September 2, 2010
Written by Suzanna Cisneros Martinez
Hoes said she would like to work with Doctors Without Borders after receiving her dual degree.
Texas Tech and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) are joining a growing number of institutions that offer the opportunity to earn a J.D./M.D. degree.
The Doctor of Jurisprudence/Doctor of Medicine Dual Degree Program's goal is to create an opportunity for students who want to combine these two courses of study in an integrated program. The J.D./M.D. program is designed specifically for individuals interested in the areas of health law, healthcare policy, bioterrorism, forensics or biomedical compliance.
Marta Hoes, the first Red Raider to enter the program, said more experts in both law and medicine are needed. "In the future I would like to work with Doctors Without Borders and medical administration to come up with more educated solutions," Hoes said. "I've always been interested in policy making and medical legislature and this program helps me focus on both issues."
Earning both degrees typically requires seven years of study. This new joint program will require six years. Nationally, the TTUHSC School of Medicine and the Texas Tech School of Law are the first to offer the program at one institution.
Former School of Law Dean Walt Huffman said this degree has been the culmination of the vision and hard work of many people at both the Law School and the TTUHSC School of Medicine, particularly Director of Health Law Programs and Professor of Law Jennifer Bard and School of Medicine Dean Steven L. Berk, M.D.
"This program is important because it enhances Texas Tech's national reputation as one of the few universities to offer this prestigious joint degree, and even more important because it provides a unique joint-disciplinary education that will benefit our society," Huffman said.
Berk said the partnership is a rarity to have on one campus.
"Texas Tech is unique in having both a law school and medical school at one university system," Berk said. "Graduates of this program will have an extraordinary education which might lead to positions of leadership in fields such as health care policy, medical ethics, environmental law or biodefense."
The Texas Tech School of Law is a leader among Texas law schools with a 16-year average pass rate of 90 percent on the State Bar Exam.
A small student body, a diverse faculty and a low student-faculty ratio (15.3:1) promotes learning and encourages interaction between students and professors.