preventive medicine

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preventive medicine,

branch of medicinemedicine,
the science and art of treating and preventing disease. History of Medicine
Ancient Times

Prehistoric skulls found in Europe and South America indicate that Neolithic man was already able to trephine, or remove disks of bone from, the skull
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 dealing with the prevention of disease and the maintenance of good health practices. Until recently preventive medicine was largely the domain of the U.S. Public Health Service or state and local health departments, but it has become an important consideration of health maintenance organizationshealth maintenance organization
(HMO), type of prepaid medical service in which members pay a monthly or yearly fee for all health care, including hospitalization. The term "health maintenance organization" was coined by a health policy analyst, Dr.
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, private practitioners, and other health care providers. Preventive medicine encompasses such activities as research into causes of disease; vaccinationvaccination,
means of producing immunity against pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, by the introduction of live, killed, or altered antigens that stimulate the body to produce antibodies against more dangerous forms.
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 against those diseases for which the causes are known, e.g., poliomyelitis, influenza, and measles; studies of environmental deterrents to health; and instruction in public health and hygiene. See also eugenicseugenics
, study of human genetics and of methods to improve the inherited characteristics, physical and mental, of the human race. Efforts to improve the human race through bettering housing facilities and other environmental conditions are known as euthenics.
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