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The diagnostic techniques of the medical model Essay Sample

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The diagnostic techniques of the medical model Essay Sample


Health is a broad concept with positive and negative approach. They are many definitions of health. Health definition has its origin from the lens of how the world health organisation defines health. (WHO,1948:100) defines health as “complete physical, mental, and social well being, not merely the absent of disease or infirmity”. The medical model believes that health means to be without any observable disease. The medical model view health from the clinical perspective which focus on examining and treating signs of illness or disease. The holistic model is healing style that examine the entire human body, sprit and mind. The author discipline nursing, view health as a feel of wellness in the body mind and sprit. Nurses prospect on health is in line with the holistic concept, with deep concern on human relationship rather than the patient who is sick. This paper seeks to challenge conventional ways of thinking about health using the holistic concept and the author’s discipline in launching the inquiry. The author defines health as the impression of personal welfare, combining complex aspect as physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.


The author defines health as the impression of personal welfare, combing complex aspect as physical mental, and spiritual wellness. This overview is based on personal experience and culture. African traditional medicine has shaped the author’s definition. The world health origination (WHO ;2002) admit that traditional medicine gives assured possibilities of getting healthcare insurance of the world population. The Africa culture’s major concern is the harmony with sprit, soul and body of the individual. The African traditional medicine has the holistic concept. Also, the perception of illness is interwoven with African religion. Some specialist representing the world health organisation (WHO)convened in Congo Brazzaville in 1976, they defined the African traditional medicine as “the sum of practices, measure, ingredients and procedures of all kind, weather material or not, which from time immemorial has enabled the African to guard against diseases, to alleviate his/her suffering and to cure his/herself”. The author’s personal experience with bone setting.

In Nigeria, bone setting is normally a family tradition that is passed from one generation to another generation. The bone setters have experience for healing fractures and other orthopaedic bone issues. The bone setting is based on the experience that is passed from father to son. The author had a broken left hand while in boarding secondary school in Nigeria. She was taken to the bone-setter. The bone setter used his finger to carefully trace the area of the fractures. After tracing with bare fingers, getting the exact location of the fracture. The bone setter mixed some herbs, roots and other mixture. The mixed herbs were applied directly to the site of the fracture. A cut wooden ruler of equal length and size was arranged; it was carefully knitted with a rope. Fastening all the rulers together to form a circle around the site of the fracture, on the left hand of the author. The author was given some herbs to drink to soothe the pain.

The bone setter was not just interested on setting the bone alone, the overall health was paramount. They make sure the author was physically, mentally and spiritually balanced. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables were given at all time of treatment, exercise was incorporated as part of treatment, prayers were always made before any treatment, and the author was encouraged to be happy always. Being happy is good for quick healing. Within months, the hand was completely healed without any sign that the bone was ever fractured. In African traditional concept, a healthy person is believed to have a balanced of physical, mental and spiritual health.

The African traditional healer search for the root of a patient’s disease in the framework of spiritual, social, and the natural environment (anyinam et al,1987). The holistic concept advocate, individual can get good health. The vital objective is good peace in life holistic medicine expert, admit that human being is formed with linked piece, and when the piece malfunction, the whole piece will be troubled. If there is deficiency in the activity of an individual, it can negatively affect the health of the person. Institution like with the holistic medicine. The author’s review on personal values consider health most important. Health is very important because being healthy can make one feel good, have a better life, and live long. Being healthy means one is in good shape. Also, one can help support people live a healthy lifestyle, and helping people achieve their personal values.

The academic program of the author is nursing. Nursing define health as the absent of illness with the perception of well being in body, sprit and mind. Nursing American holistic association (AHMA)combine with other doctors to spread the concept that comply focus on advocating the potential that people must establish better health, regardless of diseases, through supportive communication that see health as a person’s unification with social environment and understanding that give life a meaning. Nurses can support healthy lifestyles by helping people plan and execute daily activities, with the intention to advance, and maintain their health (pender et al.,2011). There is various definition of health which differ among healthcare specialist and individual searching for healthcare (Long and Baxter ;2001). However, health is defined in nursing within the framework of nursing concept. The nursing definition support the author’s personal definition of health because, both approach support the feel of wellness of the individual connecting the sprit, mind and body together.

The holistic model is a healing style that examine the entire human body and mentality believing the individual can get excellent health. The fundamental objectives are to acquire good harmony in life. The medical model adaption means thinking of health and disease as object base only in biochemistry and cure by technology (Kleinman,1980; roter and hall,1993). The medical model focused on health and disease, how they are established. Norden felt (2007), admit that the medical model is a common form of health within healthcare, which focus in diagnosing and treating symptom of disease.

Compering and contrasting the author’s definition of health with other school of thought. The author’s view is similar with the holistic concept. They both agree that health is beyond the absent of diseases. The author considers the alternate definitions, social and ecological health should be integrated into the author definition for complete wellness of the individual. Because the author did not include the social and ecological health, it weaken the author’s definition. For example, creating supportive environment and building healthy public policy. The ecological concept highlights the strength of health communications in building change in individual which affect the society. The holistic concept major focus is on the individual who take active role in changing their life styles, belief and old habit. They look at all aspect of the individual illness, including the physical, mental spiritual and personal welfare in other to give the person proper treatment.

The definition given by WHO, maintain health in a positive sense; because mental and physical health is highlighted. There are similarities between the description of health given by the WHO (1948) and the holistic concept. They both ascribe to different measure of health describing the need for healthcare expert to see individual as not one form of their health. However, the medical concept is totally different from the holistic and WHO. The medical concept has its advantage on accepted diagnostic pattern which is a common practise in hospital, or the doctor’s office. For example, it will be suicidal for a person needing major surgery, like heart transplant to patronize the holistic model. A major contrast between the biological model and the author’s definition is, the medical model only considers health and disease are only established in biochemistry, spiritual wellness is rejected by medical model because it lacks scientific undertone or proof. The author sees spiritual health very important because health concern the ability to manage oneself from emotional and spiritual threat.

The major advantage of the medical model is, the use of technology and expertise to diagnose physical illness. For example, a cancer patient has the advantage for diagnostic scan, ultrasound and chemotherapy. The setback of the medical model is the focus on physical illness alone, believing that being healthy is to be without noticeable disease. Medical model which is dissimilar with the authors definition and the holistic model believe a person can only be diagnosed and treated in hospital environment. The author and holistic model disagree with the medical model because a person can be sick without obvious physical sign.


This research gives understanding on the conventional ways of thinking health. Health can be viewed from various lens. The author reflected on the concept and choose the holistic model with its caring and supportive belief to the concept. The holistic model addresses all aspect of the parson’s illness, making sure the person is well and in good health. The author’s definition is rooted on subjective experience. The cultural exposure and personal experience, using the African traditional medicine to highlight the holistic concept.

The African exposure help in broadening the authors prospect on holistic medicine. The author heighted the importance of the diagnostic techniques of the medical model. The technological knowhow technique of todays healthcare services. The conclusion is, no health definition is perfect. Its the responsibility of individual to choose the concept that work best for him. The future challenge, will be the world health organisation (WHO) to review its current health definition, and incorporate spiritual health and other health model to reflect a broader definition of health.

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