Student Opportunities for Academic Research (SOAR)


Elizabeth Kitsis, M.D., MBE
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health


The goals of the SOAR concentration in Bioethics are: 1) to allow students to focus in depth on a particular aspect of bioethics that interests them with the goal of developing a research question in that area; and 2) to provide mentored support to students as they undertake a bioethics research project.  Specific goals for each student will be created, and will be customized for the area of focus.

Students who concentrate in bioethics can choose from a variety of educational options and research areas, depending upon their interests. During the spring of MS-1, students will meet with Dr. Kitsis to identify an area of focus. Depending upon their interests, students will then be referred to bioethicists with expertise in the relevant areas. These bioethicists will serve as student mentors.

Students participating in the Bioethics concentration will have the opportunity to develop a deeper and broader understanding of the field than is provided in the standard Einstein curriculum. All students will take the required first- and second-year courses, Bioethics 1 and Bioethics 2. The summer after the first year, students will work with their mentors to begin their research projects. Students will also take the bioethics elective “Classic Cases and Current Controversies in Bioethics” offered in the fourth year.

Other educational opportunities will be customized to students’ interests. Students may choose to enroll in the Montefiore-Einstein Certificate in Bioethics Program, which meets weekly for a year on Wednesdays from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. This long-established course offers an in-depth review of a broad range of topics in bioethics, including research ethics, and incorporates narrative techniques and legal analysis. The required capstone project for the Certificate program could be adapted to meet the requirements for the capstone project for the SOAR program. Students may have the chance to take other graduate courses in the Einstein-Cardozo Master of Science in Bioethics program; these classes ordinarily require the Certificate Program as a prerequisite, but medical students may request permission of the instructor to enroll in some classes.

Areas of focus may include, but are not limited to, bioethics consultation and mediation, reproductive ethics, public health ethics, global health ethics, narrative ethics, research ethics, pharmaceutical ethics, LGBT bioethics issues, and the role of religion in medical decision-making.


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