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In Their Words: IU School of Medicine Northwest-Gary Scholarly Concentration Participants Share Their Experience and Community Involvement


IU School of Medicine’s Scholarly Concentrations empower students to explore an area of interest that is beneficial to personal and professional growth without adding any time to the four-year MD curriculum. Students develop powerful relationships with mentors and colleagues, exploring a concentration that highlights the school’s expertise and resources across the state.

The Urban Medicine and Health Disparities scholarly concentration provides students with an understanding of the historical and contemporary barriers that exist for the nation’s medically underserved in urban areas. MS1 students can learn more about Scholarly Concentrations and apply through October 20 here.

Second-year students share their experience:




Isaiah Sloss, MS2:“One thing I really enjoy is as medical students we have the tendency to bury ourselves in our books, and then we spend all hours of the day and night on campus. But really, there’s a whole world and community outside of campus, and in a few years, we’re literally going to be out there working on the front lines treating people. So being able to be out in the community working with POP on Youth Violence provides the opportunity for me to be involved in the community.  I think this experience will make me a better physician because it opens my eyes to the world patients live in outside of the clinic.”



Courtney Raab, MS2:“Being a part of the program has provided me mentorship and experience outside of the MD curriculum. I’ve learned how to work with marketing, and I’ve learned how to develop a program. I’ve learned a lot about budgeting and a lot of other skills that you don’t necessarily learn in the classroom. I’ve learned about the true barriers to health care because I’m encouraged to go out into the community, and I’m engaging with community members — and I think that’s something really unique about being at a regional campus.”



Chiamara Anokwute, MS2: “The scholarly concentration in Northwest-Gary allows us to learn about urban development and make an impact. The organization I’m involved with is Project Outreach and Prevention (POP) on Youth Violence a foundation created by Northwest Indiana physicians to help decrease violence in schools and between youth. It’s amazing to be able to go into the communities and see the impact doctors are making by giving their time and talents. I’m also learning the skills I need to make a difference in whatever community I end up serving in.”


Erin Perez

Erin Perez, MS2: “I chose the Urban Medicine and Health Disparities scholarly concentration because this program teaches a great deal about public health and gives students the chance to give back to local communities. This experience has really opened my eyes to the health disparities in our region and has given me a broader perspective of medicine. When I go into practice, I will be dealing with these disparities on a day-to-day basis. As medical school prepares you with the knowledge to diagnose and treat presenting illnesses, the program fills in the other gaps that will help you further understand your patients on next level–including the background patients come from, whether or not they have a car to come to/from their appointments, if they have access to proper food and nutrition, and if they have a basic understanding of what they need to be healthy.”

















POP on Youth Violence was founded by IU School of Medicine Northwest-Gary faculty Michael McGee, MD, Chief of emergency medicine at Methodist, and Reuben Rutland, MD, chief of trauma surgery at Methodist. Watch highlights from the POP 5k.