The Medical Sciences Program in Bloomington is unique among the IU School of Medicine campuses in that it educates medical students seeking an MD as well as graduate and undergraduate students. Bloomington offers a Big 10 learning environment on an iconic campus.

With six major hospitals housing about 2000 beds, medical students in Evansville have access to physician educators in a range of medical specialties. An expanded residency program here will provide more than 100 new graduate medical education positions over the next few years.

The Fort Wayne campus offers clinical education in both rural and urban communities through two large hospital systems serving the region. A Student Research Fellowship Program offers med students nine weeks of summer research experience.

Students and faculty in Indianapolis benefit from close proximity to some of Indiana’s largest teaching hospitals and the Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center. This campus offers medical education in the heart of one of the most progressive and economically healthy cities in the United States.

Muncie is the School’s only campus that’s located on hospital property, giving medical students a front-row four-year medical education with all the amenities that come with being located near the campus of Ball State University, a bustling college environment.

Located in a highly populated urban region just 25 miles from downtown Chicago, the Gary campus offers medical students unparalleled access to clinical care at 11 major teaching hospitals housing 2800 beds. An expanded residency program in Gary will accommodate more than 100 new graduate medical education positions.

IU School of Medicine-South Bend is located on the campus of Notre Dame, offering a rich campus life in a traditionally collegiate community. Students here gain clinical care experience at the Navari Student Outreach Clinic, and external funding for faculty research exceeds $2 million per year.

Known for its rural medical education program, IU School of Medicine-Terre Haute meets the increased need for physicians to serve rural communities throughout the state of Indiana and beyond. This unique four-year medical school program emphasizes primary care and other specialties of need in rural communities.

Located on the campus of Purdue University, the West Lafayette campus offers a Big Ten campus atmosphere and opportunities to supplement the MD curriculum with research experience in the collaborative labs and research centers here. This IU School of Medicine campus offers on-campus housing to med students.


Founding and Early History

School History

When the Indiana University Board of Trustees approved the creation of a new medical department in 1903, it marked the beginning of what is now the IU School of Medicine. Five years later, the state’s medical and political establishments – divided by competing loyalties to IU and Purdue University – reached an agreement that consolidated the two universities’ programs into one IU School of Medicine with a four-year program in Indianapolis and the first two years of medical school offered in Bloomington.

What would become known as the Indiana University Medical Center began to take shape on the west side of the city with the 1914 completion of the first teaching hospital, named after the Indianapolis physician, Robert W. Long, whose gift made it possible. Students and faculty left an older downtown building for the new Emerson Hall in 1919. The state’s first hospital devoted to obstetrics and gynecology, Coleman Hospital for Women, opened in 1927, and additional clinical, classroom and research facilities would be built and expanded in the coming decades.

The facility was built with more public support, however, than Riley Hospital for Children, which opened in 1924. Friends of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley had created what today is the Riley Children’s Foundation and reached an agreement with IU School of Medicine to build a children’s hospital in his memory. More than 44,000 Indiana residents contributed to the ensuing fundraising campaign.

Foundational Changes for Future Growth

The late 1980s and 1990s brought significant change to the campus: new federal funding for centers for alcohol, Alzheimer’s, aging and cancer, and a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. Also added were a new modern home for the Ruth Lilly Medical Library and creation of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research to conduct world-class research into childhood diseases.

In 1977, Clarian Health integrated operations of Riley and Indiana University hospitals along with Methodist Hospital, formerly one of the nation’s largest private hospitals. Clarian was renamed IU Health in 2011.

The IU School of Medicine faculty physicians continue to provide management and patient care at Eskenazi Health, Roudebush Veterans Administration Medical Center and Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana.

In 2000, the Lilly Endowment gave Indiana University $105 million to create the Indiana Genomics Initiative, which helped dramatically expand the human and technical infrastructure needed to conduct biomedical research driven by the newly deciphered human genome. A supplementary $50 million followed in 2003, then $60 million to recruit physician scientists, expand the Indiana Biobank and support translational research. In 2012, IU School of Medicine and IU Health collaborated on a $150 million strategic research initiative in cancer, neurosciences and cardiovascular disease.

At the same time there was an explosion of activity transforming and expanding the campus — tripling of external research awards, expansion of the medical student classes by 30 percent, and the addition of five new research buildings, including a neuroscience center unlike any other, bringing together clinicians and scientists from many departments to collaborate in ways not possible before.

Nine Campuses, One School

For years, IU School of Medicine was the only school educating physicians in the state. Amid growing political pressure to establish at least one additional school of medicine in Indiana, university and state leaders in 1971 established a system of eight regional medical school campuses at host schools in Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, West Lafayette, Muncie, Gary, South Bend and Terre Haute.

These campuses initially offered the first two years of medical education, after which students would gather in Indianapolis for their final two years of clinical training. With the decision to expand the medical student body to meet the projected needs for physicians in the coming years, all the campuses now offer third and fourth-year clinical work.

The historical development of the nine-campus system, along with the expansion of enrollment, has resulted in IU School of Medicine becoming the largest accredited school of medicine in the nation, with the goal of ensuring that all students have an identical academic experience across all regional campuses.

Notable Discoveries

2008: Pediatrician D. Wade Clapp and colleagues report the first effective treatment for the nerve tumors that affect patients with neurofibromatosis type 1, the most common neurological disorder caused by a single gene mutation.

2003: A compound discovered by Roger Roeske of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plenaxis, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of prostate cancer.

1983: Michael Conneally of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and collaborators at the Harvard Business School use DNA technologies to locate the genetic marker for Huntington Disease).

1979: Cardiologist Douglas Zipes, in collaboration with Medtronic Inc., invents the automatic cardioverter, a device that corrects heart arrhythmia.

1974: Oncologist Lawrence Einhorn begins treating testicular cancer patients with cisplatin, transforming a nearly always fatal disease into one survived by 95 percent of patients.

1963: Cardiologist Harvey Feigenbaum pioneers the development of the echocardiograph, a device that detects heart disease with sound waves.

1954: Harris B. Shumacker, chairman of the Department of Surgery, performs the first open-heart surgery in Indianapolis using a heart-lung bypass machine.

1936: Rolla N. Harger, chairman of the department of biochemistry and pharmacology, patents the Drunkometer, the first practical breath test to measure whether people were drunk. His collaborator, Indiana State Police Capt. Robert F. Borkenstein, would go on to invent the Breathalyzer and become chair of what is now the Department of Criminal Justice at IU.

1909: Willis D. Gatch, future dean of the IU School of Medicine, invents the Gatch adjustable hospital bed; with the aid of a crank the patient’s head and feet could be raised or lowered.