Medical Social Workers Annual Seminar

September 28, 2011
School of Medicine, Kochi

The Amrita Social Workers Annual Seminar – ASWAS 2011 – was organized by the Department of Medical Social Work at the Amrita School of Medicine on September 16, 2011.

This one-day national seminar also marked the tenth anniversary celebrations of this department at the Health Sciences campus in Kochi.


Since May 2001 the Department of Medical Social Work has offered comprehensive services to various clinical centers of the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.

“Medical social workers are the artists at our hospital because they know when a patient needs a warm smile or reassuring words or a gentle touch,” highlighted Dr. Sanjeev Singh, Senior Medical Administrator and Head of the Department of Medical Social Work,

The seminar which brought together professional social workers from various organizations all over India as well as students from social work institutes was inaugurated by Dr. Pravin Patkar, Distinguished Senior Faculty of Social Work and Director of Prerana, Mumbai.


“For us social workers, a simple look at what is happening around us, keeps us going,” he underlined.

Others who spoke included Mrs. Shakila K.P., Former Coordinator, Amrita Department of MSW; Dr. Seema Uthaman, Senior Psychiatric Social Worker, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur; and Dr. Jose Antony, Head of the Department of Social Work, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady.

Many Amrita faculty members addressed the delegates as well, highlighting key roles and challenges and the road ahead in the profession.


“Our hope is that the seminar contributes to methodological developments in the area of medical social work,” stated the organizers.

“Undoubtedly, social workers play a major role that is not totally understood in our day-to-day practice of medicine,” outlined Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, in his address.

“We have been very keen to develop medical social services right from the beginning largely because of our charitable interests. Medical social workers should become very strong patient advocates and work closely with medical teams to fully understand the imperatives of medical care,” he added.


Ms. Deepa, a senior medical social worker who participated, shared her views.

“Ultimately, our work is about building an environment where we all have a chance to experience the joy of making a difference to an individual, family or community in need. In the profession of medical social work, it is true that people will forget what you have said or what you have done, but will never forget how you made them feel.”

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