MD Program

Community, Health and Wellness

IU School of Medicine offers a wide range of health and wellness services to students to promote their well-being and facilitate the adjustment to the physical and emotional demands of medical school. These services include preventive and therapeutic medical care, personal counseling, affordable health insurance for inpatient and outpatient care, community engagement opportunities, and fitness facilities with opportunities for personal recreation at each of the school’s nine campuses.

Medical Care

Students can access local health services and acute care through patient care facilities at the campus on which they’re training. Find details about required immunizations for IU School of Medicine students. For a medical emergency, students should go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Personal Counseling

All IU School of Medicine students seeking personal counseling and psychological services—for any reason—have resources for confidential personal consultation and treatment available on every campus. Some are provided centrally in Indianapolis; some are available locally. Students are encouraged to seek professional mental health consultation if symptoms are interfering with medical school performance, and/or personal or professional relationships.

All students, residents and fellows can access confidential personal counseling and treatment from Suzanne Kunkle, PhD, licensed psychologist. Call 317-274-8214 to schedule an appointment. Appointments, telephone consults and referrals are usually available within the week and often the same day if needed. Please let the scheduler know the urgency of the need.

Students can also use insurance coverage to access support from independent providers. Check the behavioral care coverage for network participants and other details.

Student Health Insurance

All medical students who are not covered by a parent or spouse or by a plan that meets the school’s comparable standards (outlined during open enrollment periods) must be covered by the IU School of Medicine student health insurance plan with Aetna Student Health.

The health insurance requirement is in place for several reasons:

  • The protection of student health, safety and well-being is paramount.
  • To maximize training opportunities, students must have quality insurance that is portable while on school-approved electives around the world.
  • A serious ailment or injury may lead to financial disaster, especially for students who often carry large financial aid debts.

The school allows waivers for students who are covered by a parent or spouse plan or by a comparable plan. Waiving out of the school’s health insurance plan requires submission of documentation showing qualifying coverage under the policy of the student’s spouse or parent, or a plan that meets comparable standards. Please see the IU School of Medicine Student Handbook (Academic and Professional Standards section) for more information about this and other policies affecting medical students.

The IU School of Medicine health insurance plan is currently administered by Aetna. See the Health Insurance Plan Summary (PDF) for information on rates, plan benefits, claim procedures and exclusions. The policy number for IU is 812801. To waive this plan, access the School of Medicine Online Waiver Application. For details about eligibility, dependent coverage, premiums and billing, and more, visit the Indiana University HR page on benefits for professional students.

Disability insurance is also available to students. For more information, contact Melissa Williams, Student Health Insurance Coordinator at studenhc@indiana.edu or 812-856-4650.

Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services

Spiritual care and chaplaincy services are available through Beth Newton Watson, M.Div, BCC, at IU Health Methodist Hospital, Wile Hall W230. To schedule an appointment, call 317-962-3723 (office) or 317-965-9229 (mobile) or email Beth Newton Watson.

Community Involvement

College and House is a set of learning communities supported by the Medical Student Council of IU School of Medicine. The program mirrors the structure of the Mentorship and Advising Program (known as MAP), which is led by Medical Student Education. The College and House program features a house-based mentorship system to address both student engagement and student wellness.

IU School of Medicine defines service-learning as a structured learning experience that actively engages students, faculty and community members in a dynamic partnership that intentionally connects community-identified concerns with institutional learning objectives. The school’s statewide service learning program offers a wide variety of ways for medical students to contribute their medical expertise to communities in need.

IU School of Medicine Student Interest Groups (SIGs) are registered organizations that are founded and led by medical students at IU School of Medicine. The nature of SIGs is such that individuals may develop a group one based on any theme of interest to members of the medical student population. SIGs are divided into groups based on topic of focus.

The statewide academic advising program at IU School of Medicine includes campus-based Lead Advisors and Volunteer Faculty Advisors who work collaboratively to oversee and guide students’ academic progress. A learning specialist is also available to support students’ academic success.

A Wellness and Family Programming Graduate Assistant, Sydney Howell, is available to help MD students at IU School of Medicine access resources related to wellness. Sydney is a graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at IUPUI. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio, and attended Bowling Green State University for undergrad, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. Upon graduation from her master’s program, Sydney hopes to work on a college or university campus in international student services or wellness initiatives. In her free time, Sydney enjoys trying new restaurants and binge watching shows on Netflix. Contact Sydney  by phone at 317-274-2042 or by email at sydhowel@iu.edu. Her office is located in the Van Nuys Medical Science Building (MS 160).