Montefiore Einstein Certificate Program in Bioethics and Medical Humanities
The Montefiore-Einstein Certificate Program in Bioethics and Medical Humanities is the longest running bioethics educational program in the tri-state area. This celebrated year-long course can be taken independently to earn a Certificate, or as the key introductory course for the Masters of Science in Bioethics.
Our renowned multidisciplinary faculty collaborates with participants to offer an intellectually rich program grounded in our obligation to foster justice in the provision of care and conduct of research. Our participants are often students and professionals in healthcare, law, chaplaincy, social work, basic-science research, hospital and research administration and other related disciplines. The curriculum introduces the foundations of bioethics as a field, key principles in moral theory, methods of ethical reasoning, legal analysis and literary reading, and the skills necessary to apply bioethics in our daily practice and research.
The program runs from September to May, spanning a full two-semester academic year. Each semester begins with an intensive full-day retreat and then proceeds with weekly seminars. Our first retreat introduces bioethics dilemmas as they arise in our work and communities, as well as the key disciplinary approaches used to address them. Our second retreat, credited by many students with markedly changing the way they practice, teaches conflict mediation in the setting of bioethics.
The weekly seminars meet during the semester for three hours, on Wednesdays from 4:00pm-7:00pm, at the Cardozo Law School building (5th Avenue and 12th Street). We tackle core issues such as end-of-life decision-making, reproductive technologies, vulnerable populations, research on human subjects, organ transplantation, and access to care — each from the perspectives provided by varied disciplinary approaches. A distinguished law professor guides us through a close reading of court cases, revealing how legal principles and decisions shape clinical practice. Our expert in narrative medicine leads us through works of fiction, finding there a lens to focus on core conflicts, cultural ideas and issues of representation. We review state and national bioethics health policies with a faculty member who helped draft them. And throughout, the seminar format encourages lively discussion through rigorous analysis of texts and writing assignments closely supervised by faculty, who help students develop key skills in critical thinking and application.
Since its inception in 1995, an average of 25 participants have completed the program each year. Many of these alumni chair or serve on hospital ethics committees, conduct bioethics consultation services, sit on institutional review boards, administer nursing homes, hold positions in state health care agencies, and write and lecture on bioethical issues. Our expanding circle of alumni provide participants with strong networking resources, and opportunities to observe bioethics in its varied settings. We therefore actively encourage and select participants who are not directly involved in health care but whose work is informed by the aspirations and challenges of shaping science and medicine with humane treatment in mind.
Tia Powell, MD, is the Director of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Bioethics. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, which serves as New York State's Governor-appointed bioethics commission. Dr. Powell has provided bioethics expertise to numerous groups, including the Institute of Medicine, the New York State Cardiac Advisory Committee, the Empire State Stem Cell Ethics Committee, and the Federal Secretary's Advisory Committee for Human Research Protections (SACHRP) among others. She is nationally recognized for her expertise in disaster ethics, helping author both IOM's 2009 letter report on standards of care in disasters, and their report on personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, as well as the landmark Chest series of articles on disaster preparation, among others. She served as co-chair of the New York State Task Force on Allocating Ventilators in a Pandemic. Dr. Powell graduated from Yale Medical School, and completed her internship, psychiatric residency and Consultation-Liaison fellowship at Columbia. She founded the ethics consult service at Columbia Presbyterian in 1993. Dr. Powell is board certified in Psychiatry and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and of the New York Academy of Medicine.
Janet Dolgin is the Jack and Freda Dicker Distinguished Professor of Health Care Law at Hofstra Law School and is the co-director of the Institute for Health Law Studies at Hofstra. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from Barnard College, an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Princeton University and a J.D. from Yale University. Professor Dolgin's scholarly work combines her training in anthropology and in law. In recent years, she has focused on analyzing how shifting understandings of personhood and of community have stimulated changes in both healthcare and family life in the United States. Professor Dolgin has authored several books and dozens of articles. She lectures widely in the United States and abroad about health care law, family law, and bioethics.
Adrienne Asch, PhD, MS, is the Edward and Robin Milstein Professor of Bioethics at the University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Family and Social Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the founding director of The Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University. Her work focuses on the ethical, political, psychological, and social implications of human reproduction and the family. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters, and is the co-editor of Prenatal Testing and Disability Rights and The Double-Edged Helix: Social Implications of Genetics in a Diverse Society. She received her doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University, was a member of the board of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, the Clinton Task Force on Health Care Reform, and the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Policy Planning Group of the National Human Genome Research Institute. She is a member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, a board member of the Society of Jewish Ethics and a fellow at the Hastings Center.
Alvan Ikoku, MD, is a PhD Candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He holds a bachelor's degree in human biology from Stanford University, an M.Phil in History of Medicine from the University of Oxford, a master's degree in African Literature from London's School of Oriental and African Studies, and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ikoku won a Rhodes Scholarship upon his graduation from Stanford. His research combines his training in history, literature and medicine with a focus on the literary analysis of medical and public health writing.
The program is open to physicians, nurses, attorneys, judges, social workers, administrators, chaplains, journalists and others whose work is related to bioethics. The application deadline for the 2012-2013 year is April 16, 2011. Please find out more and download the application by clicking here.