Definitions for Medical model

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  1. Medical model

    Medical model is the term cited by psychiatrist Ronald D. Laing in his The Politics of the Family and Other Essays, for the "set of procedures in which all doctors are trained." This set includes complaint, history, physical examination, ancillary tests if needed, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis with and without treatment. Sociologist Erving Goffman, in his Asylums, favorably compared the medical model, which was a post-Industrial Revolution occurrence, with the conduct in the tinkering trades. The medical model is an approach to pathology that aims to find medical treatments for diagnosed symptoms and syndromes and treats the human body as a very complex mechanism. Among critics of medical psychiatry, Laing observed that because the diagnosis of a mental illness was based on conduct or patient behavior and not on physical pathology, such a "diagnosis" essentially contravened standard medical procedure and hence the medical model: physical examination and ancillary tests were conducted, if at all, only after the diagnosis was made. Whereas heart diseases, cancers, and broken bones were diagnosed by evident physical pathology discovered during examination and ancillary tests, a mental illness was diagnosed by examining the patient's behavior rather than physical signs or symptoms.

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