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Scholarly Concentrations


IU School of Medicine is confident that the curriculum prepares all future healers to transform health across the state and beyond. Many students come into medical school with varied interests related to medicine. Maybe they worked in an underserved rural clinic or still reflect on bioethics discussions from one of their favorite undergraduate courses. The Scholarly Concentrations Program offers medical students the opportunity to pursue their passions through coursework and scholarship in an academic setting that runs throughout medical school yet doesn’t extend the time it takes to complete a medical degree.

Learn why Paul Wallach, MD, is excited about Scholarly Concentrations.


  • Concentrations are completely optional and empower students to pursue a focused area of study that expands upon the school’s core curriculum.
  • Concentration allow students to customize their education and engage in experiences that lead to multidisciplinary scholarship, research and community engagement.
  • Each concentration exposes students to world-class experts and resources at sponsoring campuses and communities.
  • Throughout each concentration students receive mentorship and develop skills and products that will help them stand out in residency and professional opportunities.
  • Completing a Scholarly Concentration does not add time or tuition to the traditional four-year medical curriculum.
  • Students completing a concentration earn 8 weeks non-clinical elective credits towards MD graduation requirements, a Scholarly Concentration designation on their transcripts that’s suitable for their curriculum vitae and other professional documentation, and will be recognized at Graduation.

The scholarly concentration (has) strengthened my desire to serve those in my small community and 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.


Emma Eckrote

MS4, Rural Health

“The Business of Medicine concentration was the most asked about topic during residency interviews as my interviewers were intrigues and felt that it brought a lot of value to their program.”

Stephen Avila, MD

Neurology Resident, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

“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.”

Christopher Blanco

MS3, Quality and Innovation in Health Care

Read more student experiences

Topics and Locations

There are a wide range of Scholarly Concentration topics offered at IU School of Medicine campuses. Each concentration highlights an area of expertise on its home campus. Typically, some concentrations require students to be on its campus, while others are more flexible and available statewide. See each concentration description for requirements.

Requirements and Timeline

Concentrations have required or recommended pathways toward completion that fit well with the medical school curriculum and calendar. Typically, students begin their concentration between the first and second years of medical school, or during the first year. However, there may be opportunities to begin a concentration at other times in the curriculum. It is vital that students determine if a concentration plan of study will work in their schedule by talking with the concentration co-directors and lead advisor in advance of applying for a concentration. Scholarly Concentrations are composed of a core curriculum and typically two or three topic-specific courses, which allow for exploration. See concentrations for details. A bit about the core:

  • Fundamentals of Research and Scholarship course
    • o Students develop fundamental skills in research study design, scientific inquiry and methods, data management, statistical analysis and human subjects research ethics in this online and asynchronous course.
  • Scholarly project
    • Students will gain firsthand experience by developing and conducting scholarly inquiry appropriate to their concentration. Completion of the project will form the basis of a scholarly concentration product.
  • Scholarly product
    • A scholarly product is typically a manuscript submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and a poster for presentation at IU School of Medicine Education Day. Publication is not required.t required.

See Where a Scholarly Concentration Can Take You

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