Boston U. offers MD/JD in six years

Boston University will begin offering a six-year MD and JD program this fall, making it only the second university in New England to do so.

Recent changes to health policy and government regulation and mandates have created a greater need for individuals trained in both areas, the school said.

“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,” said Maureen A. O’Rourke, dean of the School of Law. “We want to prepare future leaders who can manage the rapid changes that are happening in these interdisciplinary fields.”

Students earn both degrees one year sooner than they would if they pursued independently. They complete the first three years of the medical school curriculum, then spend their fourth and fifth years fully integrated into the JD program at the School of Law. They fulfill their remaining medical and law course requirements in the sixth year of the program.

“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 BU School of Medicine Dean and Medical Campus Provost Karen Antman, MD.

The program is conducted under the auspices of both Schools with simultaneous admission to both required for acceptance into the program. Matriculating students will be advised by faculty members from both Schools. Consistent with other MD/JD programs, over the six years students will complete the required coursework in both schools. This will begin with the first three years of medical school, including the eight core clerkships, to gain a foundation of clinical medicine. It then will proceed with the required 58 credits of courses in law over the next two years, and in the final year combine medicine and law electives consistent with the area of concentration of the student’s choice.