Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Medical Model

  • Zoë Swaine
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_2131



The medical model is a model of health which suggests that disease is detected and identified through a systematic process of observation, description, and differentiation, in accordance with standard accepted procedures, such as medical examinations, tests, or a set of symptom descriptions. There are three major criticisms of the model that: (1) it supports the false notion of dualism in health, whereby biological and psychological problems are treated separately; (2) it focuses too heavily on disability and impairment rather than on individual’s abilities and strengths; and (3) it encourages paternalism within medicine rather than patient empowerment.

Cross References

References and Readings

  1. Hofmann, B. (2005). Simplified models of the relationship between health and disease. Theoretical Medicine, 26, 355–377.Google Scholar
  2. Shah, P., & Mountain, D. (2007). The medical model is dead – long live the medical model. British Journal of Psychiatry, 191, 375–377.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoë Swaine
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA