38247-Vater, Laura

Laura B. Vater, MD


Indiana Cancer Pavilion
535 Barnhill Dr., Suite 473

Indianapolis, IN 46202-5289


I was born in Minnesota and moved to Indiana as a child with my father's job. My mother went to medical school when I was nine years old, and we stayed in Indiana for the duration of her training. I grew up in a small town, learning what it means to know and care for patients. I received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame, then spent a year teaching at a secondary school in Haiti. I then earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine. I completed my residency training at Indiana University as well. I am an advocate for cancer prevention and humanism in medicine for patients and clinicians. In 2017, I developed a tool to help patients and clinicians prioritize their health (the SMILE Scale), which is now trademarked and used in schools and clinics throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. I regularly speak to medical schools, community groups, nurses, and residency programs about this tool. My clinical interests are in breast and lung cancer and disparities in cancer prevention. I am also an avid writer and have published a number of narrative medicine essays. I enjoy hiking, reading, writing, and spending time with my husband, daughter, and dog in my free time. 

Titles & Appointments

  • Resident Appointee
  • Education
    2017 MD Indiana University School of Medicine
    2013 MPH University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public

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