Medical Ethics & Law

picture of Dr. Lauren Solberg Lauren Solberg, JD, MTS Course Director
(352) 273-5142
PO BOX 100237



The Discovery Pathway in Medical Ethics and Law is a formal track in the University of Florida College of Medicine curriculum designed to provide students with a more in-depth look at legal and ethical issues in patient care and/or research.  Through practical, active learning opportunities such as attendance at ethics committee and IRB meetings, academic conferences, participation in ethics consultation for real (not simulated) patients, among other offerings, students will learn not only how to analyze ethical issues in research and patient care but also how to develop scholarship in law and bioethics.

Track objectives:

Students will

  1. Compare theories and methodology fundamental to conducting research in bioethics and law.
  2. Develop expertise in one or more fundamental aspects of medical ethics and law (for example issues in reproductive medicine, end of life care, or care of vulnerable populations).
  3. Develop skills to research bioethics and legal issues in medicine.
  4. Apply previously acquired knowledge on identifying, analyzing, and resolving ethical issues in patient care and research.
  5. Describe the ethics consultation process, including how to request an ethics consultation, appropriate formats for ethics consultation, and how to actively participate in ethics consultation.
  6. Describe the IRB review process, including the regulations that govern the conduct of human subjects research and the presentation of a protocol to the IRB.

Track Requirements:

  • Satisfactory completion of Research and Discovery course in first year
  • Satisfactory completion of MSRP or other research project on relevant topic; research must be supervised by approved track faculty mentor
    • To satisfy this requirement, research should generate a peer-reviewed publication, a publication that undergoes a rigorous review equivalent to peer review (e.g. law review article), a poster, or other appropriate product
  • Completion of 1 online bioethics training course other than the CITI Conducting Human Subjects Research course, such as:
    • CITI Responsible Conduct of Research course;
    • CITI Ethics Committee Training course; or
    • Other, with approval of track leader
      • Note: NIH online training course in human subjects research will not count
  • 8 meetings with track mentor between Spring MS1 and Spring MS 3 (inclusive of these semesters)
  • Satisfactory completion of Advanced Issues in Medical Ethics and Law as MS3 or MS4, or another elective with track leader permission
  • Completion of any 6 activities (see activity list below)
    • Students may choose any combination of activities from the list below. Each conference, meeting, seminar, etc. counts as 1 activity, e.g. attendance at 2 ethics committee meetings counts as 2 activities. Students need not complete options 1-6 in order to meet track requirements.
    • Each activity should be followed by a debriefing with the faculty mentor.

Activity List:

  • Attend at Florida Bioethics Network (FBN) conference or other relevant conference (e.g. on bioethics, health law, etc). For more information about FBN conferences, please see
    1. We note that students will receive complimentary registration for any FBN conference they choose to attend. Additionally, the Department of Community Health and Family Medicine supports the contributions of this track to the medical education curriculum.  Pending the availability of funds, students in the track may receive funds from the department toward the cost of attendance at a conference that satisfies the track’s contact hour requirement.
  • Attend IRB or IACUC meeting
  • Attend IRB Brown Bag session
  • Attend ethics committee meeting
  • Participate in ethics consultation
    • Participate in other activities as approved by student’s track faculty mentor
      Examples of other activities may include department or college grand rounds, journal clubs, COM Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development seminars or workshops, meetings of relevant committees or workgroups, etc.