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Society of Prospective Medicine
(misstatement — Soc of Predictive Medicine) An early medical risk analysis society created by Lewis Robbins to promote the idea of Preventive Medicine. He and his associate Dr Jack Hall created the Robbins/Hall Health Hazards Appraisal technique (using standardised tests and recording) which was intended to changing life-style problems, such as smoking.
This organization was clearly perceived by the tobacco industry as a potential threat since it supported clinics which provided quit-smoking advice.
Archives have 56 documents with the term Soc. of Prospective Medicine, and only one with Predictive Medicine.
1976 Oct 1 - 3: Leonard Zahn advises of an upcoming meeting of the Society of Prospective Medicine, San Diego, Cal. (Bahia Motor Hotel), Subjects:
- "Heredity in cancer" — Michael Shimkin, San Diego .
- "An update on smoking and heart disease" — Dean Davies, Memphis .
- "Converting ratios to risk" — Lewis Robbins et al, Indianapolis .
- "Stress as a precursor to illness" - RH Rahe, San Diego.
1977: Changes in Risk Behavior: A Two-Year Follow-up Study. Leppink HB, DeGrassi A in the Proceedings of the 13th Annual Meeting of the Society of Prospective Medicine, [This means that the society began circa 1964]
1979 /E: Booklet publicising Health Hazard Appraisal: Clues for a healthier lifestyle:
Instead of committing our resources and our energies trying to treat lung cancer, heart attaeks, liver cirrhosis, and injuries from auto accidents after the fact, shouldn't we try to prevent disease and injuries before they actually occur? Shouldn't we be seeking wellness — not just treatment for illness?
[In 1979 these appraisals cost around $25 each and the various affiliated health organizations have done, in total, about 200,000 of them.]
A new approach known as prospective medicine looks at diseases and conditions that are potential causes of death and seeks to prevent their development, or at least to halt them in their earliest stages.
Prospective medicine and the Health Hazard Appraisal were developed in the early 1960a by Dr. Lewis C. Robbins and Dr. Jack Hall at the Methodist Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. This approach assumes that it is better to deal with a prospective disease when a known cause is evident (for exampte, smoking), or when you arrive at an age or enter an environment in which you are likely to be at risk.
If you wait until symptoms-or-signs of disease appear — whether you notice them or they are detected through laboratory tests or physical examination — it is frequently too late to cure the problem.
In 1970 Dr. Robbins and Dr. Hall published How to Practice Prospective Medicine, a book for physicians. Although acceptance af the concept of the Health Hazard Appraisal by physicians has been slow, there is now a Society of Prospective Medicine. This group, which also includes health educators, nurse practitioners, statisticians, among others, meets yearly to exchange updated risk-factor data and new experiences in using appraisals.
1996 Nov 4: Deposition of Lester B Breslow for Mississippi vs Tobacco litigation.
He was asked "Who was Lewis Robbins?"
A. He was an officer of the Public Health Service, and after he retired or left, I'm not quite sure which, he developed an approach to what he called prospective medicine.
In fact, I think he formed a society of predictive medicine. [In very general terms, I would say he was reputable]
Q. What is predictive medicine?
A. It is the ascertainment of risk factors in people that may lead to subsequent disease and a medical approach to those risk factors.
For example, if you identified cigarette smoking as a practice which was likely to lead to disease or premature mortality, then a predictive medicine would have physicians endeavor to deal with the smoking habits of the patients. That would be an example of what I understand to be predictive medicine.
I don't recall exactly when he left the Public Health Service. And then I don't recall exactly where, what agency he went, but I knew that it was — I recall it was outside the Public Health Servi.ce that he developed this Society of Predictive Medicine.