Health and Medicine Law and Politics

Accomplished graduate student earns dual JD, MD degrees

Jordan Brooks will start his career working at Boston Consulting Group, where he will focus on health care and life science and social impact management consulting.
Jordan Brooks
Jordan Brooks

Growing up, Jordan Adonis Brooks, a 32-year-old from rural Mount Vernon, Ohio, witnessed firsthand the adverse impact the lack of health care access can cause and vowed to join the fight to fix. 

In May, Brooks will graduate with a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and an M.D. from the Miller School of Medicine. 

“Rural towns have a lot of health disparities compared to cities,” he said. “And being Black can worsen those disparities. Watching my parents, who had chronic diseases, struggle to get the appropriate specialist care they needed for their conditions was very difficult. 

“They had to drive an hour-and-a-half for care and many times to visit medical specialists who often did not have the means of curing their health issues. Watching their struggles and the struggles of many families, while working at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, definitely made me want to really understand how to improve the health care system for families like our own.” 

Even in high school, Brooks thought a lot about positively influencing the world. He went to nearby Kenyon College to be close to home and his family after his mother passed and to prepare himself for law school. He earned a degree in neuroscience, an interest that, in part, grew from her multiple sclerosis diagnosis. 

“I had never really understood what the nervous system was,” he said, “and I was blown away when I learned of the incredible things that it does. That's what made me want to go to med school. Then I did a Master of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and then I wanted to do both.” 

Brooks said that learning about all the social determinants of health outcomes and how businesses significantly influence how health care is delivered has steered his educational path. 

“Ultimately, health care delivery is largely dictated by laws that regulate health care entities and public health by policies that aren’t traditionally associated with health care, like access to food, housing, and transportation,” Brooks said. “So, understanding public health and health law has revolutionized my understanding of medicine and paved the way for me to serve as a bridge between health care providers, attorneys, and administration in the health management and policy space.” 

Brooks hopes to use this understanding to help the most marginalized populations attain health equity at the national and international level. Upon graduating, Brooks will start his career working at Boston Consulting Group, where he will focus on health care and life science and social impact management consulting. 

At the School of Law, Brooks wrote a paper on the harmonization of regulation of and integration of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine with associate professor Gabriel Scheffler, previously a staff economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers working on health care and labor market policy. 

Brooks was a Steven Chaykin Fellow for the Health Equity Project at the Center for Ethics and Public Service, where he helped to embed health equity into their affordable housing initiatives. He was also a fellow at the Human Rights Clinic, where he played a leading role in the clinic's work on maternal and infant health, developing an in-depth report with the Florida Health Justice Project, engaging in U.N. advocacy, and facilitating a film screening and multidisciplinary panel discussion on movements in Black midwifery. 

This spring, Brooks also worked with his Human Rights Clinic colleagues planning a town hall for Miami-Dade County for the U.N. Permanent Forum on People of African Descent.