New UT program puts degrees in both medicine, law just six years away

June 1, 2012 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

With an increasing number of career options that require expertise in law and medicine, The University of Toledo has announced a new JD/MD program that will use an integrated curriculum to enable students to graduate with a law degree and a medical degree in six years.

“As evidenced by the recent debate of the new health-care law before the Supreme Court, the connections between the medical and legal arenas are only going to grow stronger as physicians and policymakers try to get a handle on the increasing costs of care,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, chancellor and executive vice president for health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Daniel Steinbock, dean of the College of Law, said that students who graduate from joint programs such as this soon will be in leadership roles.

“Any student who enrolls in a joint degree program is already highly motivated,” Steinbock said. “By making use of the expertise and resources available across two UT campuses, these graduates will leave the University with specialized knowledge that will be highly sought after by leading health-care systems and public agencies.”

Students will be required to undergo standard admission procedures for both the JD and MD programs, and will make use of summer semesters throughout the program to finish within the six-year window. Students can begin their study in either college and will spend their six years alternating between the two colleges.

Additional information about the program, including issues of academic advising, tuition, graduation, and the bar exam and medical residences, is available at

“The best leaders in the years ahead will be those who can navigate the complex areas between disciplines, to make connections and find linkages that for most are not apparent,” Gold said.

Both Gold and Steinbock pointed to the new program as precisely the type of cooperative and interdisciplinary effort between academic units called for by UT President Lloyd Jacobs.

“UT’s joint JD/MD program will enhance the profile of the University and help attract stronger applicants,” Steinbock said. “No matter where they ultimately land, graduates of this program will have a variety of career paths to choose from.”

John Barrett, professor of law, and Dr. John McSweeney, professor emeritus of psychiatry and neurology, will serve as program co-directors.

Both men recognized a larger group of faculty who collectively put the program together: Daniel Hickey, associate professor of family medicine; Dr. Catherine Marco, professor and program director for emergency medicine; Nicole B. Porter, professor and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Law; Robert Salem, clinical professor of law; and Dr. David Sohn, assistant professor of orthopedics.

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