The term "Medical Model", though frequently used by professionals, theoreticians and laymen in referring to certain aspects of the medical profession, or of the entire medical system, is rarely used with any degree of precision. The term, indeed, has been used as a shorthand expression, leaving it unnecessary to explicate descriptively the interrelated components of the medical arena. The theories, conceptual constructs, practice, and operating ideologies of the Medical Model, and their association with bi-cultural, economic, political and other concepts are left unspoken. These elements are simply assumed to be implicit in the use of the term. It is our contention, however, that many using the term are not cognizant of the relationship between the variables that hold the model intact Because of this, relevant linkages and causative relations generally do not receive proper attention.

This essay will not attempt to prove that individuals misuse the term. Instead, efforts will be directed toward delineating the properties of the medical model of psychiatric practice (which has strong influence on most social service systems) in terms of principles associated with general systems theory Within this context, we will introduce systematic aspects of the medical model, showing how many of its parts are independently systematized, and how each part, as a collective, serves as a model for psychiatric determination.