No question about it—becoming a doctor has always been arduous. It takes years of mentally and physically demanding training to learn the science and art of medicine. But a growing body of scientific evidence now points to the link between the extremely long hours that many resident physicians are required to work and an increased risk of preventable medical errors.
There has long been an awareness of the role of prevention in improving health and health care in our country. In fact, many of the leading causes of death in this country are due to preventable diseases. Thus, it is important for the field of medicine to be a part of the prevention as well as the treatment of disease. Accordingly, The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), established in 1948, works to certify qualified physicians with specific knowledge of preventive medicine and to enhance standards of practice within preventive medicine. Though preventive medicine seems somewhat self-explanatory in its title, the depth and variety of clinical practice within the field merits further elucidation.