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The work of the Department of Bioethics and Interdisciplinary Studies stresses the critical skills essential to devise and weigh potential solutions to the moral and social issues that frequently arise in clinical practice and in biomedical policy making. The department employs the disciplines of philosophy, ethics, history, and law to broaden conventional perspectives, develop critical thought, and rigorously examine the theories, assumptions, methods, and problems underlying clinical decisions and contemporary social and administrative policies. Such knowledge, skills, and perspectives are essential in responding effectively and sensitively to a rapidly changing health delivery environment.

Because both theory and application are indispensable, the department's educational program stresses:

  • Interdisciplinary teaching
  • Case-based discussion
  • Small group format
  • The liberal arts tradition of independent learning

Clinician and bench scientist co-instructors and research collaborators are an essential component of the mission. Our goal is to provide students and residents with the resources to address these issues throughout their careers and to aid clinicians and other health professionals in understanding the structure and moral implications of the health care delivery system in which they work.