By Anikka Hoidal for BiolawToday.org.
Being a fellow is the most rewarding experience of my law school career. This year I had the opportunity to work on a number of research projects under the guidance of Dr. Francis and Professor Brown.
Among my favorite experiences this year was joining Dr. Francis and Professor Brown at the Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities (the “DMEH”). The DMEH is a multidisciplinary team whose mission is “to prepare physicians to provide respectful, humane patient care, to address current ethical problems in health care through research and discussion and to engage with providers, patients, and families to resolve their ethical conflicts . . . us[ing] relevant medicine, law, moral reasoning, literature, drama, and art to inform physicians about ethical issues and prepare them to empathize and communicate compassionately.” I attended the monthly meetings and became acquainted with the members of the DMEH. They were even kind enough to entrust me with a research project examining and evaluating different hospitals’ approaches to utilizing clinical ethics consultations.
While I could list all of the research projects I worked on, and honestly call them one of my favorites, for the purposes of this post I will mention just one more—December’s symposium: Frontiers in Precision Medicine—Exploring Science and Policy Boundaries. I was fortunate enough to sign up to work the check-in table, where I met and chatted with bioethics experts, medical professionals, former Biolaw fellows, and health law attorneys. I also was a notetaker for the panel discussing consent issues, and later transformed those notes into a section of the event’s formal proceedings. Listening to and writing about issues with informed consent fit perfectly into the ethical theme of my fellowship.
I look forward to continuing to work with the DMEH and to another year collaborating with the fabulous Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences’ professors and the other fellows.
Anikka is currently a second year law student at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and is a member of the Utah Law Review. Anikka graduated from the University of Southern California in 2008 with a B.A. in Psychology. She also holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Utah. Anikka’s legal interests include health law and policy. Anikka enjoys riding horses, running, and spending time with family and friends.