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January 8, 1968

The Teaching of Preventive Medicine

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Preventive Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1968;203(2):119-124. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140020047012

Many years ago Perkins1 defined health as "a state of relative equilibrium of body form and function which results from its successful dynamic adjustment to forces tending to disturb it." The term preventive medicine connotes the science and art of promotion of physical and mental health, the prevention of disease, the prevention of progression of disability, and prolongation of efficient and healthful living. When preventive medicine is practiced for groups and communities, it is usually referred to as public health. The graduate instruction of public health as presented in a school of public health, as well as graduate teaching of occupational and aerospace medicine, will be omitted from this discussion.

The AMA "Essentials of Approved Residencies" states2:

Preventive medicine embraces a broad spectrum of professional activity in the present-day highly organized and complex structure of medical practice which has been differentiated into closely related yet discretely identified specialty