Education And Debate

Commentary: the medical model is unhelpful

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 15 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:815
  1. Bob Daines, educational psychologista
  1. a County Psychological service East Sussex County Council Brighton East Sussex BN2 2JA


    Though late in the day, Robert Goodman's article is welcome from an educational psychologist's perspective. The medical model has been the bête noire of the psychology profession for two decades. The phrase “medical model” characterises a way of thinking that identifies children who worry their teachers and parents as having something wrong with them that requires treatment. This treatment may range from medicine to therapy. The acceptance of therapy as medical treatment itself raises interesting questions. It results from the historical and now popular connection between psychiatry and mental states. A more fundamental question is how far psychiatry itself fits the medical model.

    It is vital to distinguish between the social arrangements that are …

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