During the past three summers, undergraduate students and recent graduates of the University of Virginia have participated in a unique interdisciplinary program that hones their leadership skills while teaching them to identify, understand, and manage ethical conflicts.
Offered by the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the Intensive Scholars Institute in Leadership and Health Care Ethics is designed for individuals who intend to pursue careers in healthcare and are preparing to enter medical, law, nursing or graduate business school. Scheduled for June 1 to 27, this summer’s Institute will be the first to admit students and recent graduates from outside UVA.
“We created this program to fill an educational void and believe there is nothing comparable offered today,” notes the Institute’s director, Patti Tereskerz, JD, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities at the UVA School of Medicine. “Given the recent ethical scandals on Wall Street and in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, we realized there is a great need to ensure that the next generation of medical, business and legal leaders has a strong foundation in ethics.”
Feedback from Institute participants has consistently been favorable. Many credit the month-long program with providing the extra edge needed to gain admission to the medical school or graduate program of their choice. “The Intensive Scholars Institute offered a chance for me to delve deeper into what it means to be a doctor practicing in today’s fragmented health care system,” explains Kathryn Ansell, a 2008 Institute attendee who earned her B.A. in International Relations and Community Health from Tufts University in 2007 and was a post-baccalaureate student at UVA last year. She is now working for AmeriCorps and plans to attend medical school in the fall.
Ansell has been accepted to nine medical schools and says her Institute experience has been helpful during admission interviews. “A lot of interviewers ask at least one ethics-related question. I felt very comfortable in articulating and discussing the different sides of ethical issues,” she notes. “I would definitely recommend this program for any pre-medical student who is looking for a change from the hard sciences and wants to really understand the different players in the healthcare system. The small [class] size of the program allowed us to interact with our guest speakers and provided a more hands-on interactive learning experience.”
The application deadline for this year’s Institute is March 28, 2009. Class size will be less than 20 students and the curriculum will include: Public Health, Healthcare Delivery Systems, Global Health, Research and Patents, and the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Device Industries and Healthcare Professionalism.
For further information, please e-mail Patricia Tereskerz, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor and Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann Mills, M.B.A., M.sc. (Econ), Assistant Professor and Co-Program Director at email@example.com .
Forms and details are available online at: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/ethicsandpolicy/leadership.cfm