Home Forums Law School International Joint/Dual MD & JD Degrees

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    There are two of the most difficult advanced degrees – Doctorate of Medicine (MD) and Juris Doctor (JD). Some American universities offer joint MD/JD programs to reduce the amount of time needed to get both degrees from seven years to six.
    Despite of the fact that law and medicine often intersect in the real world, this joint degree programs focus on two very different curricula. Such applicants are required to submit an admission application and supporting documents to both the School of Law and the School of Medicine in the same annual admissions cycle. If accepted into both programs, this students are eligible for the dual degree program.
    Universities offering such programs require to complete the first two years of Med School, attend Law School for two years, and the return to complete the final two years of Med School.
    My questions are: Is it useful for a lawyer (area of interest – Health Law, Medical Malpractice) to obtain Medical degree? Is it better to apply to Joint Degree or to obtain this two degrees separately? If a person has a Law degree (at first) is it rational to obtain a Medical degree (at second)? There are different points of view. For example, Dr. Edward S. Hume, MD/JD thinks that “It is a waste of time” (pshrink.com).
    In my case I need to make a decision! I am an international applicant. I’m from Moscow, Russia and I have a first law degree (I graduated from Moscow Law School summa cum laude). I decided to continue my education in the United States. So I live in Los Angeles, CA now. It is a big deal for me to decide what program to choose. My area of interest in law is Health Law as I stated before. And I consider that I can combine this two degrees (in case of my graduation of both of them). Do you think this programs intended to native speakers only or foreigners can try it also? I mean the fact that English is my second language. And I am sure about the Law terminology but not Medicine (other side of the question: I have some time and I’m a quick learner).
    Do you feel the both degrees idea is a reasonable one, and what can you recommend as the best course for me to take?

    Dream Big. Do good. Be True.


    Seems wasteful. There is a health crisis due to the doctor shortage so don’t go if you aren’t giong to treat patients afterward. Forwhat you want to do it would seem easier to hire an expert witness. They would have the degree and a ton of experience to make them more effective.


    Don’t get the degree to get it. Get it because you will use it in your career. Otherwise, you’re giving too much money to the higher ed industry.


    Who wants to be a doctor when they get low pay and are constantly under threat of malpractice?


    The MD is already less attractive. Obamacare will kill what was already broken.


    I don’t think med school is attractive either. If you want to do malpractice, just hire an expert witness. You will need to anyway since you want someone with the very specific expertise being tried in court.

    Gil Cortez

    Too much time and money. Just stick with the JD.

    Almonzer Hajou

    Joint degrees are mostly a way for the universities to make money.

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