Preventive Medicine 

As a medical specialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), preventive medicine focuses on the health of individuals and communities. The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) believes in supporting initiatives that advance preventive care in our society through education, advocacy, resources, and more.

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What is Preventive Medicine?

Preventive medicine is the practice of promoting preventive health care to improve patient well-being. The goal is to ultimately prevent disease, disability, and death.
Preventive medicine specialists are licensed preventive medicine physicians that consist of:

  • Medical doctors (MD)

  • Doctors of osteopathy (DO)

These professionals evaluate and administer preventive treatment that is derived from possessing expertise in a broad range of health care skills, including:

  • Biostatistics

  • Epidemiology

  • Planning and evaluation of health services

  • Management of health care organizations

  • Research

  • Preventive medicine practice in clinical settings

They apply their expertise in medicine, social, economic, and behavioral sciences to improve the health and quality of life for individuals, families, communities and populations through disease prevention and health promotion.

Discover ACPM’s mission, vision, and unique history as a supporter of preventive medicine.

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Preventive Medicine Specialties

Preventive medicine has three specialty areas, described in detail, below: 

Public Health and General Preventive Medicine

Public health and general preventive medicine focus on promoting health and preventing disease in individuals and communities.

Practitioners in this specialty combine skills and experience in clinical care and public health to support the transformation of health systems and rebuild them, based on the prevention of disease, injury, and death. Practitioners work in a variety of sectors including for:

  • Corporations

  • Primary care

  • Public health departments

  • Government agencies

  • Other settings

In each, preventive medicine physicians impact healthcare delivery and health outcomes at the individual, practice, community, and population levels.

Occupational Medicine

Occupational medicine focuses on the physical and mental health of workers by seeking to improve the physical, structural, and social conditions of the workplace.

Practitioners work with small business and large corporations to:

  • Design employee health plans

  • Improve workplace safety in hazardous environments

  • Promote health and quality of life in the workforce

Aerospace Medicine

Aerospace medicine focuses on the health, safety and performance of crew members and passengers of air and space vehicles, working closely with support personnel who assist in their operation.
Practitioners often live and work in:

  • Remote locations

  • Extreme environments

  • Difficult conditions of physical and psychological stress

These professionals who promote preventive care medicine in even the harshest environments strive to improve health and do so in settings with many unique hazards not found in other work environments.


Promoting the importance of preventive medicine and supporting preventive medicine physicians around the world is no easy task. However, when we work together, we can move the bar with no limit to what we can accomplish.

Join with ACPM today to improve preventive medicine across the medical industry and consider donating to our cause! If you would like more information about our role in supporting preventive care or to get in touch about a membership, contact us at or call (202) 466-2044.