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America's No. 1 Program In Health Law

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law's Law and Health Care Program has been ranked first in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's 2015 Best Graduate Schools. The ranking was based on votes from law faculty around the country working in the field of health law.


The pioneering program focuses on training students and supporting research in health-related legal and policy issues including health care reform, disability law, the legal and ethical questions surrounding the emerging field of genetics and personalized medicine, and racial and ethnic disparities in access to health care.

"The Law and Health Care Program's No. 1 ranking recognizes the wide-reaching and interprofessional approach to teaching health law that is critical in today's evolving health care environment," said University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), President Jay A. Perman, MD.

The program's emphasis on interdisciplinary and interprofessional education involves faculty and students from the Carey School of Law, as well as UMB's schools of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, and social work who collaborate on initiatives ranging from health and human rights to food and drug law.

"Health law is a very broad area," said Diane Hoffmann, JD, MS, director of the Law and Health Care Program, and professor of law (pictured). "We have health law courses on the business of health care, such as fraud and abuse, and hospital law, as well as courses in public health law, HIV and AIDS law, bioethics, and food and drug law and policy."

Since the program's inception in 1997, more than 350 students have graduated with a law degree and a concentration in health law, recognizing their completion of at least 17 credits in health law through classroom, experiential learning, and research and writing courses.

"I am delighted that faculty at law schools across the country have recognized the high caliber of our Law and Health Care Program. But I'm not surprised," said Phoebe A. Haddon, JD, LLM, dean of UM Carey Law. "The work of our faculty and students is not only original, but practical. It's improving the lives of people touched by an increasingly complicated health care system every day."

"We have lots of externship opportunities at state and federal agencies as well as hospitals in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.," Hoffmann said. "And we have students who do externships at U.N. AIDS in Geneva, and who have been placed at the World Health Organization's Office of Human Rights."

The Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, which is part of the Law and Health Care Program, also offers students the opportunity to acquire experience in research, writing, and editing. Launched in 1998 as one of the few scholarly journals to bridge the legal, public policy, and scientific fields, it is published twice yearly and covers a range of topics including the legal and public health challenges of substance abuse, the legacy of tobacco litigation, and the legal and regulatory obstacles to vaccine development.

Faculty within the program work with researchers at other schools on the campus on emerging topics in medicine, science and law. A grant from the National Institutes of Health's Human Microbiome Project supports research on federal regulation of probiotics, with Hoffmann as a co-principal investigator in conjunction with research scientists at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the School of Medicine.

The project was supported by a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Ethical Legal and Social Implications component of the Human Microbiome Project.

Faculty within the program are also examining regulation of genetic testing, human subjects research, pain management, HIV/AIDS law, and much more. The scholarly work of the Law and Health Care Program is used in policymaking on both the federal and state levels.

Students who choose to earn their Health Law Certificate have access to externship opportunities to work with nonprofit and governmental agencies dealing with health law issues, providing them with practical experience working in the field.

Interdisciplinary events and initiatives are another major focus of the Law and Health Care Program. Recently, the program held a Health Law and Regulatory Science Competition that challenged students to come up with innovative new ideas on topics such as Food and Drug Administration regulations of drugs and medical devices, health care fraud issues and compliance with NIH and FDA ethical research requirements.
Posting Date: 03/11/2014
Contact Name: Jill Yesko
Contact Phone: 410-706-3803
Contact Email: jyesko@umaryland.edu