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Abstract

Within the health care field, medical social work has expanded rapidly over the past few years. In the United States, medical social workers comprise approximately 1.5 percent of the total medical schools' faculty. And, there is empirical evidence that medical social work faculty will increase substantially over the years to come.

However, we as social work educators know very little about medical social work facultys' opinions on how they perceive their overall function within medical schools. More specifically, if medical social work faculty are to function effectively in medical settings, we as a profession must know: if they perceive themselves as clinicians or educators; what their involvement is in curriculum development; if they perceive themselves as specialists or generalists; what their professional contacts are outside their departments; and, how they perceive their present respect and credibility within their medical settings. Thus, the purpose of this article is to present the results of an empirically based research project that will shed new data on the above concerns.

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