The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) supports preventive medicine physicians as they practice at the intersection of clinical care and public health. Public health practice is broadly defined into six core domains:

  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Services
  • Health Systems Management
  • Research
  • Clinical Preventive Services

What is Public Health?

Public health is the cornerstone of preventive medicine practice. At its foundation, it is the way we protect and improve the health of people and communities. This includes all populations  with a focus on the need to create health equity by working with marginalized and historically excluded populations.
Advancements in public health and preventive medicine influence health behaviors, disease prevention, violence and injury prevention, chronic disease management and more.

Why is Public Health Important?

Sustaining a strong public health and preventive medicine infrastructure is critical to reducing disease, disability and deathacross communities. Effective public health practice – promoting health through policy, education, outreach and access – promotes health equity and wellbeing, reduces disparities and closes gaps in care, makes our health system more cost-effective and efficient at delivering care and maximizes the potential of our communities.

Public Health Core Competencies

There are six public health core domains within preventive medicine:

Biostatistics in Public Health

What is biostatistics in public health and how does data drive decisions? Biostatisticians align data with strategies to help answer questions relating to public health, medicine, biology, and other areas. Preventive medicine physicians with training in biostatistics have the expertise needed to develop studies and measure outcomes to inform decision-making for therapies, treatments, and case-specific preventive strategies.

Epidemiology in Public Health

Public health and epidemiology go hand-in-hand. Public health professionals study how, what, where, and why diseases occur among various populations, collecting valuable data to determine the incidence and prevalence of diseases among these populations. Preventive medicine physicians use their expertise in epidemiology to inform groundbreaking research so that the health system can identify and do more to help those in need.

Health Services

The evolving nature of health services at multiple levels must continue to include modern preventive medicine measures to best inform public health. This includes:

  • Comprehensive care evaluation that improves and expands upon the quality of care.
  • The alignment of partners, from facilities to global stakeholders.
  • The implementation of new medical technologies that are tested and budgeted for.
  • Upgrading health services to prevent and treat diseases as they relate to at-risk populations.

ACPM promotes education, initiatives, and advocacy that focus on promoting these health services and others.

Health Systems Management

Professionals in public health and preventive medicine oversee, manage, and administrate health systems. Through proper planning, coordination, direction, and implementation, health systems support patient care in hospitals as well as public health in prevention Prevention-focused and public health minded  health systems management  improves efficiency and quality of care, and enhances health equity.

Public Health Research

Public health research (and public health assessment) lay the groundwork for the contributions preventive medicine physicians make within public health. While there are many facets of research, all attempt to answer a question by developing and evaluating a testablehypothesis and applying what was learned to further innovation and practice in public health.

Clinical Preventive Services

Administering preventive services like routine screenings that detect disease and illness in a clinical setting is critical to protecting public health. Screenings and other clinical preventive services are a  detecting disease upstream to that it can be prevented and/or treated more effectively. However, there remain disparities in care among and between populations in access to clinical preventive services. Public health professionals have to ensure equity and access to essential clinical services by applying a population-based lense to them.


ACPM proudly serves as the professional home for public health and preventive medicine physicains and professionals. We are here to help contribute to a better health care system that delivers care upstream ot populations more effeictly and more equitably.

Talk with us about your background in public health and let’s work together! Not yet a member? Join ACPM and get involved! We also appreciate the generosity of public health supporters through donations from our members and partners. To get in touch with us to share your ideas or for questions, contact our team at or call (202) 466-2044.