Getting a Job and Getting Into Med School with a Bioethics Degree

Scott Korotkin, a 2014 graduate of the Bioethics master’s program at Columbia, spoke with us about the benefits of the program as a first-year medical student at the Tulane University School of Medicine.

How did the bioethics program help with medical school?

I was applying to med school during the program. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in the first time around, but the master’s helped me get the job I wanted in the interim and played a crucial role during my medical school interviews. I was accepted to every medical school that offered me an interview. Being able to articulately discuss ethical issues in medicine really helped me during the process.

What opportunities did the program help you find outside the classroom?

Medical schools want applicants to have experience shadowing different physicians and specialties, especially if you are a non-traditional applicant (not applying straight out of undergrad). One of my classmates was a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Columbia-Presbyterian. She was more than happy to help me get through their compliance and shadow her at the hospital on multiple occasions. It was a great experience.

Another one of my favorite aspects of the program was being able to sit in on monthly ethics panels at Columbia-Presbyterian. At the meetings, physicians and members of the ethics board talk about actual cases that were ethically complicated, where hospital policy and procedure broke down, in order to improve policy. It was helpful to see issues that were discussed in class played out in real life.