Preventive Medicine: From Molecular to Population Studies

Roya Kelishadi


To the Readers
       By  definition, Medicine  is  the  art  and  science  of  healing.  It  encompasses  a  range  of
health care practices evolved  to maintain and restore health by  the prevention and  treatment
of illness ( Upon graduation, medical students take the
Hippocratic Oath,  including one of  its quotes saying “I will prevent disease whenever I can,
for prevention is preferable to cure.”  
       Even  though  the Medicine’s main goal  is  to prevent or cure diseases, medical  students
are mostly trained for diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a result, during their practice as
physicians, they do not consider their important role in disease prevention and health promo-
tion. Many physicians agree with Dr. C. Everett Koop who said "I don't think a medical stu-
dent  is ever  told what his mission  in  life  is. Certainly no one  told me when I was a medical
student what was  expected  of me  as  a  lifetime  goal  in  assuming  the  role  of  a  physician."
Moreover, many physicians do not consider  that many parts of their efforts for disease man-
agement are, in fact, secondary or tertiary levels of prevention.     
        There has been a debate over  the relative  importance of prevention vs.  treatment; obvi-
ously they should not be considered as two opposite sides of a health system, which requires
both prevention and treatment.    

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