Boston University Offering Joint MD-JD Degree

Only two New England universities offer this joint degree program.

How many people have you met who are both a doctor and a lawyer? Starting next year, you may be meeting a lot more them here in Boston.

Changes in health policy and government regulation has created a need for individuals trained in both disciplines. Boston University will start offering joint MD-JD degrees beginning with the fall 2014 semester. The curriculum will include health care administration, health law including legislation, medical policy (e.g. health disparities or medical licensing), and intellectual property issues related to medical research and technologies.

The six-year Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Doctor of Law (JD) joint program will be only the second in New England (Yale is the other school) to offer the program.

“From the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to patenting innovations in biotechnology to managing the growing complexities of health care organizations, the legal and medical fields have become increasingly intertwined,” said BU School of Law Dean Maureen A. O’Rourke in a press release. “We want to prepare future leaders who can manage the rapid changes that are happening in these interdisciplinary fields.”

According to the press release:

Students will earn both degrees in 6 years, one year less than if they pursued the two degrees independently. Students will complete the first three years of the medical school curriculum, then spend their fourth and fifth years fully integrated into the JD program at the School of Law. They fulfill their remaining medical and law course requirements in the sixth year of the program. Students will apply to both schools for acceptance into the program. The first students will be accepted in spring of 2014. Matriculating students will be advised by faculty members from both Schools.

“By collaborating across the University with our outstanding law school colleagues, we have designed an outstanding comprehensive MD-JD programs to prepare students for leadership roles in hospital or health care systems, medical policy or academic administration.” said BU School of Medicine Dean and Medical Campus Provost Dr. Karen Antman.