medical model vs. population health model


Medical Model

Population Health Model

Geared toward a clinically-oriented system


Studies the effects any given health ailment


Changes the way society and the individual interact


Individuals engage in guided self-managed care

Places the fault with the individual


Assumes that there is something wrong with people who consume too much sodium and does not account for societal influences

Emphasizes public education


Individuals are provided with the information needed to make informed decisions regarding their healthcare

Maintains social hierarchy


Medical professionals are assumed to always know what is right and best

Studies a range of influencing factors


The reason(s) why a given health ailment exists are examined



Care is based on measurable and objective inputs. For example, how much sodium an individual is consuming and what the cure will be for hypertension which discourages “out of the box” thinking.



Reduces the need for treatments by encouraging proactive health-oriented decision-making, as well as emphasizes long-term planning as a key to lasting success and cost reduction

“Mechanically” oriented


Humans are machines that can be fixed if a component is defective



Social factors influencing health, such as poverty and education, are incorporated into healthcare

A sickness care system


Symptoms continue to be treated, but underlying causes are never addressed

Encourages community participation


Individuals are empowered to make positive health choices

  Uses public policy to make changes


Encourages regulations for food labeling, distribution and content limits, especially for young children


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