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Medicine & Law

 

Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs

MD/Master in Law, Health Law Track

Overview

The MD/Master in Law, Health Law Track (MD/ML) is designed for Perelman medical and PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, and residents in the Penn Health system who are interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of health law and legal principles.  The  program will help medical students navigate the increasingly dense regulatory environment in the United States and enable them to be effective advocates for health care delivery and collaborate productively with legal counsel across a wide array of issues.  The program’s specialized curriculum is geared to health professionals entering a field that is increasingly defined by regulation and new service delivery models. Graduates of the program will develop legal knowledge and key analytical and critical thinking skills that will prepare them for careers as leaders of health practices and medical institutions as well as policy makers and advisers.  

The information on this website describes the admissions process, curriculum, advising, and financial policies for the MD/ML program. Please note that these guidelines apply only to Perelman medical students.

The rest of this site includes the following sections:

Information Gathering

The first step of the process is to gather information regarding the MD/ML dual degree. Interested students have several resources:

  • ML website (https://www.law.upenn.edu/admissions/non-lawyers/masters-in-law-health.php) - the Master in Law website provides detailed information on the program and application process.
  • MD/ML Information Session - every fall the Combined Degree office holds a MD/ML Information Session for medical students. Email announcements are sent out to students prior to the event. For the September 9, 2014 MD-ML Information Session powerpoint presentation, click here.
  • Catharine Restrepo - candidates are encouraged to contact Cathy, Coordinator for the Master in Law Program, at masters@law.upenn.edu  to discuss the Master of Law program.
  • Amy Nothelfer - students are encouraged to contact Amy, Coordinator of MD-Masters Programs, at nothelfe@mail.med.upenn.edu to discuss their interest in a Master’s program.
  • Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) Office of Admissions and Financial Aid - As soon as a student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised.

Advising

Perelman medical students who are interested in applying for the MD/ML program are encouraged to contact Catharine Restrepo, Coordinator for the Master in Law Program. Once accepted into the MD/ML program, students will develop a curriculum plan in consultation with Cathy. As needed, Cathy may refer students to Steve Raper, MD, JD (Steven.Raper@uphs.upenn.edu), who has an MD and Penn Law JD, and Ronald Litman, DO, (LITMANR@email.chop.edu), who has taken a Penn Law course (check out the YouTube video of Dr. Litman discussing his experience). Both faculty are available to provide guidance and advice to Penn medical students.

After a curriculum plan is developed, the student must notify Helene Weinberg, Registrar for the PSOM, of his/her intention to pursue the MD/ML.

Students should also meet with a staff member in the PSOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to discuss financial issues. (See tuition policy below.)

Curriculum & Program Structure

Program Requirements:

The following requirements are needed for the ML degree :

  • 4 required foundation courses (Introduction to US Law, Introduction to Health Law and Policy, Introduction to Business Law, and Regulatory Process and Policy)
  • 4 elective courses (2 are taken from Penn Law upper-level curriculum and 2 are MD curriculum transfer credits*)
  • Final Project (non-credit bearing)

Required Course Units:               8

* Perelman medical students who are matriculated in the MD/ML program will earn one transfer credit for MOD610 Respect for Persons and one transfer credit for MOD320 Health Care Systems in the MD curriculum.

Timing:

Students are enrolled in the MD program full-time for the first three years and in ML course work full-time during the fall of year 4. Then in spring of year 4 and throughout year 5, students will complete the remaining ML courses as well as the MD curriculum. The sample plan of study below provides details about the timing of ML course work for those who are familiar with the Perelman School of Medicine curriculum. The Master in Law plan of study will be individualized for each student.

MD/ML Degree Completion Time:               5 Years

MD/ML Sample Study Plan (5 years):

Year

Fall

Spring

Summer

Tuition and Billing

Maximum Direct Loan Eligibility (2014-15)

1

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

1 LAW CU (Evening Likely)

MD Tuition Fall & Spring; ML Tuition Summer

$44,942

2

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD Tuition Fall & Spring

$47,167

3

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD Tuition Fall & Spring

$47,167

4

3 LAW CUs

2 LAW CUs
MD Curriculum

MD Curriculum

LAW Tuition Fall;
MD Tuition Spring

FAll: $10,250
Spring: 20,250

5

Residency Interviewing
MD Curriculum

Final Project*
Residency Interviewing
MD curriculum**


MD Tuition Fall; MD fees only Spring

Fall: $20,250

* The Final Project may be completed throughout a student’s ML studies.
** This semester will be billed as “MD fees only”, as the medical student will already have paid the required 8 semesters of MD tuition.

It may be possible for a student to complete the MD/ML degree in 4 years, if the student front-loads their courses.

MD/ML Sample Study Plan (4 years):

Year

Fall

Spring

Summer

1

1 LAW CU
MD curriculum

1 LAW CU
MD curriculum

1 LAW CU (Evening Likely)

2

1 LAW CU
MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

3

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

MD curriculum

4

Residency Interviewing
MD Curriculum

Final Project*
2 LAW CUs
Residency Interviewing
MD curriculum


* The Final Project may be completed throughout a student’s ML studies.

Medical School Planning:

There are several things to keep in mind when making your Medical School plans:

Financial Information (2014-15)

Tuition policy:

Tuition cost for the combined MD/ML program is far less than the total tuition cost would be if the two degrees were earned separately. MD/ML students will be charged 8 semesters of medical school tuition (6 semesters in years 1-3, spring of year 4 and fall of year 5). During fall semester of year 4, ML tuition will be charged per course unit. Finally, students will be charged “MD fees only” in spring of year 5.

Perelman medical students will be charged additional Law tuition for:

3 Law school course units

IF 2 transfer credits have been earned via MOD610 and MOD320,

AND

IF the student has not taken any other university registered credits under the PSOM Additional Course Policy, which allows med students to take 3 additional courses while registered for the MD program. Please refer to the PSOM Additional Course Policy on the Student Portal website for information on tuition implications.

Students will be charged for more than 3 course units if either of the above conditions are not met.  Students with questions about credits earned or needed should contact Helene Weinberg, Registrar of the Medical School.

Tuition:                ~$6400/course. Additional fees (General Fee and Technology Fee) will apply and may vary depending on a student’s enrollment status and fees paid elsewhere at the University of Pennsylvania.

Financial Aid:

As soon as a Perelman medical student is considering the pursuit of an integrated dual degree program, financial aid counseling and planning is strongly advised. Students should contact Jean Fox at the PSOM Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. She is available to help explain program costs, the financial aid process, funding options and how to apply for financial aid. Here are some things to consider:

1. When paying medical school tuition and registered as a medical student, an individual can retain his/her Perelman School of Medicine Scholarship and has a Direct loan eligibility of $40,500. When a student is registered as a full time ML student, he/she is not eligible for a Perelman School of Medicine Scholarship and has a Direct loan eligibility of $20,500. In accordance with federal regulations, all sources of aid (loan, scholarships, fellowships) cannot exceed the student budget.

2. Direct loans have aggregate limits, which are cumulative and include any undergraduate, graduate, and medical school loans borrowed in the Direct loan program. For any semester when a student is a full-time ML student (versus full-time MD student), the ML program aggregate limit is $138,500 versus the MD aggregate limit ($224,000).

3. Students who require funds in excess of their Direct loan may apply for a Direct PLUS loan. Details on this loan and instructions for applying can be found at http://www.med.upenn.edu/financialaid/gradplus.shtml.

4. Tuition will be billed each semester based on course registration and program requirements. Financial aid is available only from the school charging tuition. It is the student’s responsibility to file all of the financial aid applications and documents required to the school in which he or she is enrolled. Students may not receive financial aid from both schools during the same semester. The student is limited to the policies and federal regulations surrounding each school’s educational program. Specific costs are determined annually and are available from the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

Admissions

The admissions process for the MD/ML program is competitive. A Perelman medical student may apply to the ML program during his/her first, second or third year.

There are two steps to applying:

1) Apply to the Master in Law Program

Submit the MD/ML online application at https://www.law.upenn.edu/admissions/non-lawyers/how-to-apply.php.  Students are encouraged to contact Catharine Restrepo (masters@law.upenn.edu) for more information.

2) Submit Master's Program Registration Form to the Combined Degree Office

In addition to submitting an MD/ML application, Perelman medical students must also submit a Master's Program Registration Form to Amy Nothelfer (nothelfe@mail.med.upenn.edu) in the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office (104 Stemmler Hall).

Application Deadline:                Rolling Basis until March 15 of third year
(Please note that a student will be admitted for the semester following application submission.)

Disclaimer

Please note that policies concerning admissions, curriculum, funding and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any changes will need prior approval and may have financial implications. This website is meant to provide preliminary general overview information only. Students interested in or enrolled in the program should seek personal advising from relevant faculty and staff.

Contacts

For more information about the MD/ML program, contact:

Catharine Restrepo
Coordinator, Master in Law Program
(215) 898-4083
masters@law.upenn.edu 

Amy Nothelfer, MSW, LSW
Coordinator for MD-Masters Programs
Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs Office
Suite 100 Annex (Room 104) Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia , PA 19104-6087
(215) 746-2359
nothelfe@mail.med.upenn.edu

Helene Weinberg
Registrar
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Suite 100 Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6087
(215) 898-4646
hweinber@mail.med.upenn.edu

Jean Fox
Financial Aid Officer
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Suite 100 Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia , PA 19104-6056
(215) 898-9118
jmfox@mail.med.upenn.edu