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Division of Clinical Leadership

Tennessee Interdisciplinary Health Policy Program Overview

TDMH’s Division of Clinical Leadership participates with the University of Tennessee in an educational program for law, medical, and pharmacy students. The program was developed and implemented in 2000.
The University of Tennessee’s Deans of Law School, Medical School and Pharmacy School allow their students to rotate as a team through various state agencies and receive educational credits.
The goal is to encourage the various disciplines to learn to work together as a team to improve health care in Tennessee and to learn how health care policy is established in the state. Agencies sponsoring students include the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (lead agency), the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, and the Tennessee Department of Correction; the Health Related Boards; and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Students focus on issues such as licensure, legislative health policy-making, youth violence, malpractice, narcotics abuse, anti-trust activities, civil rights, TennCare fraud investigations, child custody and abuse.

Law, Medical, and Pharmacy Student Healthcare Policy Fellowship Rotation

Qualifications for the Rotation of University of Tennessee Student

Law students must be in an approved law school program and have a special interest in learning healthcare law. Medical and Pharmacy students must be in an accredited
College of Medicine or College of Pharmacy and have a special interest in the interdisciplinary team approach to improve the public arena of healthcare in Tennessee.

Goals for the Rotation include:

  • To understand the importance and effectiveness of an interdisciplinary team (PharmD, MD, Law students) approach in resolving issues in a dynamic healthcare system.
  • To acquire knowledge and skills to understand the basics of a managed care system including the formation, structure, regulation, function, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • To acquire knowledge and skills regarding the structure, daily functions and regulatory activities of various professional boards.
  • To understand the legal aspects of public healthcare from both the prosecution and defense perspectives.
  • To understand healthcare policy and regulations as they exist interdependently and collaboratively between state agencies.
  • To develop a research project utilizing the information gained for this rotation in connection with research and statistical data available in state databanks and academic education.

For more information on this program, contact D. Todd Bess, PharmD, Assistant Dean University of Tennessee Memphis Center of Health Research Services College of Pharmacy for Middle Tennessee at (615) 532-3401; Jason Carter, PharmD, Chief of Pharmacy, TDMH; or Howard L. Burley, Jr., MD, Medical Director, TDMH at (615) 532-6564.

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