Health Care Ethics Internship

1. Internship Description

The Philosophy Department's Health Care Ethics Internship is a two to three credit academic internship as a research assistant/program assistant to the Providence Center for Faith and Healing Medical Director, Jim Shaw, M.D., at Sacred Heart Medical Center. The intern will become acquainted with the Health Care ethics education programs sponsored by Sacred Heart Medical Center, will assist in program development for monthly ethics programs offered to residents, nurses and other staff members, and provide research support to Dr. Shaw for both short term and long term projects.

2. Learning Objectives

The internship experience has several specific learning objectives:

  1. To become familiar with the kinds of ethical issues that arise in a major medical facility such as Sacred Heart Medical Center and to understand how those issues are addressed.
  2. To develop research and presentation skills in health care ethics.
  3. To observe the work of a hospital ethics committee and understand how this structure integrates with various constituencies in the organization.
  4. To reflect on the difference between abstract, theoretical discussions of health care ethics and their concrete, particular manifestations in the lives of patients, families, and professional staff.

3. Internship Job Description

The intern will be responsible for arranging two to three hours of work per week for each academic credit earned. This intern will normally report to the intern supervisor, Dr. Jim Shaw, but will also meet regularly with the academic coordinator of the internship, a member of the Philosophy Department at Gonzaga University. Specific job duties include:

  1. Responding to health care ethics research requests from Dr. Shaw on mutually agreed upon topics.
  2. Reflecting on specific ethical issues and cases.
  3. Reviewing and assisting in the preparation of educational materials for two monthly ethics education programs conducted during the course of the semester at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
  4. Carrying out miscellaneous administrative duties associated with ethics endeavors at Sacred Heart Medical Center, e.g. review of policies, preparation of position statements, etc.
  5. Attending some of the ethics committee meetings of other area hospitals.

4. Coordination and Administration

After selection by the Philosophy Department and the intern supervisor, the intern will normally enroll for one to three Philosophy Internship Credits with a member of the Philosophy Department at Gonzaga who will serve as the academic coordinator for the internship. The intern should plan to meet with the academic coordinator at least three times during the semester to review the progress of the internship. The principal supervisor of the intern will be Dr. Shaw, who will report on the progress and performance of the intern to the academic coordinator. In general, the role of the academic coordinator is to assure that the internship is providing the kind of learning experience described above. The intern supervisor shares responsibility for this and also for monitoring the actual performance of the intern's duties.

5. Other Policies

Credit for the internship depends upon fulfillment of the objectives and duties described in this document as judged by the academic coordinator of the internship. Internship Credits are elective graduate or undergraduate credits and do not satisfy any of the university. s core requirements for philosophy.

6. Applying for the Internship

To apply for the Philosophy Department Health Care Ethics Internship send a letter of interest to Dr. Rose Mary Volbrecht (, Department of Philosophy, Gonzaga University. Applications for the Fall semester should be received no later than April 1st of the previous semester. Applications for the Spring semester should be made by November 1st of the previous semester. Late applications may be considered if availability permits.