Overview - Joint-Degree (JD/MD) Program at the University of Toledo

Summary

This program allows simultaneous enrollment in the College of Law J.D. program and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences M.D. program, leading to the granting of both degrees after six years of study, thus saving students a year as compared to completing the programs sequentially. The program is aimed at students who wish to combine medical and legal expertise for career purposes. Many graduates are expected to assume leadership positions in governmental and private organizations concerned with healthcare policy and healthcare systems but graduates will be fully qualified to pursue more traditional career paths in law and/or medicine should they choose to do so. Prospective students will apply for admission to both the College of Law and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and must meet the admission requirements for both programs. Once they are admitted, they will follow a course of study that will involve alternating years in the two colleges with summers generally reserved for electives, law or medicine-related employment, supervised research, or studying for the USMLE or bar exam. Students will normally receive the J.D. and M.D. degrees in separate ceremonies during the spring of their sixth year of study.

Detailed Description

Objectives. The primary objective of the joint J.D./M.D. program is to create an academic program whereby students who wish pursue a course of study that combines law and medicine will be able to complete the J.D. and M.D. programs after six years of study. This represents a savings of one year compared to completing the standard J.D. and M.D. programs sequentially. In addition, a combined program can be structured to integrate content in law and medicine at several points throughout the completion of the curriculum. The program will be most attractive to students who wish to pursue careers where a combination of legal and medical knowledge is advantageous and perhaps essential. Examples include 1) serving as the leader of a state or federal governmental agency or independent non-profit organization concerned with the development and implementation of healthcare policy, 2) managing a large-scale medical center, or 3) directing an integrated healthcare system involving direct inpatient and outpatient services, prevention and insurance functions.

Admissions. Students seeking admission will undergo the standard admission procedures for both the M.D. and J.D. programs. This involves separate applications to the College of Law and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. However, the application forms for each program will include a section that the applicant may endorse to indicate that he or she intends to enroll in the joint degree program. The applicant must meet all standard requirements for the J.D. and M.D. programs. For the College of Medicine and Life Sciences the basic application procedures include 1) application to the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), 2) application to the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, 3) completion of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) within the preceding three years, and 4) three letters of recommendation from current or former professors, supervisors or other individuals who are familiar with the applicant and can evaluate his or her potential for successfully completing the M.D. program. In addition, applicants who pass the first stage of the admissions process are invited for an on-site interview with selected faculty members and students. The basic application procedures for the College of Law J.D. program include 1) application to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), 2) application to the UT College of Law, 3) completion of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) within the preceding three years, and 4) at least two letters of recommendation from former or current professors, supervisors, or other individuals who are familiar with the applicant and can evaluate his or her potential to complete a J.D. program. The student may use some or all of the same letter-writers for application to the College of Law as he or she used to the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, assuming they can attest to the student’s ability to complete a J.D. as well as a M.D. program.

After a student has been admitted to both programs, the student will be asked to formally declare his or her intention to complete the joint degree program and will be expected to follow the course of study described below.

If a student is admitted to one but not both programs, the student may choose to enter the program he or she has been admitted to and complete the normal course of study for that program. In selected cases students who have been admitted to one but not both programs may be allowed to re-apply to the program they were not admitted to during their first two years of study.

Enrollment will be capped at five students per year.

Courses of Study. The program has two alternative courses of study. In the first alternative, students begin by completing their preclinical courses in medicine for the first two academic years, followed by law core courses during the third year. Students complete their upper level and elective law courses during the fourth academic year. During the fourth year, students also complete the Clinical Training for MD/JD Students elective. Required clerkships in Medicine must be completed during the fifth year. The sixth and final year includes a combination of elective medical clerkships and upper law courses and legal clinics. Summers will be used to complete both medical and law electives and to complete the USMLE exams. This first course of study is detailed below.

Year

Fall

Spring

Summer

1

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

*

2

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

USMLE Step 1

 

 

3

Law – Basic (Required) Courses

 

 

Law – Basic (Required) Courses

 

 

*

 

Medicine – Clinical Training for MD/JD Students1

4

Law – Standard Program Courses, Advanced Courses, Clinics and Trial Practice

 

Medicine – Clinical Training for MD/JD Students1

Law – Standard Program Courses, Advanced Courses, Clinics and Trial Practice

 

Medicine – Clinical Training for MD/JD Students1

Medicine – Bridge Course and Required Clerkships

5

Medicine – Required Clerkships

Medicine – Required Clerkships

USMLE Step 2 CK and CS

 

Medicine – Required/Elective Clerkships

6

Medicine – Elective Clerkships, Residency Interviews

Law – Standard Program Courses, Advanced Courses, Clinics and Trial Practice

 

Medicine – Residency Interviews

MD/JD Graduation

 

Bar Exam Review

 

Begin Residency

1 Clinical Training for MD/JD Students elective = 160 hours over one year (MS4 Credit)

* Medicine/law electives or summer experiences

Students who elect the second alternative complete their core law courses during their first year of study, and then complete their preclinical medical courses during years two and three and their advanced law classes during year four. During the fourth year, students also complete the Clinical Training for JD/MD Students elective. They must then complete their required clerkships during the fifth year. As in the first alternative, the final year would include a combination of elective medical clerkships and upper law courses and legal clinics. The second alternative schedule is shown in the following chart.

Year

Fall

Spring

Summer

1

Law – Basic (Required) Courses

Law – Basic (Required) Courses

*

2

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

*

3

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

Medicine – Preclinical Curriculum

USMLE Step 1

 

Medicine – Clinical Training for MD/JD Students1

4

Law – Standard Program Courses, Advanced Courses, Clinics and Trial Practice

 

Medicine – Clinical Training for MD/JD Students1

Law – Standard Program Courses, Advanced Courses, Clinics and Trial Practice

 

Medicine – Clinical Training for MD/JD Students1

Medicine – Bridge Course and Required Clerkships

5

Medicine – Required Clerkships

Medicine – Required Clerkships

USMLE Step 2 CK and CS

 

Medicine – Required/Elective Clerkships

6

Medicine – Elective Clerkships, Residency Interviews

Law – Standard Program Courses, Advanced Courses, Clinics and Trial Practice

 

Medicine – Residency Interviews

MD/JD Graduation

 

Bar Exam Review

 

Begin Residency

1 Clinical Training for MD/JD Students elective = 160 hours over one year (MS4 Credit)

* Medicine/law electives or summer experiences

 We recognize that it may be necessary for some students to vary from the standard course of study in order to complete their degrees. Students may apply for variations from the standard course of study with approval of their advisors through the usual mechanisms in the Colleges of Law and Medicine and Life Sciences. If the variation the student wishes to pursue only affects his or her course of study in one college, approval from only the affected college will be necessary. Variations that affect the course of study in both colleges will require approval of advisors from both colleges.

Cross-Counting of Courses. The savings of one year in the total length of the program will be accomplished by cross counting of 13 credits of courses in each curriculum. That is, approximately 13 credits of law courses will also count toward the credit requirements in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and vice versa. In order for a College of Medicine and Life Sciences course to qualify for credit toward the J.D. degree, the student must earn a grade of Pass or better. In order for a College of Law course to qualify for credit toward the M.D. degree, the student must earn a grade of C or better. The final list of courses that will be cross counted will be determined by a committee that shall include the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Law and the Associate Dean for Clinical Undergraduate Medical Education in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Students will not receive either the J.D. degree or the M.D. degree until they have met the requirements of both programs. A student can choose to withdraw from the joint degree program, in which case he or she can earn the degree for which he or she has met the requirements. However, students who do not successfully complete both the J.D. and M.D. programs will not receive full credit for cross-counting of courses. Rather, they will need to follow the standard rules for credits earned outside the college in the degree program they do complete successfully.

Advising. Each student in the joint program will be appointed a pair of advisors, one in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and one in the College of Law, who are familiar with the joint degree program. The advisors will assist the student in developing his or her plan of study.

Administration. The program has two co-directors: one each from the College of Law and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. These individuals will be appointed by the Deans of the College of Law and College of Medicine and Life Sciences, respectively. The co-directors shall appoint additional faculty members in the two colleges to serve on an advisory committee that will meet at least annually to review the program and suggest changes as necessary.

Curriculum Review and Additional Content. While the current College of Medicine and Life Sciences and College of Law curricula have sufficient content to support a joint JD/MD program, the Advisory Committee for the program will be charged to review the courses available to joint degree students and propose additional course content as appropriate.

Tuition. Tuition will be computed on a semester by semester basis. The usual charges for enrollment in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences and College of Law will apply. Thus, for the first alternative course of study depicted above, tuition during the first two years will be based on College of Medicine and Life Sciences tuition and during years three and four tuition will be based on College of Law tuition. Tuition during the summer will be based on course content. Students should be advised that if they take courses in both Colleges in any given semester, they will be charged the higher tuition for all credits taken. Participation in the Clinical Training for MD/JD Students elective during the time that the student is taking law classes will be excepted from this rule, i.e., it will not require the student to pay College of Medicine and Life Sciences tuition during those semesters.

Graduation. Graduates of the joint degree program will attend separate graduation ceremonies at the end of their sixth year of study to receive their J.D. and M.D. diplomas. However, they will be recognized as having successfully completed the joint degree program at both graduation ceremonies.

Bar Exam and Medical Residencies. Students who wish to be licensed to practice law will usually take the bar exam in their preferred state in late July following graduation from law school. Most, if not all, students graduating from the JD/MD program will also be starting their chosen medical residency at the beginning of the July following graduation. It may be possible for some students to negotiate time off to take the bar exam in the first month of their residency but this is not likely to be allowed in many residencies. Students in other JD/MD programs have dealt with this potential conflict in different ways including postponing the bar exam until they have located in the state in which they are completing their Medical Residency. Some students do not plan to engage in the practice of law and choose not to take the bar exam. Students in the UT JD/MD program should be advised of the potential conflict between the date of the bar exam and the start of their medical residency as early as possible so that they can consider alternative courses of action. In addition, students should be forewarned that the length of time between their basic law courses and the bar exam will be longer than usual and as a result they may wish to begin their review of the basic law subjects earlier than other law students.


Last Updated: 3/23/15