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Preventive Medicine Physicians Career

Career Description

Apply knowledge of general preventive medicine and public health issues to promote health care to groups or individuals, and aid in the prevention or reduction of risk of disease, injury, disability, or death. May practice population-based medicine or diagnose and treat patients in the context of clinical health promotion and disease prevention.

What Job Titles Preventive Medicine Physicians Might Have

  • Medical Director
  • Occupational Medicine Physician
  • Occupational Physician
  • Preventive Medicine Physician
  • Primary Clinician
  • Public Health Director
  • Public Health Officer
  • Public Health Physician
  • Regional Medical Director
  • Residency Director

What Preventive Medicine Physicians Do

  • Direct or manage prevention programs in specialty areas such as aerospace, occupational, infectious disease, and environmental medicine.
  • Identify groups at risk for specific preventable diseases or injuries.
  • Direct public health education programs dealing with topics such as preventable diseases, injuries, nutrition, food service sanitation, water supply safety, sewage and waste disposal, insect control, and immunizations.
  • Supervise or coordinate the work of physicians, nurses, statisticians, or other professional staff members.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed risk reduction measures or other interventions.
  • Deliver presentations to lay or professional audiences.
  • Design, implement, or evaluate health service delivery systems to improve the health of targeted populations.
  • Provide information about potential health hazards and possible interventions to the media, the public, other health care professionals, or local, state, and federal health authorities.
  • Design or use surveillance tools, such as screening, lab reports, and vital records, to identify health risks.
  • Perform epidemiological investigations of acute and chronic diseases.
  • Develop or implement interventions to address behavioral causes of diseases.
  • Document or review comprehensive patients' histories with an emphasis on occupation or environmental risks.
  • Teach or train medical staff regarding preventive medicine issues.
  • Coordinate or integrate the resources of health care institutions, social service agencies, public safety workers, or other organizations to improve community health.
  • Prepare preventive health reports including problem descriptions, analyses, alternative solutions, and recommendations.

What Preventive Medicine Physicians Should Be Good At

  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Memorization - The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

What Preventive Medicine Physicians Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Preventive Medicine Physicians Need to Learn

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $200,890

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.