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Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration

This concentration provides students with an understanding of the historical and contemporary barriers that exist for the nation’s medically underserved in urban areas. Through coursework, students will investigate authentic cross-cultural and linguistic issues in health care and be able to demonstrate how sensitivity to such issues improves health care for all. Through scholarly project work, students will act as advocates by developing interventions to address or reduce health disparities.

Locations

Some concentration coursework can be completed online; some coursework takes place on the Northwest-Gary campus. The scholarly project work occurs on the Northwest-Gary campus.

Curriculum and Timeline

Students completing the Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities concentration fulfill the same core curriculum as students in other concentrations. The didactic components provide a strong academic and experiential foundation in urban medicine and health care disparities that is vital for completion of the core curriculum project and product.

Recommended Pathway

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

Scholarly Project Topic Examples

Students work with faculty to complete a project in a relevant topic based on student interests. Students are welcome to come up with their own project idea. Potential project topics include but are not limited to:

  • Access to health services
  • Enhancing community-based services at federally-qualified health centers
  • Adolescent health outcomes
  • Access to preventative health services
  • Value of community health workers and promotion of health education
  • Role of nutrition education
  • Factors in racial gaps in infant mortality
  • Substance abuse case studies in underserved populations
  • Tobacco use within minority populations
  • Substance abuse reduction

Student Testimonials

  • 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.

Co-Directors

16590-Han, Amy

Amy W. Han, PhD

Academic Specialist: Director of Clinical Education, IUSM-Northwest-Gary

Bio and Contact Information

43262-Ryan, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Ryan, EdD

Associate Dean and Director, IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary

Bio and Contact Information

60476-Muvuka, Baraka

Baraka Muvuka, PhD, MPH, MCHES

Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine

Bio and Contact Information

MD Student News

In their words: Scholarly Concentration Q&A with Urban Medicine and Health Disparities co-director

Amy Han, PhD, and Elizabeth Ryan, EdD, share details on the Urban Medicine and Health Care Disparities Scholarly Concentration, which provides students with an understanding of the historical and contemporary barriers that exist for the nation’s medically underserved in urban areas.