Introduction: This paper refers to two different approaches to the concepts of health and illness, the dominant biomedical model on the one hand and the perspective of public health and health sociology on the other.
Purpose: The presentation of the biomedical model which dominated Western medicine for many years. The criticism in this model compared with the public health approach
Literature Review: Searched literature in international databases by keywords: biomedical model, public health, clinical medicine articles in the last 10 years on this issue.
Results: The dominance of the biomedical model which neglects the social dimensions of illness and sees the patient not as human being but as an impersonal medical incident, has been significantly reduced. Doctors have now begun to adopt in their daily practice a public health approach, together with the clinical approach.
Conclusions: The involvement of families is essential to maintaining the health of the patient whereas the doctor needs linguistic and cultural skills are required, when dealing with patients belonging to a minority. Physicians should establish links with social and community organizations, schools and businesses and help create self-help groups for patients
Keywords: public health, biomedical model, clinical medicine