SDOH vs. Medical Model

The comparison chart below is from an Australian social determinants of health (SDOH) curriculum taught in secondary schools (high schools). According to the curriculum, the model addresses social determinants of health by considering the demographics (and psychographics) of priority population(s). SDOH programs are designed better to meet the wants and needs of the population, and in turn, they generate better, more cost-effective outcomes.

Social Determinants of Health Model Medical Model
A conceptual framework to improve health by addressing social determinants of health A biomedical system of care
Considers a range of determinants and understands that for health improvement to occur, these social determinants of health must be address Considers and addresses the physical and biological aspects of disease and illness
It can be practiced by a wide range of people. Training, supervision, and certifications are increasingly becoming available. It can ONLY be practiced by licensed health care professionals
Focuses on prevention, recovery, resistance, and/or resilience Focuses on the diagnosis, cure, and treatment of a disease
Comparatively, less expensive Comparatively, more expensive
Adapted from Victorian Certificate of Education, Australia.