A Social Worker MSW, also known as a Medical Social Worker, is a person who holds a Master’s degree in Social Work, and uses that educational training to help people in other communities manage, cope with, and overcome various social problems, such as poverty, child abuse, homelessness, mental health, violence, etc. The social worker (MSW) focuses on “assessing patients and their families to [figure out how to] best treat and understand an emotional or social problem. Using this knowledge, the social worker MSW then determine the best way to improve the conditions for his or her patient in order to minimize the damage and severity of the problem or to prevent it from occurring in the future.” The social worker does this through counseling based on his/her clinical specialty (acquired during the Master’s program), by facilitating education on issues and providing support groups and referrals so that people can get the help that they need promptly, as well as by taking on roles in administration, research, policymaking and planning to bring attention and resources to various social injustices/issues plaguing particular communities. “Policy makers and policy advocates work directly with local and national government to set up publicly funded programs that address these social issues;” the MSW degree prepares the medical social worker “for social work positions in local, state or national government as well as non-profit and private organizations.” The MSW program offers clinical specialization in child and family social services, mental health or substance abuse, as well as a practice method specialty, including community organization, public policy, social service administration or intrapersonal practice. This position requires the social worker MSW to “possess knowledge about drugs, welfare, legal information pertaining to patients [and patient-care], and cultural traditions and differences [i.e. cultural sensitivity and awareness].”
Social workers, even with a Master’s degree (in Social Work) don’t make very much money; this is a career for those who are driven and motivated by the opportunity to enact change from medical, social, governmental, and administrative angles, and by a passion to help the socially disadvantaged/disenfranchised. This is not a position for someone who is primarily or considerably concerned with salary or monetary gain. Social Workers (MSW) genuinely and deeply care about society and social justice, and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. They also have to have analytical minds, as a part of this job is in fact clinical/medical.
The requirements to become a Medical Social Worker, or a Social Worker MSW, are relatively flexible: one must have studied Urdu at the 10th or 12th level, then went on to attain a Bachelor’s degree in any subject, but preferably one that is somehow related to Social Work (such as Social Work itself, or Sociology, Psychology, Home Science, Women’s Studies, Anthropology, etc), receiving at least 45% marks in it, and finally going on to complete the 2-year Master of Social Work (MSW) program thereafter.