Skip to main content
Dr. Grant Parrelli shares his experience as a visiting student.

A Physician’s Road Back Home

Dr. Grant Parrelli

One of a medical student's most critical decisions is figuring out their passion and specialty.   When class of 2026 resident Dr. Grant Parrelli started medical school, he initially thought he would specialize in pediatrics. But after about three shifts into his visiting student clerkship rotation at the IU School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine in 2022, he knew emergency medicine was where he belonged. 

Grant was born in Indianapolis and lived here for 12 years as a child before his family moved to New York. He completed his undergraduate studies at Xavier University and medical degree at the University of Buffalo. Now, Grant says it feels like he’s back home in Indianapolis doing what he loves in a place he loves. But it wasn't just nostalgia that drew him to the IU School of Medicine EM residency program. The program’s legacy in molding exceptional physicians, combined with its comprehensive and inclusive training brought him back for a four-week visiting student rotation in 2022.  

The emergency medicine visiting rotation consists of 14 clinical shifts, simulation, suture lab and lectures. Students push themselves to work independently and participate in every aspect of patient care. They work directly with worldwide emergency medicine leaders in research, toxicology, ultrasound, EMS, pediatrics, administration, critical care and medical education. When Grant was rotating in 2022, every day was different and exciting. Getting to interact with so many patients was what led him to pursue emergency medicine.  

He shared, “When I did my emergency medicine rotation, I found that it had the best combination of all those things that I love about medicine. I get to treat patients of all lifestyles, and then also have a niche in one way or another.” Within the first few shifts, he knew, “This is exactly what I need to be doing.”  

What also stood out to Grant was the IU EM’s culture. "From day one, I felt like an integral part of the team," he shares. The camaraderie, the mentorship, and the emphasis on teaching fostered an environment where he felt empowered and autonomous. "This program doesn't just create doctors, ; it makes leaders, thinkers, and healers.” 

When it came time to apply to residency programs, Grant put IU at the forefront because “the most important thing about choosing where I wanted to go for residency revolved around ensuring the training I would get would be comprehensive, inclusive and turn me into the best physician possible. All these things were readily apparent at IU School of Medicine.” After waiting years for that specific moment on Match Day, he was ecstatic to see “Indiana University School of Medicine Emergency Medicine” written on his letter.

Dr. Rachel Day, the clerkship statewide director, expressed Grant immediately shined saying, "Not only did we get to see his excellent clinical skills in action, but we also got to know him and how he could contribute to the culture and future of the program. We were very excited to see his name on Match Day!"

For the next three years, Grant is training to be the best emergency medicine physician he can be at IU School of Medicine. Though only in his first year, he already loves the atmosphere and people. He is passionate about serving Indianapolis’s diverse patient population and looks forward to plugging into advocacy opportunities during his training.  

As for being back in Indianapolis, Grant said, “You’re presented with so many different things that come to your emergency room door, which is amazing. But beyond that, you have lots of things you can do outside of the hospital. There are so many great restaurants, so many fun bars or parks or anything that you can really think of.  It's got the big city resources and things to do with a smaller city feel.” 

Grant’s journey is a testament to the profound impact of what the right environment, mentorship, and opportunities can provide.  He says he can now help heal people in a community that also feels like home, thanks to the training he received as a rotating student. 

“IU has the resources, history and the means to help me. I really looking forward to becoming the best clinician that I can be.” 

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Default Author Avatar IUSM Logo

IU School of Medicine

With more than 60 academic departments and specialty divisions across nine campuses and strong clinical partnerships with Indiana’s most advanced hospitals and physician networks, Indiana University School of Medicine is continuously advancing its mission to prepare healers and transform health in Indiana and throughout the world.