The biomedical model of medicine, has been around since the mid-nineteenth century as the predominant model used by physicians in the diagnosis of disease.
This model focuses on the physical processes, such as the pathology, the biochemistry and the physiology of a disease. It does not take into account the role of social factors or individual subjectivity. The model also overlooks the fact that the diagnosis (that will effect treatment of the patient) is a result of negotiation between doctor and patient.
This model is effective at diagnosing and treating most diseases. It cannot be denied that it has been extremely useful throughout history by establishing the reasons that a disease occurs, and in coming up with very effective treatment regimes.
It is however very limiting. By not taking into account society in general, the prevention of disease is omitted. Many diseases affecting first world countries nowadays, such as heart disease and diabetes mellitus are very much dependent on a person's actions and beliefs.
- Annandale, The Sociology of Health and Medicine: A Critical Introduction, Polity Press, 1998