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The path that Lamine Reese C’97, GGS’01, L’01 took illustrates an intersection of ambition with opportunity. Reese graduated a semester early from the College of Arts & Sciences at Penn with a degree in medical anthropology, a field that looks at how diseases, infectious and degenerative, affect population. In the course of his work at a subsidiary company of Cigna Healthcare, Reese came across a website and learned about the emergence of master’s degree programs in bioethics. This captured his attention.
I always say that the degree was a good fit for me because, in the end, most of the questions discussed in bioethics are eventually determined in a courtroom.
“I was most concerned about the unequal distribution of health care and the way that affected population health dynamics,” Reese says. “In some respects this is an ethical question of how we will distribute our limited resources to meet our national health care needs…I always say that the degree was a good fit for me because, in the end, most of the questions discussed in bioethics are eventually determined in a courtroom.”
Reese took courses at the Law School, Wharton, and through the Center for Bioethics where electives in one school often counted as required credits in the other. Two law courses that were credited to the M.B. degree were “Publicly Financed Health Care Law” and “Topics in Health Care Law.”
“I think it was a great experience that gave me better perspective on my law school experience as a whole,” Reese observes. He plans to return to the field of health policy in a few years after gaining experience in litigation at Venable Baetjer Howard & Civiletti in Washington, DC.
Recent graduate Beth Roxland L’01, M.B. ’01 recalls that she chose to come to Penn Law because there was the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in bioethics at Penn, whereas the few other schools she considered that offered the concentration had Ph.D. degree programs only. She pursued both J.D./M.B. degrees in her second and third years of law school.
“I wrote an extra-long comment on stem cell research (“Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research”) so that it could be counted toward my master’s thesis as well. I took as many courses as I could in the Law School that would count toward my masters, such as “Bioethics and the Law” and “Biotechnology and the Law.”
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