Goal-oriented medical care

Fam Med. 1991 Jan;23(1):46-51.


The problem-oriented model upon which much of modern medical care is based has resulted in tremendous advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of many illnesses. Unfortunately, it is less well suited to the management of a number of modern health care problems, including chronic incurable illnesses, health promotion and disease prevention, and normal life events such as pregnancy, well-child care, and death and dying. It is not particularly conducive to an interdisciplinary team approach and tends to shift control of health away from the patient and toward the physician. Since when using this approach the enemies are disease and death, defeat is inevitable. Proposed here is a goal-oriented approach that is well suited to a greater variety of health care issues, is more compatible with a team approach, and places a greater emphasis on physician-patient collaboration. Each individual is encouraged to achieve the highest possible level of health as defined by that individual. Characterized by a greater emphasis on individual strengths and resources, this approach represents a more positive approach to health care. The enemy, not disease or death but inhumanity, can almost always be averted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Participation
  • Physician's Role
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Primary Health Care