A Medical Student’s Perspective on Working with Law Students

Posted On December 1, 2009
Categories CLHS, HeLP

This year HeLP legal offices began serving as sites for a new elective rotation for fourth-year medical students from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

The partnership welcomed fourth-year medical student Omari Hodge in February for a four-week rotation as part of the new elective, “Law and Medicine: The Health Law Partnership, Medical-Legal Partnerships and Interdisciplinary Learning to Assist Under-served Families.” Mr. Hodge spent his time working with HeLP’s low-income clients at HeLP’s hospital-based offices and at the Clinic on the law school campus. He worked with law students enrolled in the Clinic and in Professor Caley’s legislative advocacy course.

“Working with HeLP showed me that the health care team goes way beyond the four walls of a hospital,” says Hodge. “I learned to use tools that you can’t find in any medical bag. I believe that integrating law and medicine will help bring about positive changes to our health care system.”

Dr. David Levine, Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine developed the elective collaboratively with Professors Lisa Bliss and Sylvia Caley at the HeLP Legal Services Clinic.

The new alliance will allow fourth-year medical students to interact with second- and third-year law students on joint coursework. The medical students contribute valuable medical information to law students, while at the same time learning about the legal issues that can affect patient care.

“The law students has learned so much by having Omari at the Clinic. They worked together with Omari to help prepare a child’s SSI case for hearing later in the semester,” said Professor Bliss. “This interdisciplinary teamwork benefits the students as well as the Clinic clients.”