Medical Social Work degree programs can provide learners with a foundation of knowledge in health systems, diagnoses, and service provision for individuals receiving short-term or long-term medical services. This degree program can be ideal for individuals with a profound interest in healthcare systems and social work prospects interested in helping people work through complex medical issues.

Medical Social Work Degree Programs

Typical Master’s Coursework to Expect

Before choosing a MSW program to enroll in, you should learn as much as you can about the curriculum and what is expected of you throughout the program. The curriculum of the MSW in Medical Social Work program can vary depending on your university, making research and awareness important to your overall knowledge of MSW programs.

CSWE Accreditation Note

MSW programs that have received the appropriate accreditation from the CSWE typically consist of prior approved course work that is relevant to social work practice in the field. A thorough review of the curriculum can provide you with valuable insight into what you can learn throughout the program and how it applies to your future careers.


Courses such as Psychopharmacology and Biopsychosocial Considerations can provide learners with an in-depth perspective of the clinical components associated with MSW-level education. Investigating common psychological illnesses, social influence, and common treatments throughout this course can provide learners with insight into how assessment, diagnosis, and treatment can be formulated in the field.

Medical Social Work and Crisis Training

Medical Social Work I is an introductory course available to learners in this program and can provide knowledge into the role of the social worker in this specialized area. Crisis response, training on common illnesses and treatments, and discharge planning are just a few of the many topics covered in this course.

Ethical and Practical Expectations

In most MSW programs, students may also be expected to participate in courses that outline the ethical and practical expectations of social workers. Working with the public can be an extremely rewarding career option but it may also require that participants have a strong understanding of appropriate client care, communication, and legal guidelines.

The courses included in this program can either inspire you to research answers or develop them through your own inner thought. This can prepare you to make quick decisions in the field so that your clients receive quick and valuable care.

Overview of Medical Social Workers Responsibilities

The Medical Social Worker can be an extremely important influencing person for individuals receiving medical care. Social workers in general are professionals that receive education in specific fields so that they can act as guides and advocates for people involved within those specific fields.

If you choose to pursue a degree in Medical Social Work, you can potentially learn more about what is involved in the diagnostic, treatment, and discharge process in common healthcare and medical treatment centers. This knowledge can help you navigate clients through this complex process while accommodating their needs through service provision.

Medical Social Workers can help patients understand different treatment options, can work with families as they work to comprehend and accept various health-related diagnoses, and even advocate for patient rights with insurance companies. At discharge, a Medical Social Worker may arrange in-home services and conduct home visits to ensure that their clients are receiving the highest standard of care.

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Medical Social Workers can be assigned to individuals that are unable to make informed health-related decisions or can be provided to standard clients as an added service associated with their medical care. Since the medical field is so complex, having an informed advocate can be relieving for patients involved with this large-scale system.

If you are interested in being a professional that can work with clients in need through every step in the healthcare process, this could be the field for you to pursue. There are numerous career options available for those holding the MSW in Medical Social Work.

What Types of Job Settings Are There for Medical Social Workers?

Once you have met the educational requirements to become a Medical Social Worker, you can find careers in many diverse work environments. This career can put you in touch with a wide range of people needing assistance from knowledgeable and motivated professionals in the medical field.


The most common career option for Medical Social Workers is within the hospital or medical center setting. Hospitals often employ Medical Social Workers to assist patients that need help understanding their diagnosis and treatment option, as well as those that may require extensive follow-up services after discharge.


In some cases, there may also be career options available to work with families of patients diagnosed with serious medical illnesses. Locating resources for families as they cope with long-term diagnoses or grieve a lost family member could be part of your role in these large organizations.

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Health Insurance Companies

Health insurance companies also employ Medical Social Workers as a way to provide an added service to their clients. In this area, you may work with insurance holders to locate covered services or advocate for clients when seeking specialized medical care from providers.

NGO and Other Organizations

Social work organizations can often provide a wide range of socially significant services to the public. If you are interested in being part of a larger team of social workers with multiple specialties, you can seek out careers in these larger community agencies in your area.