AbstractsSocial Work

How a hospital medical staff uses a social service department.

by M. R. Samuel

Institution: McGill University
Department: School of Social Work.
Degree: Master of Social Work.
Year: 1950
Keywords: Social Work.
Record ID: 1522359
Full text PDF: http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/thesisfile124268.pdf


This subject is not a new one. It has interested others and similar studies have been done in the past whereby treatment of illness was evaluated in terms of the person or persons involved to effect the best solution to the patient’s manifold problem- Many physicians are remembered not only for their contribution to science but also for their wisdom and skill in healing. It was such physicians who, in the first decade of the twentieth century initiated the partnership of medicine and social work. One of these physicians, Richard C. Cabot established in the Massachusetts General Hospital one of the first social service departments. Following this, he wrote a book in which he stressed that the success of treating a patient depended on the understanding the doctor had for that sick person and his social environment.1 At nearly the same time similar departments were established in hospitals in other parts of the United States and Canada and the combined efforts of doctors and social workers developed a special area of study. Since this beginning, many books have been written in which Dr. Cabot’s theme on the social and emotional aspects of illness was expanded.[...] This study will deal with one aspect of that broad subject, the partnership of medicine and social work and how it is put into practice at R.V.H.[...]