Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

The Medical Student Certificate in Biomedical Ethics is comprised of three components that build upon the core curricular offerings in ethics provided in Foundations of Medical Knowledge and Foundations of Clinical Care.

  1. Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar, Ethics in Healthcare (IDIS 7222)*. 
  2. Research Immersion  is focused on the student’s special research interests within ethics. Projects may combine empirical and conceptual work with mentorship provided by designated mentors within the Ethics, Education, Policy and Society area of the Medical Student Research Immersion at VSOM. Students can expect to gain a degree of mastery in the research methods of ethics, and gain competence in addressing the ethical issues of medical research and practice, including health policy questions. The Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar described below will be part of this Research Immersion experience. The ideal time for the Research Immersion is during a 3-6 month period that includes August-November of the third year of medical school.
  3. Apprenticeship with the Clinical Ethics Consult Service, which is offered as an Advanced Clinical Elective (ACE) Course.  The Ethics Consult Service of the Center for Biomedical Ethics & Society provides formal consults to Vanderbilt University Medical Center hospitals, and conducts a wide range of educational programs in ethics for faculty, staff, fellows, residents, students, and others. This service is directed by Joe Fanning.

The graduate seminar, the Research Immersion experience and the consult apprenticeship can be taken separately, but completion of the Certificate in Biomedical Ethics requires successful completion of all three components.

*Ethics in Healthcare ( IDIS 7222) This seminar examines contemporary healthcare ethics in the U.S. and the disciplinary perspectives that inform this field. Attention is given to the political and cultural forces that have shaped the chief ethical problems in healthcare and to the philosophical, religious and social scientific tools used to address them. A major learning objective of the seminar is to gain facility with the tools of ethical analysis, and to assess their practical uses and limits. This seminar serves as a gateway for additional work in the field.  Fall, term, 3 credit hours; Wednesdays 5:00-7:00 pm; Instructors: Keith G. Meador and Joe Fanning.