Clinical preventive medicine, efforts by clinicians to prevent disease in individual patients, is an important component of preventive medicine as a whole. Yet clinicians, including internists, apparently do not provide many preventive services of established effectiveness. This paper describes one approach to improving the practice of clinical preventive medicine: increased cooperation between general internists--one of the nation's largest groups of primary care physicians--and specialists in preventive/community medicine. The paper summarizes a larger report prepared by two societies representing these disciplines: the Society for Research and Education in Primary Care Internal Medicine and the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. It was found that the two disciplines have many common goals, and much to offer each other, but do not often collaborate. The report concludes with 14 recommendations for improving the practice of clinical preventive medicine, which suggest that such improvement can be achieved in part through strengthening working relationships between general internists and preventive/community medicine specialists.