MD Program

Program Overview

A Scholarly Concentration is an optional experience that complements the core medical school curriculum and empowers students to delve into topics such as Business of Medicine, Public Health, Quality and Innovation in Health Care and more. Students completing a Scholarly Concentration benefit from the school’s statewide network of experts and resources, receive unique mentorship opportunities, develop skills, and complete scholarly projects that are valuable for residency applications and professional development.

Concentration Benefits

Unlike traditional academic certificates and degrees, Scholarly Concentrations do not add time or costs to completing an MD degree. The work required to complete concentrations is manageable, takes advantage of electives, and is completed during the summer and less intense times in the curriculum. Concentrations are a fantastic way for Indiana University School of Medicine students to customize their education and engage in experiences that lead to multidisciplinary scholarship, research and community engagement.

Concentration Topics

IU School of Medicine offers a wide range of Scholarly Concentration topics that leverage expertise at each of its nine campuses across the state. Students located on all campuses may access most concentrations. However, at least some scholarly project work takes place on the concentration’s home campus. Individuals applying to medical school at IU School of Medicine are encouraged to preference campuses that host Scholarly Concentration topics of interest.

Map of Scholarly Concentration locations across the state

Home Campus: Fort Wayne

Advances in medical care and innovation make it possible for more individuals to live longer than ever before. However, long lifespans sometimes come with unique age-related diseases and conditions. This concentration prepares students to meet the critical public health need of understanding health care for aging and elderly populations.

Through this concentration, students will:

  • Examine diagnosis methods and management of elderly patients with single or multiple chronic conditions
  • Learn therapeutic approaches to aging patients based on changes in organ systems
  • Explore socioeconomic factors and determinants in elderly health
  • Study interprofessional management of broader issues related to elderly patients such as mental health, exercise, nutrition and more

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Bloomington and Indianapolis

This concentration prepares future physicians to apply the fundamentals of business in clinical environments. As a result, students learn how to improve medical outcomes, reduce costs and lift staff morale. Team-based consulting projects teach students to frame managerial challenges, envision new organizational solutions, evaluate tradeoffs in resources and outcomes, and implement improvements at an enterprise level.

Home Campus: West Lafayette

With numerous Hispanic and Latino patients in the United States, the need for culturally-sensitive medical care is vital. This concentration prepares students to meet this need by providing opportunities to:

  • Understand and apply culturally appropriate medical care
  • Improve Spanish-speaking fluency
  • Use Spanish in a clinical setting
  • Improve medical care for Hispanic/Latino populations

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: South Bend

Medicine has the capacity for great good or great harm. Disproportionately experienced by marginalized communities, the harm is often perpetrated by well-intended individuals and institutions. This concentration provides the basic skills for separating the morally beneficial from the morally troubling practices of medicine. Additionally, it enables future physicians to better serve and advocate for their most vulnerable patients.

Incorporating rigorous academic inquiry and experiential learning, this concentration covers a range of topics—from clinical ethics to health equity in various communities. By completing this concentration, students join a cohort of like-minded peers and mentors, with rich opportunities for discussion and inquiry through the concentration’s journal club.

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Indianapolis

Medical genetics is rapidly changing and shaping patient care. Therefore, it is imperative that clinicians understand cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment approaches. This concentration provides a deep-dive into the latest genetic developments and concepts that are transforming the practice of medicine. Students may explore clinical research (including lab diagnostics and gene therapy), clinical case reports with literature reviews, or new areas of interest.

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Indianapolis

Technology is omnipresent in health care. In this concentration, students gain an understanding of the components, concepts and relationships necessary to create, implement and use clinical information systems effectively. Through coursework and hands-on experiences, students learn to become better physicians by leveraging technology systems in increasingly complex health care systems.

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Muncie

Lifestyle choices regarding physical activity, nutrition, stress management and social support are major factors contributing to health outcomes. Changes in these behaviors can lead to better health outcomes, reduce health care costs and improve community health. Through this concentration, students learn how to help patients implement evidence-based lifestyle choices with a team of exercise physiologists, nutritionists, mental/behavioral health counselors, social workers and other health professionals.

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Indianapolis

This scholarly concentration provides foundational knowledge in public health including:

  • An understanding of the U.S. health system
  • Trends impacting public health
  • Causes of death and disability
  • Historical contributions of public health to life expectancy and quality of life
  • Key terms and concepts
  • Health system organization
  • Local and global factors that determine health at a population level
  • Evidence-based interventions and evaluations

Home Campus: Evansville

This concentration trains future clinicians to improve the quality of health care in a collaborative community setting. Students implement and assess health care solutions in the real world, leveraging Evansville’s four-hospital consortium, local health department and new simulation center. Students also collaborate with various health care professionals to complete team-based, project-oriented courses. Through completion of coursework and a scholarly project in quality improvement, students earn Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification.

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Terre Haute

This concentration offers students an opportunity to learn and engage with rural communities through public health research. The didactic coursework teaches students about community and behavior public health issues and methods, preparing students for their Scholarly Concentration research project. The coursework and project are designed to prepare medical students for engaging with unique health issues faced by rural populations.

Read a Q&A with the Scholarly Concentration co-directors to learn more.

Home Campus: Northwest-Gary

This concentration provides students with an understanding of the historical and contemporary barriers that exist for the nation’s medically underserved in urban areas. Through coursework, students will investigate authentic cross-cultural and linguistic issues in health care and be able to demonstrate how sensitivity to such issues improves health care for all. Through scholarly project work, students will act as advocates by developing interventions to address or reduce health disparities.


Students are encouraged to begin a Scholarly Concentration during Phase 1 of the curriculum. However, students may work with concentration co-directors to asses if other timelines are feasible.

Example student journey for Scholarly Concentrations if enrolled at the end of Phase 1 Year 1


Students in all concentrations must complete the same core curriculum requirements. The details of the scholarly project and product are dependent on the topic and student interests. Additionally, each topic has topic-specific experiences and coursework requirements.

Students gain firsthand experience by developing and conducting scholarly inquiry appropriate to their concentration. Completion of the project will form the basis of a scholarly concentration product.

Students develop fundamental skills in research study design, scientific inquiry and methods, data management, statistical analysis and human subjects research ethics.

A scholarly work product is required, typically a manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. Alternative scholarly products may be discussed with concentrations co-directors and mentors where appropriate.

Each concentration includes additional coursework and experiences that empower students to explore their chosen topic.


No. Scholarly Concentrations are completely optional to students.

No. There are no additional fees or tuition associated with completing a concentration.

Students may only participate in one concentration. In order to have a robust experience, students need to focus their efforts and interests in one concentration.

Yes. Students in dual degree programs can participate if the topic of the dual degree is different than the concentration topic. Students in dual degree programs must still fulfill all Scholarly Concentration requirements.