by Francesc Borrell-Carrió MD, Anthony L. Suchman MD and Ronald M. Epstein MD
The biopsychosocial model is both a philosophy of clinical care and a practical clinical guide. Philosophically, it is a way of understanding how suffering, disease, and illness are affected by multiple levels of organization, from the societal to the molecular. At the practical level, it is a way of understanding the patient’s subjective experience as an essential contributor to accurate diagnosis, health outcomes, and humane care. In this article, we defend it as a necessary contribution to the scientific clinical method, while suggesting clarifications.