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.

Among the most appealing aspects of the Fort Wayne campus is free student parking. That’s right; medical students park in any lot or garage here—for free, anytime. This campus also hosts the Student Research Fellowship Program, which 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.

Terre Haute

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MD Education

Physician workforce studies both nationally and in Indiana show that an increasing number of physicians is required in the next 20-30 years to care for the growing population in the United States, especially in rural areas. IU School of Medicine offers a rural health track at the Terre Haute campus. This unique four-year medical school program emphasizes primary care and other specialties of need in rural communities. The curriculum is constructed to maximize the exposure of medical students to clinical experiences very early in the training process. Additionally, all basic science courses in the first two years of this medical school program have a clinical correlation and, where possible, a rural emphasis.

Centered on the needs of rural healthcare delivery, medical students at the Terre Haute campus benefit from the new IU School of Medicine statewide MD curriculum and experience hands-on learning in the state-of-the-art Rural Health Innovation Collaborative Simulation Center located at Union Hospital. In addition, students enjoy patient care experience throughout a statewide network of clinical sites and clerkship opportunities during the third- and fourth-year of training through affiliations with local physicians, ambulatory care facilities, and teaching hospitals.

Program Goals

The Rural Medical Education Program integrates basic and clinical sciences with a focus on rural medicine. This unique focus for the MD program seeks to:

  • Promote appreciation, understanding and respect for the rural practitioner and the rural patient
  • Equip medical students with skills and experiences unique to rural medicine
  • Provide longitudinal exposure and experiences with health care delivery in a rural setting
  • Prepare graduates who are both well-prepared for interactions with rural doctors and a competitive advantage for future GME training in the practice of rural medicine
  • Increase the number of IUSM graduates who elect to enter medical practice in a rural setting

Students at IU School of Medicine-Terre Haute benefit from seven hospital affiliation partnerships in the area. Students gain additional clinical support by studying with volunteer faculty physicians at these teaching clinical facilities.

Curriculum Highlights of Rural Medicine Track

In rural settings, physicians tend to see and treat a broader range of medical conditions than their urban counterparts. Educating physicians to practice effectively in rural settings requires an emphasis on clinical topics and skills specific to this work environment. The rural medicine track is designed to prepare students to develop competency and independence in performing basic clinical procedures early in their training. For example, starting from the first day of the first semester, in the Introduction to Medicine I course, students learn how to obtain a medical history and perform the physical examination. In this course, students practice these hands-on skills in a community setting by working weekly with a rural physician preceptor and participating monthly in a free health clinic.

Early immersion in rural health care leads to a deeper understanding of the meaningful long-term relationships that rural patients, physicians and communities develop over time. From the first semester of medical school, students in the rural medicine track have the opportunity to participate in a preceptorship program with rural physicians, develop long-term professional relationships with rural patients, gain insight to the social and cultural aspects of rural health care. Medical students on the rural track are assigned to a rural physician whom they accompany weekly in rural practice at the office, the clinic, the nursing home or other facility. This involvement in a rural medical practice is extended into a longer clerkship during the clinical years and is reinforced by an early appreciation of the rural patients’ point of view.

Rural healthcare providers must understand the impact of rural living on the long-term health management. Students establish a professional relationship with assigned longitudinal patients from a rural community and participate during medical decision-making sessions with the patient and her/his caregivers. The longitudinal patient-centered curriculum supports early development of relationship-building skills, provides hands-on practice for clinical skills, and actively exposes students to the management of common medical problems.

The rural medicine track is designed to integrate medical students’ developing basic science and clinical literacy with a desire to serve rural patients. Beginning in the first year, clinical content is integrated with the basic science courses using clinical correlations, medical simulation, real patient examination, and practice on standardized patients. For example, as students dissect and study the thoracic region in anatomy, they also learn how to perform a chest examination in Introduction to Medicine I. As they study the cardiovascular physiology, they also solve clinical cases on the Human Patient Simulator. Throughout the curriculum, the clinical correlations with the basic sciences emphasize rural medicine. For example, injuries and illnesses most common in rural environments are illustrated and discussed in all courses to demonstrate the multiple connections between the basic and clinical sciences. This continuous integration allows medical students to develop a comprehensive understanding of rural illnesses and their treatment.