Social work and medicine have long gone hand in hand—though that has not necessarily always been recognized. Over the years, some social workers may have felt their value at the table has been overlooked—if not ignored completely. Even social workers who are employed within a hospital setting sometimes feel like an entirely separate entity from any of the care the patient has received up until meeting them. That has been a disservice to everyone. It hurts the patient care experience and also increases the chances of readmittance. With so much talk of patient-centered care and integrative medicine, now is the time for change.
Change is exactly what’s happening in Austin, Texas.
With the implementation of a first-of-its-kind health social work department at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, exciting changes are happening. For the first time, future doctors and future social workers will be sitting in some of the same classes and working together at a training level.