Article first published online: 28 OCT 2002
Volume 36, Issue 11, pages 1077–1082, November 2002
How to Cite
Squires, G. (2002), Modelling medicine. Medical Education, 36: 1077–1082. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01330.x
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2002
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2002
- Received 25 October 2001; editorial comments to author 15 January 2002; accepted for publication 4 March 2002
- education, medical/*standards;
- evidence-based medicine/*education;
- *clinical competence;
Context Aristotle's writing on poiesis and techne in general, and his frequent references to medicine in particular, suggest that medicine is instrumental, contingent and procedural. These 3 basic characteristics give rise to three questions: What do doctors do? What affects what they do? How do they do it? Similar questions can be applied to other professions.
Objectives This paper sets out a 3-dimensional model of medicine which addresses these 3 questions. The model can be used to explore general issues in the field such as the nature of general practice, the scope of evidence-based medicine and the relationship between medicine and cognate professions. It may help to clarify decisions about the scope, sequence and integration of the medical curriculum and it offers a framework for the concrete analysis of clinical situations and decisions.
Methods The article is based on conceptual analysis rather than empirical investigation although there are some examples of practical applications of the model.
Conclusions Although the headings in the model must be treated as tentative, it offers one way of viewing medicine as a whole. It also offers potential scope for development and use in both initial and continuing medical education. Further work is needed to develop and refine the model for medical education and practice.