The biomedical model of medicine has been around for centuries as the dominate model used by doctors in the diagnosis of disease. The model concentrates on the physical processes of disease and does not take into account psychological or social factors in the cause and treatment of illness. The biomedical approach is suitable to doctors and surgeons who clearly have to focus on this part of individual’s health.
The biomedical approach is to found out and isolate an exact area of dysfunction and attack it with 'outside' bodies and chemicals. Several researches is showing that the human body, when given the right kind of aid and support, can actually prevent, heal, produce the exact kind and amount of anti-whatever that it needs and something the biomedical approach is still seeking to achieve.
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.
On the other hand, it limits by not taking into account society in general, the prevention of disease is absent. Many diseases affecting first world countries nowadays, such as heart disease and diabetes mellitus are very much dependent on a person's actions, beliefs and lifestyle.
The strength of the biomedical model is that there is a considerable amount of evidence to support its basic assumptions in that specific causes for particular diseases have been found. For example, exposure to the tubercle bacillus causes tuberculosis, vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets, a genetic defect causes sickle cell anemia and a hormone (insulin) deficiency causes diabetes. In addition, the model has proven victory as a roadmap for diagnosis and treatment of a multitude of diseases over the past two centuries. It has been successful in contributing to the development of pharmaceuticals, and assessing cellular, hormonal, chemical and other 'small-part' aspects of the body and health.
Its weakness lies in its failure to fully include psychosocial factors which have proven to be powerful co-factors of disease in modern society. The model frequently fails to have some attention for the sociological determinants of health (such is income, etc.) The biomedical model fails to consider social and/or cultural causation in the symptomology of behaviour.
The socio medical model of health focuses on the social factors that contribute to health and well being in society. The model is useful as it looks at how society and the environment affect our everyday health and well-being, including factors such as social class, poverty, poor housing, diet, pollution and income. The social model of health places emphasis on changes that can be made in society and in people's own lifestyles to make the population healthier. This model is useful because it considers social factors; it particularly looks at the impact of poverty, poor housing, diet and pollution. E.g. poor housing and poverty are causes to respiratory problems, and in response to these causes and origins of ill health, the socio-medical model aimed to encourage society to include better housing and introduce programmers to tackle poverty as a solution such the provision of clean water, new building of council house and improve in sanitation.
The social model can be seen as a response to the limitations of the biomedical model. This model is closely linked with positive definitions of health. In the social model the health of individuals and communities is seen as the result of complex and interacting social, economic, environmental and personal factors. In short, the social model sees health primarily as an issue for and the responsibility of society as a whole. Among other things, this means a collective responsibility for ensuring that individuals have every opportunity to adopt healthy lifestyles.
The socio-medical model fits with Marxist’s theory discuses the low level life expectancy in deprived and poverty area this may affect you life chances because of lack money to provide good treatment.
If a person live in poor or dusty condition and have asthma its makes it worse because they are living in a bad condition which can affect life chances. Also, sit well with the positive concept of health as it shows more focus on getting ill people back to their role in society so it can continue run sufficiently.
The advantages of the socio medical model are that it encourages people to live healthy lifestyles and also it looks at the cause of the illness and tries to change the factor that causes illness to prevent a reoccurrence instead of just sending the person away with a bottle of pills until next time.
The disadvantage is that it takes time to look for factors affecting the illness and a prevention to stop it happening again.
Furthermore, the weakness of socio medical model gives rise to many possibilities for sharing out the blame and has resulted in ‘victim blaming’ and pointing the finger at deficiencies in public policy and the behaviour of business and industry. ‘Victim blaming’ are those who argue that ill health is mainly or even completely due to individual actions such as smoking or inaction failure to wear a crash helmet. In their view, far more responsibility should be placed on the shoulders of individuals for adopting lifestyles which will minimize the risks of becoming ill. People are influenced and constrained by the social, economic and physical environment in which they live and the organizational setting within which they work. Therefore the failure of governments to provide adequate housing may result in individual behaviour which is damaging to health and can also lead directly to an increase in respiratory disease.
The differences between the biomedical and socio medical model of health is that biomedical focuses on the cure for an illness and socio medical focuses on the origins of the illness rather than the cure. Their aim is to change environmental factors to allow for healthier choices and biomedical aim is to free patients from medically defined diseases infectious or otherwise including cancer or heart problems.
The similarity of biomedical and socio medical is that biomedical uses medical knowledge to treat unhealthy patients (very scientific) whilst socio medical use holistic remedies like reflexology or Reiki a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing to treat the patients (contemporary therapy). Biomedical and Soico medical aim to help met the needs of individuals and helping them live a healthier life.
Biomedical are very persuasive; if a doctor advises an individual on something you they are very likely to have the treatment without questioning as you take their word for it. Soico medical allows the individual to make choices in regards to their health. Advice is given on the treatment but not obliged to go through it. They have many financial implications as it is not scientifically proven to help so less people are willing to invest.
In conclusion, I believe that both biomedical and socio medical is useful models working together to help meet the service users holistically such as socio model focus curing the psychological and social factors. The biomedical plays its role by treating and diagnosing treatment for ill patients.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
A very good essay that evaluates the biomedical and social models of health. It is slightly stronger on the biomedical model but makes a good attempt at the social model too. The work could be enhanced by trying to apply the models to some case studies. ****