Mentors serve a valuable role in the growth of healers in the journey from student to medical professional. Students at IU School of Medicine benefit greatly from one-on-one career mentoring, which helps them explore specialty and career options that align with their specific skills and interests. Students are able to interact with a Career Mentor whenever they feel ready to discuss career options or delve into a specialty.
Many med students consult a Career Mentor to make themselves more competitive for residency applications, and the Mentoring and Advising Program offers a cultivated a list of contacts in each academic department to help students better engage with specialties. Career Mentors are not necessarily intended to be a long-term mentor, but they are an entry point into a specialty and can help students further engage and find an actual mentor or more than one mentor.
Career Mentors by Academic Department
The Career Mentor for Anesthesiology is David Nakata, MD, MBA. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesia and the program director for the IU School of Medicine Anesthesia residency program.
Students interested in a career or residency in Dermatology should contact one of three faculty members listed below:
- Anita Haggistrom, MD, is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics as well as the Director of Pediatric Dermatology at IU School of Medicine and the Director of the IU School of Medicine Dermatology Residency Program.
- Alison Klenk, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Dermatology with an interest in medical dermatology and dermatology of systemic diseases.
- Stephen Wolverton, MD, is a Professor of Clinical Dermatology with interests in medical dermatology and drugs safety issues.
Dr. Megan Palmer is the Vice Chair of Education for Emergency Medicine and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at IU School of Medicine. She has an extensive background in education and working with students. Students interested in learning more about a career in Emergency Medicine and how to apply for residency as a competitive candidate can request a mentor below.
The career mentors for Family Medicine are Scott Renshaw, MD, and Ruben Hernandez, MD. Dr. Renshaw is the Director of Medical Student Education in the Department of Family Medicine as well as the Director of the Family Medicine Clerkship. Dr. Hernandez is the Associate Director of Medical Student Education and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine.
Students who are interested in a career in Internal Medicine should contact James Hotz, MD. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the VA and a former resident at IU School of Medicine. He is happy to help students learn more about the specialty and the wide variety of possibilities available with a Medicine residency. Additionally, students interested in the specialty are encouraged to the IU School of Medicine Department of Medicine Internal Medicine Residency page to get the answers to many of the initial questions students have about the specialty.
Students interested in the combined Med-Peds residency have two different career mentor options available. They can talk with Tim Brady, MD, the Med-Peds Residency Program Director and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Pediatrics at IU School of Medicine. Or they can engage the Pediatric Career Mentors.
Students who are considering a career in Neurosurgery are strongly encouraged to work with the Neurosurgery Student Interest Group to become more active within the department, get access to research opportunities and to learn more about this competitive specialty. Students should also meet with either Nicholas Barbaro, MD, Chairman of the department, or Scott Shapiro, MD, the residency program director.
The Department of Neurology has established three different Career Mentors to talk with medical students who are interested in learning about a career in Neurology. Jaison Grimes, MD, Jared Brosch, MD, and Matt Bain, MD are available to meet with students and discuss a career in the field of Neurology.
Students who are interested in the competitive field of Ophthalmology are encouraged to get involved with the Ophthalmology Student Interest Group (O-SIG) as early as possible in their medical school years. The O-SIG is a great resource for learning more about the specialty, discovering opportunities for research and engaging with department faculty. Additionally, students can contact Chi Wah “Rudy” Yung, MD or Darrell WuDunn, MD, PhD. Dr. Yung is a Professor of Ophthalmology and the Director of Medical Student Education for Ophthalmology. Dr. WuDunn is also a Professor of Ophthalmology and the Director of the IU School of Medicine Ophthalmology Residency Program.
For information about this competitive specialty and for connections to research opportunities and faculty of this academic department, medical students should get connected with the Orthopaedic Surgery Student Interest Group. To pursue Orthopaedic Surgery as a specialty, students can connect with a faculty mentor to guide them through the residency application and interview process.
Students interested in the competitive specialty of Otolaryngology should contact Taha Shipchandler, MD. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery as well as the Otolaryngology Residency Program Director at IU School of Medicine. Students who are looking for more information about a career in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery and guidance on applying for residency can email Dr. Shipchandler.
To learn more about Pediatrics as a career specialty, interested students are encouraged to participate in Pediatric Student Interest Group, which offers a number of programs to engage students with the department. Additionally, students can email Kathie Mullins, the Clerkship Coordinator, to connect with one of the five Department of Pediatrics Career Mentors based on interests and availability:
- Mary Ciccarelli, MD: Dr. Ciccarelli is a Professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Pediatrics and the Associate Chair for Education in Pediatrics. She is Med-Peds trained and provides primary care for children and adults at the Eskenazi Health North Arlington Health Center and directs the Indiana transition support program, the Center for Youth and Adults with Conditions of Childhood.
- John Christenson, MD: Dr. Christenson is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in Infectious Diseases and the Pediatric Clerkship Director. He has won numerous teaching awards and is consistently viewed as one of the best teachers at IU Health Riley Hospital for Children.
- Mitch Harris, MD: Dr. Harris is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine and former Pediatric Clerkship Director and has developed a career advising program for those interested in pediatric careers which is repeated annually for fourth-year medical students.
- Brian McFerron, MD: Dr. McFerron is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and joined the division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in 2013. He serves as the Assistant Clerkship Director for fourth-year programs. In addition, he is the course director for Pediatric Therapeutics.
- April P’Pool, MD: Dr. P’Pool is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and the Associate Pediatric Clerkship Director. She covers the newborn nursery at Ezkenazi Hospital and sees children in the outpatient setting.
Students interested in learning more about the field of Radiology and Imaging Sciences and the department’s residency can contact Darel Heitkamp, MD, the Director of the Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program at IU School of Medicine and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology. Students can also talk with Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD, MPH, Vice Chair of Education.
Students interested in the field of Radiation Oncology who want to learn more about this specialty as a career and find out how to be a competitive residency applicant should contact the Career Mentor, Richard Zellars, MD, Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology as well as the Medical Radiation Oncology Residency Program director.
The Department of Surgery has taken a team approach to helping interested med students learn more about this competitive field. Four faculty members serve as Career Mentors and are eager to introduce students to the department and get them further connected to other faculty. To be connected to one of the Surgery Career Mentors, students should email Megan Rendina, the Surgery Clerkship Coordinator.
- Jennifer Choi, MD: Dr. Choi is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and the Surgery Residency Program Director.
- Eugene Ceppa, MD: Dr. Ceppa is an Assistant Professor of Surgery focusing on liver and pancreas surgery.
- Hadley Ritter, MD: Dr. Ritter is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery as well as the Third Year Clerkship Director.
- Katie Stanton-Maxey, MD: Dr. Stanton-Maxey is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery focusing on trauma and critical care surgery.