In 1926 psychiatric social workers, who had traditionally provided aftercare to patients from psychiatric hospitals, pulled away from AAMSW. Having never felt entirely at home with medical social work, they formed the American Association of Psychiatric Social Work (AAPSW).
By the 1950s AAMSW had matured with a steady membership of 2,500.
Consequently, the proposal in the early 1950s to consolidate all social work interests among the seven national organizations into a new National Association of Social Workers (NASW) was not embraced easily by the AAMSW. Health care social workers held out for a long time because of strong convictions about the specialized knowledge required to practice competently in medical settings.