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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.


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. 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:

  • 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


Amy W. Han, PhD

Academic Specialist: Director, Clinical Education

Bio and Contact Information

Elizabeth Ryan, EdD

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

Bio and Contact Information

MD Student News

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

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 Introduce yourself. Who are you and why did you decide to […]