The Biomedical model

Topics: Health care, Patient, Sociology, Health care provider, Health, Disability / Pages: 3 (630 words) / Published: Sep 21st, 2013
The Biomedical model of health
(Also known as medical model)

This model looks at people as if they are machines. The various body systems are seen as systems
The biomedical model of illness and healing focuses on purely biological factors, and excludes psychological, environmental, and social influences. This is considered to be the dominant, modern way for health care professionals to diagnose and treat a condition in most Western countries. Most health care professionals do not first ask for a psychological or social history of a patient; instead, they tend to analyze and look for biophysical or genetic malfunctions. The focus is on objective laboratory tests rather than the subjective feelings or history of the patient.

According to this model, good health is the freedom from pain, disease, or defect. It focuses on physical processes that affect health, such as the biochemistry, physiology, and pathology of a condition. It does not account for social or psychological factors that could have a role in the illness. In this model, each illness has one underlying cause, and once that cause is removed, the patient will be healthy again.
The biomedical model is often contrasted with the biopsychosocial model. In 1977, psychiatrist George L. Engel questioned the dominance of the biomedical model, proposing the biopsychosocial model to holistically assess a patient's biological, social, psychological, and behavioral background to determine his or her illness and path of treatment. Although the biomedical model has remained the dominant theory in most places, many fields of medicine including nursing, sociology, and psychology make use of the biopsychosocial model at times. In recent years, some medical professionals have also begun to adopt a biopsychosocial-spiritual model, insisting that spiritual factors must be considered as well.

Proponents of the biopsychosocial model argue that the biomedical model alone does not take into account all of the factors

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