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Rural Health Scholarly Concentration

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.


Home campus: Terre Haute. All concentration requirements can be completed online. The scholarly project work takes place partially in person in a rural area of Indiana.

Curriculum and Timeline

Students completing the Rural Health concentration fulfill the same core curriculum as students in other concentrations. The didactic components provide a strong academic and experiential foundation in public health with a focus on rural health that is vital for completion of the core curriculum project and product. The journal club provides a platform for students to have longitudinal discussions about concentration-related topics with a cohort of students and faculty.

Recommended Pathway

Students determine if a concentration pathway will fit in their schedule by contacting concentration co-directors. Actual pathway may vary.

Scholarly Project Topic Examples

Students work with faculty to complete a project in a relevant topic based on student interests. Potential project topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Rural patients’ perception of local health care quality
  • Analysis of factors impacting rural patient elective orthopedic surgery location choice
  • Comparing cardiovascular risk perception in urban and rural family medicine clinics
  • Barriers to adherence of recommended plan of care in diagnosis of diabetes in a rural setting
  • Barriers to hepatitis vaccination in rural Indiana


Ellen M. Ireland, PhD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine

Bio and Contact Information

Robin L. Danek

Senior Lecturer in Family Medicine

Bio and Contact Information

MD Student News

In their words: Scholarly Concentration Q&A with Rural Health co-directors

In 2019, IU School of Medicine launched Scholarly Concentrations. To help students decide if a concentration topic is the right fit, concentration co-directors shared the inside scoop—from why they got involved in the concentration to how a specific topic can help students reach their goals. Topic: Rural Health Location: Terre Haute Co-Directors: Robin Danek, MPH, and […]

IU School of Medicine  |  Feb 11, 2019