Educating the Next Generation of Health Leaders: Medical-Legal Partnership and Interprofessional Graduate Education

41 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2013 Last revised: 1 Oct 2015

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Today, universities are challenged with preparing students to work in a new, complex, and rapidly evolving environment. Students will face challenges in the workforce that are multifaceted and, as such, require the type of creative and effective problem solving that is only achievable in an interdisciplinary response. The interdisciplinary experience provides an understanding of other disciplines’ knowledge bases and when to seek assistance from each. Without this interdisciplinary foundation, students will be unprepared to interact with other professionals, and confusion, delays and poor outcomes will result. This is especially true in the fields of law, medicine, public health and social work. The medical-legal partnership model presents an unparalleled model of interaction between multiple disciplines with the goal of improving social conditions that affect health outcomes for low-income people. This article describes how to adapt MLP best practices to the graduate school setting. Through the story of the Health Justice Project, the article shares practical insights into the process of creating a medical-legal partnership clinic that enrolls students of law, medicine, social work and public health. In addition, this article provides an overview of the key components for a successful medical-legal partnership in which the legal partner is a law school clinic or practicum course.

Keywords: medical legal partnership, clinic, interprofessional, interdisciplinary, health law, public interest, poverty, low-income, social determinants of health

Suggested Citation

Benfer, Emily, Educating the Next Generation of Health Leaders: Medical-Legal Partnership and Interprofessional Graduate Education (2013). Journal of Legal Medicine, 2014; Loyola University Chicago School of Law Research Paper No. 2013-019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2341803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2341803

Emily Benfer (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10009

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