Biomedical Model

Topics: Physician, Medicine, Psychiatry Pages: 3 (808 words) Published: March 12, 2012
Firstly the "biomedical model of health" (no hyphen) is sort of open to interpretation and not always defined the same way. And generally speaking a biopsychosocial model is almost universally used. 

But when I think of a biomedical model is it practicing medicine to "fix" things with the view that medical problems are organic (physical) without considering anything else. Some times it is referred (in an insulting way) to as the biomechanical model. To some extent that is true since a biomedical model tends to view the human body as parts of a machine and when person is ill it means something has broken but once fixed the patient is restored to heath.

But medicine simply is not practiced like this because it is problematic, flawed, and not pragmatic. The primary criticism is that people are not machines, problems may be psychiatric, and problems may involve multiple factors. As we learn more and more it is clear that mood and mental health can physically destroy a person. Actually is something called a conversion disorder meaning that anxiety or something else is "converted" (unknowingly) into physical symptoms. And there are other somatoform disorders, and Münchausen. 

I'm in psychiatry and that is the field of medicine to most embrase and more holistic and biopsychosocial model. Many medical practices for many problems have psychiatrists on staff. Psychiatrists are also one of a few specialists that can become specialists in pain management and other things.

The best example where a biomedical model fails is in pain. Here is a hypothetical situation- a man visits his doctor complaining of lower back pain. The doctor orders tests- they are all fine. The patient has a history of insomnia and depression. There is a significant family history of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and suicide. No personal history of substance abuse but both of his grandfathers (now dead) were barbiturate addicts. Despite the fact that imaging shows no sign of problems (but...
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