• Environmental factors contribute to the etiology of disease, and the obviation of occupational or domestic causes of an ailment is sometimes an indispensable accompaniment to medication. This principle was illustrated in three cases, here described, in which a skilled social worker, acting as a member of an internist's staff, contributed substantially to the success of the diagnosis and treatment.
The complaints were musculoskeletal in all cases. Personal and family tensions were obvious. In one case the symptoms had begun 14 years before and had not been relieved by an operation for a cervical rib. In another the patient had been hospitalized for suspected poliomyelitis and had been at times unable to work.
Selected patients who have been helped by the social caseworker have regarded this assistance as proof of the physician's real interest in them. They have been impressed with the advantages of the practice of comprehensive medicine.
Margolis HM, Mendelsohn H. THE MEDICAL SOCIAL CASEWORKER IN "PRIVATE" MEDICAL PRACTICE. JAMA. 1956;161(4):309–313. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970040007002
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