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Student Testimonials

Scholarly Concentrations at Indiana University School of Medicine offer students the opportunity to deeply engage with a topic of personal interest through coursework and scholarship, complementing their medical education. Students benefit from working with a community of like-minded students, faculty, staff and community members. Through resources and mentorship, they develop expertise and experience that contributes to personal and professional growth and development, and is valuable for residency applications and future goals.

Biomedical Engineering and Applied Medical Technology

  • Hayley Chan, Class of 2023

    Hayley Chan"I definitely think the biomedical engineering scholarly concentration program has helped widen my views. Collaborating with local physicians helps give relatable experiences for my future career."

    Why did you choose the Biomedical Engineering and Applied Medical Technology scholarly concentration?

    I’ve had previous experiences in clinical and wet-lab research and wanted to explore this avenue, using my skills and experiences from my undergraduate computer science minor. Having the support from the scholarly concentration has been wonderful—both Dr. Brightman and Dr. Goergen have been very helpful in finding mentors, connecting us with other faculty, and making sure we have the resources and information we need.

    How will your participation in this scholarly concentration contribute to your overall career aspirations in medicine?

    Doing something in the engineering sphere is different and new to me. I am still unsure about what the balance of research and clinical work will look like in my future career, but I definitely think the biomedical engineering scholarly concentration program has helped widen my views.

  • Madeline Ku, Class of 2023

    Madeline Ku"The Biomedical Engineering and Applied Medical Technology program helps me understand current research for the field of medicine I am interested in."

    How do you expect your experience in this scholarly concentration to contribute to your career path in medicine?

    I can see what my physician mentor’s experience is with doing research in clinical practice and determine what type of research I may want to do in my future practice. Additionally, I hope this experience will help me stand out during future residency interviews.

Health Integration and Healthy Aging

  • Sam Stegelmann, Class of 2022

    Sam StegelmannHow will your participation in the Health Integration and Healthy Aging Scholarly Concentration contribute to your overall career aspirations in medicine?

    I was impressed by the diversity of education I received through this program. I initially thought it would revolve around an academic research opportunity, but I quickly discovered that the curriculum was much more comprehensive, with established coursework in public health, didactic components, journal clubs, and other projects along the way that created an interactive, lasting education. My concentration in was diverse enough to truly apply to any field I would wish to pursue. This program has taught me how much of health care occurs out of the office or operating room, and I will carry this knowledge and skillset with me as I advance throughout my career.

  • Michael Weber, Class of 2024

    Michael WeberWhy did you choose to participate in the Health Integration and Healthy Aging Scholarly Concentration program?

    I’m interested in the physical, emotional and psychological changes that occur as people age and how health care systems might improve to optimize well-being throughout the stages of life. Participating in this scholarly concentration will help me become a better member of an interprofessional health care team, as well as gain a stronger understanding of the unique needs of an aging population.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

  • Brooke Strader, Class of 2022

    Brooke StraderWhy did you choose to participate in the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Scholarly Concentration program?

    I chose to participate in the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Scholarly Concentration program because I am passionate about family medicine and helping people with their health goals. The best way to help individuals better their health is to promote healthy life choices in order to prevent major diseases.

    How will your participation in this scholarly concentration contribute to your overall career aspirations in medicine?

    Doing research into an area of health promotion for the State of Indiana has helped me become more in tune with the needs of my community. I will most likely end up doing some sort of research in my future career, so this project will help me hone those skills to use as a family medicine physician.

Human Sexuality and Health

  • Keeley Newsom, Class of 2023
    Keeley NewsomWhat was the inspiration for your scholarly project?

    I realized there was a large gap in LGBTQIA+ education and exposure while in medical training, and I wanted to figure out how this influenced medical students’ knowledge and attitudes towards the LGBTQIA+ community and LGBTQIA+ health. My hope was to find intervention points in which medical training could be improved to ensure that our future physicians provide affirming care for folks of all sexual orientations and gender identities. I sent a survey to people who identify as LGBTQUIA+ living in southern Indiana. These data have been really enlightening, and we are now using it to guide efforts to open a free, student-run clinic for the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • Tari Kurman, Class of 2024
    Tari Kurman

    How will your participation in the Human Sexuality and Health Scholarly Concentration contribute to your overall career aspirations in medicine?

    I think the scholarly concentration will make me a better physician regardless of what field I go into, because I believe the clinical practices we use to improve health care for LGBTQ+ patients can be applied to improve health care for all patients. I also know that no matter what field I practice in, I will have patients who identify as LGBTQ+, and I want to make it easier for these patients to access health care and feel safe and comfortable doing so.

Medical Education

  • Emily Merritt, Class of 2024

    Emily MerrittWhy did you choose to participate in the Medical Education Scholarly Concentration program?

    I came into medical school knowing that I wanted to incorporate medical education into my future career as a physician. The scholarly concentration is actually one of the factors that influenced my decision to come to IU School of Medicine.

    How will your participation in this scholarly concentration contribute to your overall career aspirations in medicine?

    My participation in this concentration has only made me more certain of my desire to go into academic medicine and medical education. Between the courses, interactions with the faculty, and every experience I have had thus far with my project, the concentration has truly enriched my education and helped me to see where my future place in medicine might be.

Public Health

  • Rebekah Roll, Class of 2021

    Rebekah Roll“Being in the Public Health Scholarly Concentration program has provided me with invaluable interdisciplinary education. From learning basic introduction to public health to the overview of healthcare systems in America, I know I will carry this knowledge forward with me to provide better care for and with my patients."

    What have you learned through working on your scholarly project?

    It was an opportunity to learn more about scholarship. As a person who had never been involved in academic writing, this concentration has provided me with opportunities to learn about this process so I am comfortable doing it in the future.

Quality and Innovation in Health Care

  • Christopher Blanco, Class of 2023

    Christopher Blanco"Having the opportunity to work with doctors and other health care professionals who have taken up additional quality improvement roles within their hospital systems has provided me with a better understanding of how I can pursue quality innovation in health care as a medical professional."

    Why did you choose the Quality and Innovation in Health Care scholarly concentration?

    I was very interested in further exploring how, through quality improvement measures, we can work to better the institutions we will one day work for, with the hopes of improving patient health outcomes as well as the overall work environment of the facility.

    What are you learning through work on your scholarly project?

    An end goal of the study I am conducting is to discuss how adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology into our current electronic health records can help augment physician practices in ways to ensure they are providing the most up-to-date, evidence-based medicine to best improve patient health outcomes within their community.

    How do you expect your experience in this scholarly concentration to help guide your career path?

    With internal medical departments developing quality improvement teams, I know I will be prepared to fill a leadership role with the experience and educational certification I gained through this program. I have always had professional aspirations of one day becoming a doctor, but now I have a clearer focus on what institutional role I want to play as a doctor in the improvement of my patients’ health outcomes.

  • Ellen Yos, Class of 2022

    Ellen Yos works on her scholarly concentration project"I am really interested in doing research that directly impacts patients. Clinical research seems to have more of a human side to it."

    What have you learned through working on your scholarly project?

    We were looking at re-admission rates for congestive heart failure patients based on whether they followed up at a post-discharge clinic in Evansville. We thought the clinic was helping, and we were able to find out by how much. Our team presented at the American College of Physicians Indiana chapter meeting and won first place there! This gave us the the opportunity to present at the national conference, which was held virtually. It was a valuable learning experience!

Rural Health

  • Emma Eckrote, Class of 2022

    portrait of emma eckrote"The rural medicine education program and the scholarly concentration have strengthened my desire to serve those in my small community and have afforded me the skills to be able to do so with confidence and greater knowledge of the needs around me. It is preparing me to come home and care for those who took such good care of me."

    Why did you choose the Rural Health scholarly concentration?

    I grew up on a farm in north central Indiana. This scholarly concentration has allowed me to return home for research, connect and network with medical professionals in my community, and further educate me on the needs and challenges of rural medicine.

    What scholarly project have you chosen to undertake, and why?

    I am examining the motivations behind choosing midwifery services and community births (home and birthing center births, or out-of-hospital births). In many rural areas, women’s health and obstetric care is directed by midwives. However, much of the research behind the motivations for choosing midwifery come from urban populations. When I got a chance to shadow a midwife after my first year of medical school, I jumped on it. I became interested in learning more about midwifery, the motivations behind choosing community birth, the integration of midwives and obstetricians, and the risks and benefits that come with it. I am very excited for the chance to further explore midwifery in rural areas and why these women are choosing it over the now “traditional” obstetrics hospital-based model.

  • Reese Miller, Class of 2022

    Reese Miller"Working in rural medicine gives you the opportunity to think outside of the box and come up with care plans that can be tailored to widely different people. I feel the Rural Health scholarly concentration has taught me how to handle many of these situations while moving forward in my career."

    Why did you choose the Rural Health scholarly concentration?

    I chose the Rural Health program because it gives me an opportunity to learn more about how the health care system works in a small town. Working in rural medicine presents unique challenges. For example, you have to be able to recognize organophosphate poisoning (agricultural workers are at higher risk) and how to react to the situation without putting more people in harm’s way. You also have to be prepared to take care of someone who is unable to get to the nearest city with the appropriate level of care due to inability to travel. With this scholarly concentration, I was given the chance to learn more about rural medicine and how to handle many of these situations.

    Describe the scholarly project you’ve chosen and the inspiration behind this project.

    I am doing a project with two of my rural concentration classmates studying how COVID-19 has affected actions taken by people in rural communities. We are focusing on the rural-versus-urban differences in knowledge and actions, and how differences in funding affect those two things. Obviously, COVID-19 has affected everyone in the world in one form or another, so I wanted to understand the different actions each community took to protect themselves from the virus. I believe that differences in these actions can shed some light on public health outreach relating to rural ideologies.

Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities

  • Daniel Green, Class of 2024

    Daniel Luke GreenWhy did you choose to participate in the Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration, and how do you expect your participation to help guide your career in medicine?

    Studying medicine at the Gary campus comes with a unique opportunity to integrate economics, sociology, politics, health care, science and a variety of other disciplines into medical education. The Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration program helped me consider how a patient's environment and circumstances affect their health and why they may develop a given condition before presenting to the doctor. My participation in this scholarly concentration has given me a deeper appreciation for public health and the value of preventing illness before needing to treat it.

  • Maryam Sabir, Class of 2024

    Maryam SabirWhy did you choose to participate in the Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration program?

    As a Muslim woman of color born to refugee and immigrant parents, serving minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by health inequity has always been a priority of mine. The Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration at IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary offered an unparalleled pathway to gain greater understanding of health disparities in an urban setting through research and clinical experiences with the diverse patient population I hope to serve in the future.

    How will your participation in this scholarly concentration contribute to your overall career aspirations in medicine?

    Participating in the Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration has helped develop my independent research skills and has vastly expanded my knowledge of public health and patient-centered, community-based health initiatives. As an aspiring emergency medicine physician, these areas of knowledge are critical as emergency departments often serve the primary care needs of underserved communities.