Boston University announced that starting next fall students will be able to study to earn a doctor of medicine degree and a doctor of law degree through a single, six-year program, which the school said will make it just the second university in New England to offer such a joint program.
The only other school in the region that offers those dual degrees in one program is Yale University, according to officials at BU.
“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,” law school dean Maureen A. O’Rourke said in a statement. “We want to prepare future leaders who can manage the rapid changes that are happening in these interdisciplinary fields.”
The program will allow students to earn the two degrees one year sooner than if they pursued them independently, campus officials said.
“This degree, which combines medical and legal expertise, is excellent preparation for students considering hospital or health care system leadership opportunities or careers in medical policy and academic administration,” said a statement from BU medical school dean and medical campus provost Karen Antman.
“By collaborating across the University with our outstanding law school colleagues, we believe that we have designed what will become one of the highest quality, most comprehensive and sought after MD–JD programs in the U.S.,” she added.
Both the School of Medicine and the School of Law will oversee the program, officials said.
Students will need simultaneous admission to both schools to be accepted into the program.
Applications for the program’s inaugural run will be accepted this spring.
For their first three years in the program, students will dedicate their studies to medical school curriculum; their fourth and fifth years will be spent focusing on law studies. Any remaining course requirements will be completed in their sixth year, officials said.
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