What is Preventive Medicine?
Health care is traditionally viewed as the use of medical technology and medicines to cure illness and injuries. Preventive medicine is healthcare that takes place before the onset of sickness. Preventive medicine is a specialized medical discipline and is considered a board recognized specialty. It involves taking a holistic view of the patient’s health, rather than focusing on specific parts of the body or particular diseases.
The philosophy behind preventive medicine is that strengthening the body to fight off illness offers better overall health prospects and an improved quality of life as compared to acting after the onset of a disease.
A striking example of preventive medicine is that of health care providers working with patients to reduce obesity which can lead to coronary and other medical conditions.
The Focus of Preventive Medicine
The focus of preventive medicine is to improve health levels so that the body is able to repulse the threats of sickness and disease. This involves looking at the human body as a single entity rather than as individual organs or metabolic processes.
Since every part of the body is interconnected with the rest, any sickness that affects one part will have a cascading effect on the rest. By treating the body as one unit, preventive medicine acts as a shield to protect the complete body.
For example, cancer screening is not only about detecting the onset of cancer. It is a preventive medical process that also acts against the effects that cancer will have on all aspects of a patient’s life.
Benefits of Preventive Medicine
Since preventive medicine acts to protect the body against the onset of disease those who avail of it find that:
- The amount of time lost to sickness is reduced
- The improvement in overall health results in greater energy levels and increased productivity in all aspects of life
- The improved physical health status provides for increased levels of mental peace and confidence
- The long-term expenditure on health care is reduced
- When illness does occur, the chances of recovery are improved and the recovery time is reduced
- The overall quality of life is improved.