In 1989, the Kaohsiung Medical University (former Kaohsiung Medical College) established her tenth department, the Department of Medical Sociology and Social Work, to advance scientific study in health care and social services, as well as to provide professional education in social work and community services. The Department is the first one in the country that integrates the disciplines of medical science, behavioral science and social work practice. The Department aims to create, advance, strengthen, and integrate interdisciplinary knowledge for students and the profession through research, scholarship, teaching and practice. A graduate program in Health and Social Behavior was established within the Graduate Institute of Behavior Sciences in 1992. Then, Medical Sociology and Social Work became two separate graduate programs in 2002. The Graduate Institute of Medical Sociology and Social Work was established in 2004, and is expected to be specialized in the issues related to aging and society, medical sociology, and social work.
The Department aims to provide quality professional and academic training in social services with special relevance to health care, and to prepare students to become competent social workers or professional helpers in relevant fields such as education, health administration, and the commercial sectors.