Preventive Medicine


A preventive medicine specialist focuses on the health of individuals and defined populations in order to protect, promote and maintain health and well-being, and to prevent disease, disability and premature death. The distinctive components of preventive medicine include:

  1. Biostatistics and the application of biostatistical principles and methodology
  2. Epidemiology and its application to population based medicine and research
  3. Health services management and administration including: developing, assessing, and assuring health policies; planning, implementing, directing, budgeting, and evaluating population health and disease management programs; and utilizing legislative and regulatory processes to enhance health
  4. Control of environmental factors that may adversely affect health
  5. Control and prevention of occupational factors that may adversely affect health safety
  6. Clinical preventive medicine activities, including measures to promote health and prevent the occurrence, progression, and disabling effects of disease and injury
  7. Assessment of social, cultural, and behavioral influences on health

A preventive medicine physician may be a specialist in general preventive medicine, public health, occupational medicine, or aerospace medicine. This specialist works with large population groups as well as with individual patients to promote health and understand the risks of disease, injury, disability, and death, seeking to modify and eliminate these risks.

Training required: Three years

For more information about this specialty, including the nature of the work, personal characteristics, residency requirements, match data, workforce statistics, compensation, and relevant links and readings, please see the AAMC page on this specialty (requires login to AAMC site. See "Specialty Pages" tab).

Preventive Medicine at UNC

Program in Preventive Medicine

Residency Director: Deborah Porterfield, MD

Career Goal Advisor Information: See Career Goal Advisor Page

Student Interest Group

Elective Opportunities

2 Week Career Exploration Opportunities