The term "medical model" is often used as if it referred to a single,
well-understood set of assumptions about psychiatric disorders. Actually,
there are at least four different meanings that a person saying "emotional
disorders are diseases" might intend to communicate. The models usually
suggested as alternatives are addressed to one or another of these medical
model implications. A distinction should be maintained between the virtues
of these models as conceptual aids and their virtues and weakness as
shapers of public opinion and professional practice.