Preventive Medicine Physician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Applies 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.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Directs or manages prevention programs in specialty areas such as aerospace, occupational, infectious disease, and environmental medicine.
  • Identifies groups at risk for specific preventable diseases or injuries.
  • Supervises or coordinates the work of physicians, nurses, statisticians, or other professional staff members.
  • Directs 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.
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of prescribed risk reduction measures or other interventions.
  • Delivers presentations to lay or professional audiences.
  • Designs, implements, or evaluates health service delivery systems to improve the health of targeted populations.
  • Provides information about potential health hazards and possible interventions to the media, the public, other health care professionals, or local, state, and federal health authorities.
  • Designs or uses surveillance tools, such as screening, lab reports, and vital records, to identify health risks.
  • Performs epidemiological investigations of acute and chronic diseases.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

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