NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Dora Goldstine (1904-1955)
Dora Goldstine was known for her contributions to medical social work through her work as an educator at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, her many committee assignments for the American Association of Medical Social Workers and her representation of medical social work standards and concerns in the formation of the National Association of Social Workers. She was, in fact, the Chairman of the Temporary Inter-Association Committee (TIAC) which led to the establishment of NASW in its first three years of existence.
Dora Goldstine was born in Chicago when her father was a physician in private practice. She lived there for all of her life, with the exception of some sabbatical trips to England and Europe. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1926 and her Masters in Social Work in 1931. Her first job, from 1926 - 1930, was as a manuscript data editor with the American Medical Association. In 1931 she became a medical social worker at Presbyterian Hospital and then in 1934, she worked with the Chicago Relief Administration for two years. While there she became a field work supervisor for the University of Chicago. Her faculty appointment began in 1936.
Dora Goldstine was a serious, scholarly person whose class lectures were well researched and presented. She worked on a number of special studies and reports for the A.A.M.S.W. These included a study of medical social work in tax supported health and welfare agencies and a case book of teaching materials from the public field to supplement medical and public health information in the curriculum of the schools of social work. Both of these studies were done in the early 1940's. The later study turned out to be a difficult assignment for state differed in organization, administration, staffing procedures and politics. She was one of the organizers of the special seminar for teachers of maternal and child health that was supported by the Children's Bureau in the late 1940's.
She was President of the American Association of Medical Social Workers from 1948 - 1950 and thus was involved in this organization's decision to participate in the joint planning for a single social work organization. Some of the issues related to the development of the single social work organization were troublesome to Dora Goldstine because she believed in the standards and the specialized requirements for practice that had been developed in medical social work but she also believed in the importance of a strong single organization for social work. In addition to several reports which she wrote for A.A.M.S.W. she published a book in 1954 which was an anthology of major writings concerning medical social work.
Dora Goldstine spent a sabbatical year in England, 1953-54 and had some reluctance in returning to her faculty position at Chicago.