Understanding What Preventive Medicine Services Offer

Aug 01, 2023
Understanding What Preventive Medicine Services Offer
Preventive medicine is a specialty wherein doctors aim to prevent disease from occurring rather than treating patients after they’ve become ill. Keep reading to understand what preventive medicine services offer for your health.

Primary care providers such as Dr. John Lewis and the team at Umbrella HealthCare offer preventive medicine services designed to help you prevent disease altogether or identify it early in its development, when it’s more easily and effectively treated. But what’s involved in the process, and how can you use it to promote good health? Here’s what the team has to say.

Preventive medicine

A preventive medicine physician is a doctor — MD or DO — with experience in public health as well as clinical care. That allows them to apply their insight and expertise in the prevention of injury, disease, and death.

Unlike physicians whose specialties focus on treating people after they’re sick, preventive medicine physicians intervene before a condition or illness develops. Their goal is to prevent health issues before there’s a need to treat them.

The preventive medicine umbrella includes four subspecialties:

  1. Clinical informatics
  2. Medical toxicology (the study of drugs)
  3. Addiction medicine (health of people addicted to various substances or behaviors)
  4. Hyperbaric and undersea medicine (pressure-changing environments)

As well as providing primary and preventive care, Dr. Lewis specializes in addiction medicine, helping patients overcome dependency and regain their mental and physical health.

In a clinical setting, a preventive medicine provider may offer lifestyle counseling, helping to correct unhealthy habits and adopt new, healthy ones to prevent illness. Such changes may include upgrading the quality of your diet, stopping smoking, or losing weight to prevent long-term complications like obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, and smoking-related respiratory illnesses.

In addition, they may offer important vaccinations and/or preventive screenings for a number of diseases.

What is considered preventive care?

In addition to lifestyle counseling, preventive care services may include:

  • Annual physical: physical exam, blood work, and general health screenings like blood pressure readings, cholesterol levels, and organ function
  • Childhood immunizations: hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, measles, and MMR (mumps and rubella)
  • Adult immunizations: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) boosters, shingles, and pneumococcal conjugate
  • Yearly flu shot: reduces risk of getting the flu by up to 60%, and reduces chance of serious symptoms if you develop it

Also important are cancer screenings, since most people don’t experience symptoms when the disease is in its earliest, most treatable stages. It’s recommended that both men and women begin colorectal cancer screenings starting at age 45, earlier if you’re at high risk.

Other preventive screenings for women include Pap tests for cervical cancer and mammograms for breast cancer. For men, the doctor may recommend prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests to screen for prostate cancer, a relatively common cancer in men as they get older.

Want to learn more about how to take advantage of preventive medicine services? Give Umbrella HealthCare in Phoenix, Arizona, a call at 623-242-1389 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lewis, or book online today.