I've gotten several PMs from people about issues regarding MSW programs, getting licensed, and working as a social worker. Rather than respond to everyone individually, I thought I'd start a thread with those questions since many of them overlap. Also, since I'm only one person, this will give other social workers on the board the opportunity to chime in. For the record, I got my BSSW in 1996, took a year off to do full-time volunteer work, then got my MSW via Advanced Standing in 1998. My MSW track was considered clinical. I've had my LCSW since 2000, and have practiced primarily in mental health since '98. Currently I have a part-time private practice where I work with mostly individuals and do some family work (adults and older adolescents, but no couples and no kids). I also work at 2 medical centers in my area doing medical social work rather than psych (although one is still rather psych-related). I'll be quitting social work in July in order to attend medical school. Pretty much any theoretical orientation is fair game as long as you have been trained and supervised in using it. Psychodynamic, CBT, interpersonal, you name it. LCSWs can provide therapy for individuals, families, couples, and groups, although many people have a preference for some over others. (ie, I don't do couples, and my office isn't big enough to comfortably seat more than 5 people including myself.) Depends on what you mean by "clinical". NYU is psychodynamic/object relations-oriented. UMichigan has a great CBT program. Both clinical, but VERY VERY DIFFERENT. Look around- the CSWE is a great place to start, since they list all of the accredited programs, and trust me- you want an accredited program because you most likely will not get licensed in your state if your program doesn't have it. Absolutely. Outside of academic-affiliated hospitals, where psychiatry residents tend to do the ER assessments, most facilities are staffing intake departments with masters-level clinicians to do the screenings. Sometimes you'll see a PhD or PsyD in that role, but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Often this type of job does not require a license, so it's a great job to have as you're under supervision for licensure. Beyond the various psychology degrees, Counseling and MFT programs offer similar experiences to the MSW. Those programs typically lead to the LPC/LCPC/LMHC (varies by state) and the LMFT. Part of my bias toward the MSW LCSW track has to do with being able to diversify if you want to change your focus of practice. For example, I was able to work my way into medical social work to get more medical exposure pre-med school. One of my friends, a LPC, has been burned out on counseling since before she got licensed, but doesn't have other options besides working in mental health. She's currently doing case management for an behavioral health managed care company. I'm sure they could, although I don't personally know of anyone who's done it. The MSW is usually considered a terminal clinical degree in social work, although the DSW has a more clinically-oriented focus than the PhD in social work. That's really tricky, since it depends on what kind of work that social worker is doing. To run you through a typical Monday/Wednesday for me- class from 9:30-10:45 (med school-related), to my office by 11:30 or 12, see anywhere between 2-6 clients and out the door by 7pm. When I have fewer clients, I can catch up on paperwork, billing, phone calls, etc. We don't have an office manager, so I do everything myself. I use my cell as my primary contact phone number. I'm willing to accept/return calls until about 9pm. There are a few people for whom I will take after-hours calls due to a pre-arranged agreement with them about under what circumstances they may/may not call. It's amazing how that does not get abused. At one hospital where I'm 2 days/week, I attend interdisciplinary rounds in the morning for my service, do 1:1s with the patients on my service, 1:1 or 1:2s with their parents, call their outpatient providers to coordinate care, organize outpatient referrals for discharge, facilitate transfer to behavioral health programs (IOP, PHP, inpatient, residential), check insurance benefits, check in with outpatient clinic patients (former inpatients), attend social work staff meetings, arrange housing and meal assistance for out-of-town families, and am in the process of creating a spreadsheet of every referral that I have ever used so that whoever takes my place has access to all of that. Every once in a while I get a request to see someone off my service, but that's rare because of my limited hours. At the other hospital, I work in the ER and my primary role is in child protection- however on the weekend, we're the only person in-house so we cover EVERYTHING. We do forensic interviews with children and adolescents when they are brought in for suspected physical or sexual abuse or neglect. This is a lot of coordination with DFS and the police, along with our medical staff. We get called to every Trauma STAT, Major, and Minor, and are the liaison between the medical team and the family, including chaperoning the family into the trauma room to observe if they would like to go in (and are emotionally capable of dealing with seeing that). We're in charge of dealing with families during deaths- managing who can come back to see the body, taking handprints and hair samples for the family to keep, calling the Medical Examiner's office, assisting in initiating funeral arrangements. We're required to see every GSW and ingestion, and burns if they're suspicious. SW determines if any patients require visitor restriction, are used to assist with disruptive family members, can assist with housing, prescription, transportation, or meal assistance as appropriate, and provide supportive counseling to patients and families as needed. Thank you, and not necessarily. Psychiatry is certainly on the short list of things I'd like to do, specifically child and adolescent. However, every physician I've talked to- whether psychiatrist or other specialty- has encouraged me to keep my mind open until I do my rotations 3rd year, so I'm going to try to do that.