There is a worldwide need for the transformation of primary healthcare to accommodate ageing, population growth, the rising burden of
non-communicable diseases and technological advances. In this article, we discuss the role of preventive medicine as a medical specialty
in the transformation of public healthcare systems. A paradigm is proposed within which different modes of medical practice support each
other in accordance with their shared objective of disease prevention. The reinstitution of preventive medicine as a specialty, functioning
in synergy with public health and incorporating other modalities of practice, will be of considerable benefit to healthcare in southern Africa.