year of research or teaching, and they take examinations by their specialty board.
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