Foundation Funds New Internship Program to Integrate Academic Training
and Practical Ethics
5, 1999 -- Through a new internship program in practical
ethics, students at the University of Virginia will have the opportunity
to observe first-hand how ethical issues are addressed in such fields
as law, medicine, business and government.
possible by a $500,000 gift from the Richard D. Donchian Foundation
of Greenwich, Conn., the internships will allow students studying
ethics in various schools and departments to see how ethical principles
can be applied in real-world situations.
experience provides an important basis for education in ethics,
especially when combined with critical reflection," said James F.
Childress, the Kyle Professor of Religious Studies at the University
and a leading authority on biomedical ethics. "The Donchian Foundation
Internships will integrate academic training and practical experience
in a way that allows each to illuminate the other."
Donchian Foundation Internships were proposed by the University's
Working Group in Ethics. A coalition of faculty who teach and conduct
research in practical ethics in a wide range of disciplines, the
group includes prominent ethicists in the School of Medicine, the
Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, the Department
of Religious Studies, and the Department of Philosophy, among other
schools and departments.
were very impressed by the University's interdisciplinary approach
to practical ethics and the caliber of the faculty in this field,"
said Geoffrey M. Parkinson, president of the Donchian Foundation.
"They are clearly willing to work across disciplines and are dedicated
to sharing ideas with their colleagues. Under their leadership,
the internship program will establish a benchmark in the study of
practical ethics, and we hope it will be replicated at other institutions."
said the Donchian Foundation Internships will be modeled on a pilot
program in clinical ethics conducted this past fall.
10 students awarded internships in the program spent a half day
each week in the University's Health Sciences Center to observe
how ethical dilemmas arise and are dealt with in clinical settings.
by faculty mentors at each placement site, the interns worked in
such areas as newborn intensive care, AIDS services, rural health
care, genetics, oncology, organ transplantation and adolescent medicine.
In conjunction with their fieldwork, the students attended twice-weekly
seminars on clinical bioethics and presented case studies and research
projects based on their experiences.
seminar complemented the internships very effectively," said Childress.
"Through peer-to-peer learning, each student gained from the experiences
L. Kalletta, a pre-medical student from Springfield, was assigned
to the University's AIDS clinic. Each week she watched the clinic's
physicians and staff deal with such sensitive matters as partner
notification, the protection of patients' privacy rights, and the
threat of AIDS to unborn children.
was an amazing experience. I would recommend it to anyone going
into medicine, public health or health policy," said Kalletta. "It
will help me as a doctor to think about issues that I might not
be exposed to in medical school."
Haywood Jr., a fourth-year student from Roanoke, was equally enthusiastic
about his internship. Assigned to the chaplaincy services and pastoral
education program in the University Hospital, he accompanied chaplains
and chaplaincy residents in their consultations on such issues as
the selection of organ transplant recipients, the ethics of experimental
treatments, and patients' fears about impending medical procedures.
patients are more comfortable talking about their fears with a chaplain
than with their doctor," Haywood said. "Patient communication is
an important part of the chaplain's role."
described the internship as "a great culmination" to his studies
in bioethics at the University. "I spent several years studying
bioethics from an academic perspective. It's another thing to be
on the hospital ward or to sit in on a meeting of the hospital ethics
committee," he said.
can't get that from a book."
Donchian Foundation was established with funds from the estate of
Richard D. Donchian, a pioneer in the field of managed futures who
died in 1993. Dedicated to advancing a more conservative approach
to futures trading, he developed the trend timing method of futures
investing and introduced the mutual fund concept to the field.
more information on the program, contact James Childress, professor
of religious studies, at (804) 924-6724 or 924-3741; William Sublette,
director of Development Communications, (804) 924-1057.