In its most rigid form, the “medical model,” a form of understanding health, views the body as a machine to be fixed and repaired. It emerged as the dominant view of health in North America in the 20th century.

But by the 1970s, criticism about the model and its narrow view began to fester. The model does not account for the “social, psychological, and behavioural dimensions of illness,” as one rebuke published in a 1977 issue of Science put it.

And while other models have emerged, like the “biopsychosocial model,” which takes a more holistic approach, the traditional medical model remains widespread and pervasive.

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