Emily Wood


After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2000 with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in Bioethics I started work in the Center for Urban Bioethics at The New York Academy of Medicine in New York City . One of my first projects at the Academy required me to research and write about the existence of racial disparities in health care and provide recommendations to various health care leaders in New York on how to address such disparities. This research led to a grant proposal on what might be done to improve how racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic data on patients is collected at hospitals and health care institutions throughout New York . Other projects at the Academy included an evaluation of a palliative care education assessment tool developed by my colleagues at the Academy to improve palliative care education within New York State 's medical schools. I also researched and wrote about the research ethics issues that arose specific to conducting research on victims of the September 11 th tragedy. This research led to a book chapter, article, and federally funded grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to further address the issue with bioethicists, epidemiologists and health policy experts from all over the country. After two stimulating years at the Academy I left to begin my legal education at Vanderbilt University Law School . During my time at Vanderbilt, I have researched and written about the implications of adopting a public health perspective in our mass tort system, as well as the ethical and legal issues associated with financial conflicts of interest in academic medical centers. I will graduate this May and begin my legal career in the corporate health care division of Ropes & Gray in Boston , Massachusetts .

While at the University of Virginia I had the opportunity to be involved in a number of wonderful experiences related to my study of bioethics. I worked with the Director of Comparative Medicine at U.Va.'s Medical Center to prepare a chapter on the ethical issues involved in the care and use of laboratory animals for an NIH mandated policy manual. I was involved in organizing a national undergraduate bioethics conference held at the University in the spring of 2000. I spent a summer as a Student Scholar at the Hastings Center in Garrison , New York and as an intern in the Division of Bioethics at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx . I also spent a summer studying comparative health care policy at Oxford University in Oxford , England .

My minor in bioethics has proven invaluable to all of the above experiences and in my legal education. I can't say enough good things about the bioethics program, both in terms of its exceptional and approachable faculty and the fascinating course of study it has to offer. My minor provided me with a solid analytic foundation and the necessary tools to better analyze and contribute to the increasingly diverse and challenging issues facing our health care system and society today.