George Libman Engel: The Biopsychosocial Model and the Construction of Medical Practice

  • Marilys Guillemin
  • Emma Barnard


Pick up most medical practice textbooks published in recent decades and the term ‘biopsychosocial’ is prominent. Over this period, medical curricula internationally have been structured around the teaching of the biopsychosocial model, involving an integration of the biological, psychological and social (Neghme 1985; Suchman 2005). In a survey of 54 medical schools in 1997- 1999, Waldstein et al. (2001) found that 80 to 93 per cent used the conceptualisation and/or measurement of psychosocial factors in their curricula. The biopsychosocial approach is an attempt to redress the traditional model of biomedicine, with its predominant focus on pathophysiology and biological approaches to disease, and its lack of a comprehensive inclusion of the social and psychological aspects of health and illness.


Psychosomatic Medicine Medical Curriculum Patient Relationship Biopsychosocial Model Early Maladaptive Schema 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Marilys Guillemin and Emma Barnard 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilys Guillemin
    • 1
  • Emma Barnard
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Health and Society, School of Population and Global HealthUniversity of MelbourneAustralia

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