A new medical school has the opportunity to examine afresh some of the conceptual bases of medical education, but for a variety of reasons this opportunity is all too frequently ignored. This paper describes a new school in Newcastle, Australia, where a number of circumstances made it desirable and possible to develop an education program which incorporated an appropriate emphasis on prevention, both in individual and population terms. Epidemiology, demography, and medical sociology are seen as the fundamental disciplines required to underpin such an approach. First, the technique is described by which concepts of prevention are incorporated into that strand of the curriculum which comprises a problem-solving approach to the complaints of individual patients; there follows a description of strategies to involve students in the health problems of groups, and examples of some projects which are planned and implemented by students at different stages of this program. Students are expected, by the time of graduation, to have learned how to integrate the individual and group perspectives in their approach to preventive medicine.