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The Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Northwell Health emphasizes the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Clinical Ethics Task Force core knowledge and competencies in ethics consultation. This clinical fellowship is designed to prepare the fellow to achieve independence as a clinical bioethicist.

The fellowship entails supervised clinical responsibilities for ethics consults at North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Nassau University Medical Center and Zucker Hillside Hospital.

Academic work will include completion of Hofstra University’s School of Law Bioethics course or fulfilling requirements for a masters in Bioethics.

A scholarly effort is expected in the performance of a research project. Additional responsibilities include preparation for Ethics Committee meetings and for conference meetings and presentations at various departments at the mentioned institutions and at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Our clinicians, educators and researchers are dedicated to delivering the highest quality care, while continually pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

Learn more about Department of Medicine

Application process

Please submit a letter of interest, CV and two references to Ilene Rudy-Slatkin at [email protected] by March 31.

Leadership and contact details

Renee McLeod-Sordjan, DNP, PhDc, FNP-BC, AACNP-BC
Fellowship Program Director, Medical Ethics
Email: [email protected]


The fellowship curriculum fosters multiple areas of expertise, including ethics consultation, education, scholarship, and engagement in institutional service activities. Through integration in hospital, ambulatory, and long-term-care facilities, fellows develop ethics consultation skills, analyze ethical dilemmas, and become familiar with organizational, professional, disciplinary, and legal influences on clinical ethics. Fellows gain experience in ethics consultation by accompanying staff ethicists on consultations and participating in weekly case review activities.

Fellows also participate in ethics committee meetings at participating institutions, provide clinical ethics education in multidisciplinary rounds and other settings, perform inter-professional team mediations, conduct patient and family meetings, and develop skills in presenting case analyses for both hospital grand rounds and quality improvement purposes. By the time their yearlong fellowship concludes, most fellows will have participated in over 70 ethics.

Program description

This full-time one-year program ensures a strong foundation in clinical, scholarly and professional components of the bioethics profession while advancing fellows' individual interests and career goals in clinical ethics consultation. Requirements for graduation from the program include completion of ethics consultation training, an empirical or conceptual research contribution and involvement in ongoing department research initiatives. Faculty expertise and the resources of multiple healthcare organizations in Northwell Health support each fellow’s ability to contribute to the field of Bioethics and Humanities.

Components for all fellows include:

  • Advanced study of key issues in clinical ethics
  • Observing and conducting clinical ethics consultation, encompassing a minimum of 46 weeks of clinical ethics consultation service over the fellowship
  • Participating in departmental bioethics activities at affiliated institutions
  • Completing a scholarly project
  • Participating in weekly ethics overview seminar
  • Developing and presenting formal lectures
  • Submitting abstracts for presentation at conferences

Overall goals:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of key bioethics topics
  • Proficiency or expertise in clinical ethics consultation
  • Skills in critically reading and appraising bioethics literature
  • Experience in presenting and discussing core concepts in ethics
  • Experience in mentoring medical students, residents and fellows

July 1 - June 30 academic calendar:

  • Orientation to ethical healthcare literacy
  • Introduction to ethics consultation
  • Common consultation case types; ICU issues; medical-surgical issues; psychiatric issues; pediatric issues
  • Rotations at partner institutions
  • Introduction to key issues in clinical ethics:
    • Scope of practice of the bioethics consultant
    • Defining ethical issues during consultation
    • Futility, unwarranted treatments; unilateral decision-making by medical staff
    • Withholding medically provided nutrition/hydration
    • Surrogate decision-making
    • Assessing capacity
    • Institutional policies on informed consent, brain death and resuscitation
    • Palliative goals of care
    • Differentiating palliative and ethical consultation
    • Review of ASBH core competencies

Clinical ethics consultation training

  • Initiation to the practice of ethics consultation through observing and shadowing faculty
  • Participation in on-call ethics consultation services at affiliated institutions, with growing independence over one-year program

Core skills in bioethics

  • Seminars in clinical ethics through completion of Hofstra Northwell Bioethics Certificate Program

Monthly ethics committees

  • Goals: Critical literature review and related skills in leadership
  • Topics and discussion driven by fellows’ monthly case list and research interests
  • Meets monthly in Adults, Pediatrics, community hospital and affiliate safety net hospital


Mitchell Adler, MD
William Doscher, MD
Samuel Packer, MD
Donna Field, M. Div., RN
Jerome Weiner, MD
David Marcus, MD
Renee McLeod-Sordjan, DNP
Fred Smith, MD
Anne Robbins, MD


Class of 2018

Kelly Garrity, MD
Hofstra Northwell Obstetrics/Gynecology Resident
Doctor of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine (PSU COM)
Bachelor of Science-Biology, Bachelor of Arts-English, University of Maryland College Park, MD

Nicholas Mercado
Certificate in Clinical Bioethics, Hofstra University Bioethics Center
Master of Public Health, Hofstra University, School of Health Science and Human Services
Bachelor of Science-Community Health Education, SUNY Potsdam

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteers in the Division of Medical Ethics are involved in many division initiatives once approved by the Volunteer Oversight Department. They come from a wide variety of institutions and disciplines, bringing with them both formal education and life experience. In the past, volunteers have included fellows and PhD candidates in research, philosophy, ethics, palliative care and psychiatry.

For more information on volunteering in the Division of Medical Ethics, please contact us at (718) 470-5840.