Nearly everyone likes the concept of prevention, an ounce of which should be worth at least a pound of procedures. The Clintons hope prevention will reduce the cost of universal coverage, and certainly most clinicians and patients support it in theory. However, hectic outpatient practice often precludes providing adequate counseling, even when physicians have the inclination and training to do so, and the latest fat-burning potion and an Exercycle in the closet seem to claim more adherents than sensible dietary and exercise habits. Clinical Preventive Medicine is an ambitious and largely successful attempt to address this paradox.
Matzen and Lang have assembled nearly 100 contributors to sift through the evidence on which preventive practices work and how to make them an integral part of outpatient care. They lucidly review the state of the art of preventive medicine, the fullest practice of which, they argue, comprises five dimensions: assessing risk of