EP Award Promo

Drake Law School, DMU to offer joint degrees in health law


Recognizing the increasing interrelationships between law and medicine, Drake University Law School and Des Moines University (DMU) have partnered to offer a joint program to prepare graduate students for careers in health law. The program, announced this morning, will enable students at either institution to more easily pursue joint master of health care administration or master of public health and juris doctor/law degrees. The partnership allows students to transfer up to 18 credits between the institutions and serves as a springboard for other potential collaborations between the sponsoring programs.

“The health-care industry is extremely regulated, and health-care providers, payers and attorneys who specialize in health law need to be able to collaborate on compliance solutions,” Stacey Tovino, director of the Health Law and Policy Center at Drake University Law School, said in a press release. “The joint-degree programs provide students with these collaborative learning opportunities.”

Doctors face legal risks in trying new technologies or treatments, and attorneys are focused on compensation for people who are injured when medicine fails to meet established standards of practice. At the same time, law and health care are intertwined in numerous issues, from food safety and family planning to workplace wellness and control of infectious diseases.

Nicholas Olivencia, an attorney with Whitfield & Eddy P.L.C. who completed master’s degrees in public health and health care administration at DMU while earning his Drake law degree, said he observed sharp differences in the views of health care and law professionals. Physicians and attorneys are often “pitted against each other,” he said.

“Bringing medical and law students together will allow them to see both perspectives and expose them to issues they inevitably will deal with in their work,” Olivencia said. “The joint degree program opens both horizons. Students will learn from each other and gain a basic background of health care and law in real-life situations.”

For more information on Drake Law School’s joint degree programs with DMU, visit www.law.drake.edu/admissions or www.dmu.edu.

visionbank web 070123 300x250