Bioethics And Law Internship Seminar: Health Policy & Administration

Section 1, Spring 17

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 4/4
Credits: 3

Course Description

The Bioethics and Law Internship in Health Policy and Administration is designed for University of Virginia law students who have studied health law and the ethics of healthcare in some depth and for whom the internship experience fits within their academic and career intentions. The course enables students to spend time in administrative settings within the UVA Medical Center as “participant-observers,” in order to gain first-hand experience of the subject matter that is the focus of the theory, teaching, and practice of ethics, law, and health policy in relation to the organization and operation of healthcare institutions. Direct exposure to the workings of inpatient and outpatient healthcare and to the clinical and administrative professionals who create and implement operational policies—in short, to the structure and enterprise of organized healthcare—should allow students to see, at least in part, what sorts of legal and ethical issues are characteristic of the enterprise in general and of their placement setting in particular; how, and perhaps why, those issues arise; whether, how, and by whom they are recognized, categorized, and dealt with; in what ways current legal regulation and ethical theory are helpful in approaching the issues or fall short; and what role a lawyer or ethicist might play within that setting.

Each student spends several hours a week in a health care administrative setting (the same setting throughout the semester) under the mentorship of a health care professional, legal professional, or administrator engaged in that setting. Seminar time focuses on the students’ observations and analyses of particular legal and ethical issues that arise in their placements.

Through the course designations PHSE 4500/7500 and RELG 4559, the course is also open to graduate students in public health sciences, nursing, and other relevant fields as well as to well-prepared fourth-year undergraduate students with extensive prior study of bioethics. All students (an expected total of 10) will meet weekly as a seminar to discuss their experiences in their field placement. The combination of students from various disciplines and professions will create a rich environment for the sharing of observations and analysis relating to field placements.

Field placements will be assigned to match appropriately with the student’s preparation, his or her field of study, and (to the extent permitted) his or her interests.

If interested, please identify your interest via email to Prof. Shepherd ( detailing (1) relevant courses taken and grades earned and (2) reasons for wishing to take the course, including how it may fit into the student's future academic and career trajectory. SRO will enroll the students selected by the professor.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): TBD

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes: Class sessions will occur in the Barringer Building (School of Medicine) -- room to be announced by Professor via email close to the first session.  All sessions until Tuesday, March 21 will end at 5:30pm and the ones from March 21 to April 25 will end at 6:00pm. 

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
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Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: