ATLANTA – On February 20, 2012, Professor Jonathan Todres hosted a “Coffee and Conversation” program with Professor Nathan Cortez from SMU Dedman School of Law, who was visiting the College of Law to present a paper to the law faculty. Cortez is one of the leading legal scholars on patient mobility and cross-border health care.
The program was set up as unscripted conversation with Cortez, a small group of students, and College of Law Professors Todres and Yaniv Heled. “The goal of this format was to give students an opportunity to chat informally with leading experts in health law, rather than limiting their interaction with visiting scholars to sitting in the back of a lecture hall and waiting for Q&A time,” explained Todres. “I wanted to give students the chance to see how experts in the field think about, and develop responses to, the major issues of our time.”
Cortez agreed: “The format was innovative. We had an intimate, high-level discussion, which just isn't possible with a large audience.”
The group discussed a broad range of issues, including the challenges associated with ensuring marginalized populations have access to health care and the interplay between public and private health care initiatives. John Harper, 3L, concurred: “I really liked that that the conversation was able to naturally lead into a variety of interesting areas with each participant able to share insights from their own experiences. I also enjoyed seeing a variety of people trying to think around the gray lines and address difficult issues.”
Cortez had high praise for the students, as well: “They asked some pretty sophisticated questions. It was a discussion among equals.”
After the program, Todres reflected, “I hope to develop this idea into a robust series and give students more opportunities to get to know some of the leading experts in health law and related disciplines.”
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