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IU School of Medicine continues emphasis on innovation in education


A student demonstrates the new point-of-care ultrasound technology, which is being incorporated into the IU School of Medicine curriculum.

Indiana University School of Medicine is continuing its emphasis on innovation in medical education to ensure it evolves to meet the future needs of students, patients and communities.

Dr. Paul Wallach

Paul Wallach, MD

Led by Executive Associate Dean Paul M. Wallach, MD, the school launched a renewed focus on innovation in the summer of 2018. More than 100 members of the school community gathered to put forward their best and boldest ideas at an inaugural Innovation Summit. Scores of other faculty, staff and learners shared their suggestions through an online Innovation Portal.

In the months since, the school has assembled a comprehensive list of innovation recommendations it will further consider and is assessing how to prioritize projects and initiatives. The recommendations fall into four primary categories:

• Better use of technology for both learning and patient care
• Improved coaching
• Greater integration of health system science into the curriculum
• Creation of a culture that promotes and inspires innovation

Read the full list of innovation recommendations

“Our vision is to create a culture where innovation is woven into the fabric of who we are,” Wallach said. “This is not a one-time exercise or something that will be solved with the addition of one or two new programs. We will continue exploring ideas, and we will continue communicating with and engaging the school community.”

Wallach has shared the recommendations with key groups, including students, regional campus deans, faculty involved with curriculum, lead advisors and residents, and has sought input prioritizing projects.

Even as the school continues gathering information, it is moving ahead with select initiatives. For example, the Scholarly Concentrations program was announced in January by Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, and will begin this summer. The program enables students to pursue interests and topics outside the formal curriculum such as aging studies; ethics equity and justice; and urban medicine and health care disparities.

The school will also begin to deploy a point-of-care ultrasound curriculum in the upcoming school year. More information about these plans will be shared in the months ahead.

Indiana University School of Medicine has a proud history of innovating in medical education. The school pioneered the use of regional campuses to deliver high quality medical education throughout the state. More recently, it was the first school in the country to implement a unique teaching electronic health record to prepare students to use EHRs when they enter residency and practice.

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.

Karen Spataro

Director of Strategic Communications

Karen Spataro served as director of the Indiana University School of Medicine Office of Strategic Communications from 2018-2020. She is now the Chief Communications Officer at Riley Children's Foundation.