Health Policy and Law

Program Overview

The master’s degree in Health Policy and Law was developed in response to the increasing need to equip professionals from the healthcare and legal disciplines with a more complete understanding of the best scientific, ethical, regulatory, and management practices. As medical decisions grow more complicated and far-reaching, the intersection of legal and medical/healthcare practices will be one of the most critical focal points of society for decades to come.

The Master’s Degree in Health Policy and Law was developed in response to the increasing need to equip professionals from the healthcare and legal disciplines with a more complete understanding of the best scientific, ethical, regulatory, and management practices. As medical decisions grow more complicated and far-reaching, the intersection of legal and medical/healthcare practices will be one of the most critical focal points of society for decades to come. Managed care, advances in medical treatment and biotechnology, issues of access, and bioethics all absorb the attention of our regulatory, legislative, and judicial systems. Healthcare and legal professionals will need to have the specialized skills and training to be effective and influential in this complex environment.

Led by select faculty from the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, and California Western School of Law, the rigorous and timely graduate-level curriculum is designed to orient professionals to the common activities, philosophy of practice, and challenges of the companion discipline in healthcare or law. The program focuses on acculturating practitioners in both fields to become leaders in providing integrated, sensitive solutions to every-day practice and policy issues.

The degree consists of 45 quarter units (30 semester units) of study, and classes are offered fall, winter and spring quarters at UC San Diego, and fall, spring, and summer trimesters at California Western School of Law. Students have 15 units of general electives in the program to create their own personal study path. We offer a variety of pathway options including global health, ethics in health, and political advocacy. Along with the MAS degree program, we also offer a Global Health Policy Certificate. Students in the program may choose to have some of their work published.

Coursework can be completed in one and a half, two or three years, depending upon a participant’s time to devote to the program. Students may enter the program in the fall (September).

 
Objectives and Competencies

Graduates should be capable of:

  • Accurately and fairly reflecting the views, concerns, and practices of both the medical and the legal profession with regard to timely issues associated with healthcare
  • Explaining the U.S. healthcare system and comparing it with systems in other countries, illustrating how each/any model gives rise to certain legal and/or governance issues in healthcare
  • Thoughtfully exploring issues at the frontiers of the intersection of health and the law, including the impact of technological innovations
  • Developing policy solutions that are mutually compatible to the fields of medicine and law

They obtain their capability by developing competencies in:

  • The foundational principles and thought processes of legal and medical practice (respectively)
  • Frameworks for applying policy to health systems globally 
  • Bioethical reasoning
  • Policy research and development

Mackey_TimothyWB“The policy and legal environment for health is constantly changing; creating demand for multidisciplinary practitioners with expertise in policy research, legal medicine, regulatory systems, health technology, and bioethics. The Joint Master’s Program at UC San Diego School of Medicine – California Western School of Law in Health Policy and Law offers the unique opportunity to develop critical skills in this multidisciplinary, cross-cutting field. It also provides students with professional development opportunities for possible future careers in industry, the public sector and academia, with opportunities to engage in meaningful policy research and advocacy. These skills will be crucial in the continued evolution of domestic and global health, and this MAS program positions students to be leaders in the field.”

Timothy Mackey, PhD, MAS
Program Associate Director, MAS in Health Policy and Law
Assistant Professor, UC San Diego, Dept. of Anesthesiology
Director, Global Health Policy Institute

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