ERIC Number: ED222938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Three Models of Disease and Their Influence on Doctor-Patient Communication.
Medical scientists, doctors, and patients have different models of disease that cause doctor/patient communication problems. The patient model is reflected in the average American who is a high school graduate but who has little understanding of the human body and science. The model of the medical scientist is reflected in the typical graduate of medical school who decides to specialize in an area of research such as genetics. The exemplar for the doctor model is the medical school graduate practicing the art of healing medicine. Laypersons classify diseases very differently from the medical scientist/doctor and are not concerned with diagnosis of the disease. The medical scientist and doctor want a rational explanation of every worsening and bettering, but the patient does not. The patient is interested in results. Treatment is more important to the patient than diagnosis and etiology. The scientist's first concern is with the pathogenesis of the disease, the development of the morbid process. The patient's first concern is with a cure; the doctor's first concern is treatment. If doctor/patient relationships are to improve, there first must be awareness of the problem. Next, there must be awareness of the causes of the model variances: culture, world views, schooling, attitudes, values, and stances. The solution is a realization on the doctor's part that he or she must bridge the gap between theory and common sense and between the scientist's model of disease and the patient's model of disease. (HOD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A