Legislators are invited to learn more about the school’s plans to expand the medical student body by 30 percent, discuss how the regional campuses are providing more local doctors while researching local health issues, and get some hands-on practice at several virtual teaching kiosks that will be set up at the Statehouse.
In June 2006, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicted a national physician shortage, and that organization recommended a 30 percent increase in medical student enrollment over the next 10 years. An IU School of Medicine task force issued a comparable report predicting the state would have a shortage of 1,975 doctors by 2015.
The IU task force said the school must start making the necessary preparations now to expand enrollment, consider incentives to populate medically underserved areas, and urge the Indiana General Assembly to provide the necessary funding to carry out these initiatives.
The school has taken steps to increase enrollment by 30 percent over a six-year period, phasing in expanded enrollments at its eight regional medical education centers. By the time class of 2016 graduates, the IU School of Medicine will be contributing 360 new physicians annually to the health-care profession.
In addition, the school of medicine continues to address the issue of medically underserved areas by developing programming to acquaint students with medical practices in rural and underserved areas. One of those programs—the Rural Medicine Program – was initiated in the fall of 2008. It will encourage students to practice in the Terre Haute area by admitting students interested in a rural practice and by offering all four years of medical school at that campus.
The IU School of Medicine, the second largest medical school in the United States with more than 1,200 students, has nine medical education centers throughout the state. IU medical education campuses are located in Bloomington (IU campus), Evansville (University of Southern Indiana), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University campus), Gary (IU-Northwest), Muncie (Ball Memorial Hospital), South Bend (University of Notre Dame), Terre Haute (Indiana State University), West Lafayette (Purdue University), and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Currently, students can attend the regional campuses for the first two years of their medical education and then matriculate to Indianapolis for the final two years.