How training as a social worker made me a better doctor

My favourite opening sentence this week comes from the Guardian. " Sharon D Clarke studied to be a social worker before becoming a doctor..... on Holby City." At first I thought this was going to be an interesting angle on the integrating health and social care debate. How training as a social worker has made me a better doctor. But no. Sharon is an actor and Holby City is a tv hospital soap. Ah ah the angle is how training to be a social worker has made me a better actor. No. Social work never gets another mention in the article. Shame I would like to have read about a doctor who started out as a social worker it would have been an interesting if unlikely journey. What sort of doctor would they be? I can't see them being a surgeon, they seem to need to be detached, rather cold and if Holby City is realistic brilliant but arrogant. They could be a physician with the emphasis on assessment, diagnoses and treatment but over reliant on nurses who talk to the patients and get the real back story. Most likely they would be a psychiatrist. Patient centred, concerned with W
feelings, emotions and behaviour, emphasis on family and relationships, regarded as slightly off the wall by real doctors and only of use in freeing up acute beds.

Realistically a social worker isn't going to become a doctor. Doctors were the really  bright kids at school, the swats, most of them had one or both parents who were doctors but I can see the over lap with being an actor. Home visits, case conferences, juvenile court appearances acting skills would be very useful. 

Have you seen how some people live? Being non judgmental and un shockable requirers some highly developed acting skills. The suit and tie for court all part of the act and you play a different role in case conferences. So training as an actor might make you a better social worker.

Blair McPherson 


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