Who We Are

The Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy is based in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Under the direction of the department chair, Steve Joffe, MD, MPH, the Department stands as one of the premier institutions of research and education in medical ethics and health policy in the world. The Department's distinguished faculty produce and disseminate scholarship and lead three master’s degree programs: the Master of Bioethics, the Master of Science in Medical Ethics, and the online Master of Health Care Innovation. In addition to their own projects, faculty members supervise research being carried out by undergraduates, graduate students, medical students, doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. The Department’s presence in the world of biomedical ethics education is ever-growing.

Commitment to Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ADEI)

The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy is committed to being an anti-racist environment and cultivating a positive and supportive work environment for all of our members. We deplore violence toward and discrimination against racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, and other minority groups, support Black Lives Matter, and believe that as individuals and as a department, we must devote ourselves to actively combatting racism and injustice through our conduct and our work. We view each other as whole people, understanding that work is an important part of each of our identities, but not our whole identity.

Below are the core values that guide our work and department culture. We value:

  • Diversity among and inclusion of members of our department with regard to observable and unobservable characteristics
  • Curiosity about the world and an openness to views that may differ from our own
  • Conducting rigorous scientific and conceptual research that will improve the health and wellbeing of all people, but especially those with the fewest resources who have faced the greatest injustices
  • Listening to each other, treating one another with respect, and encouraging debate and the respectful expression of different viewpoints
  • Mentoring, developing, and supporting people to learn, grow, and challenge themselves
  • Advocating for structural changes in the institutions in which we work and those that have the power to improve health and wellbeing
  • Engaging in and partnering with communities at the local, state, national, and international level to achieve their health goals
  • Educating students, the public, and each other in ways that engage diverse perspectives

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