Preventive Medicine is the area of medicine that is primarily concerned with disease prevention. This differs from traditional medicine, which tends to focus on treatment of existing diseases and/or medical and health conditions.
Preventive Medicine is defined as:
1. Medicine designed to avert and avoid disease. Screening for hypertension and treating it before it causes disease is good preventive medicine. Simply put, preventive medicine is a proactive approach to good health.
2. The branch of medicine concerned with preventing disease. The “medical establishment” does not profit from preventive medicine.
Pam Egan, FNP-C CDE, is devoted to health promotion and disease prevention. She is particularly interested in health problems that have a significant impact on specific populations, such as those with multiple risk factors for Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and other highly prevalent conditions. Pam’s goal is to reduce the risk factors that contribute to premature morbidity and mortality.
Traditionally, in the United States, the medical and public health communities have assessed the diseases that cause the most mortality and have intervened to reduce their impact. Heart disease and cancers of all types remain leading causes of premature mortality. Recently, the emphasis has shifted from concentrating on diseases that are highly prevalent to a focus on the actual behaviors that cause these conditions. By approaching threats to good health in this way, behaviors such as smoking, unsafe sexual practices, dietary habits, and lack of exercise emerge as vitally important in determining disease or its absence. Preventive-medicine practitioners embrace this approach to shape intervention strategies to target behaviors that cause disease.