First-Year Orientation

The required statewide First-Year Orientation is held each August in Indianapolis, IN, and introduces incoming first-year students to Indiana University School of Medicine. The highlight and culmination of orientation week is the White Coat Ceremony, when each member of the new class of medical students officially matriculates and becomes part of the IU School of Medicine community.

Class of 2024 Orientation Dates

  • Welcome week: Aug. 3 – 7, 2020
  • Optional dates: Aug. 3 – 4, 2020
  • Mandatory dates: Aug. 5 – 7, 2020

Required Activities

Common Read

Common Read provides an opportunity for students to engage in critical thought on topics related to the medical profession. Entering first-year medical students are required to read the book before orientation so that they can participate in small group experiences during orientation week. 

This will be updated shortly for the Class of 2024.

The Class of 2023 Common Read book

The IU School of Medicine’s 2019 Common Read is “What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City” by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.

A powerful first-person account of the Flint Water Crisis, the book is a riveting narrative of how a pediatrician at Hurley Children’s Hospital formed a team to research and respond to a major public health issue. Paced like a scientific thriller, the book explores the discovery process of lead leaching into Flint’s water and the research process to discover the its impact on children. Interwoven are historical perspectives of Flint’s breakdown of democracy and the personal impact that responding to a public health crisis had on one doctor balancing family, serving as a residency program director, and managing a bureaucratic nightmare.

Get the book at your local library

  • Use to search for the book’s title, and it frequently lists the libraries nearest to you that have a copy.
  • Use googlemaps or similar websites, search for your nearest library (public or university). If there is not a copy available on their website, libraries will frequently order a book upon request.
  • Often, libraries may have a print, digital, and audio copy of the book. For example, the Indianapolis Public Library has the book in all formats. The digital and audio versions can be downloaded straight to your device – you don’t even have to leave the house!
  • Don’t have a local library card? Usually a form of ID with current address (or ID with a piece of mail from the government or an institution, like a utility bill, that lists your current address) is needed. Some libraries, like Indianapolis Public Library allow you to apply online.

Your Local Bookstore

  • Local bookstores are a great option to invest into your local community. If they don’t have the book in stock, they’ll order upon request. Some local Indiana recommendations include:
    • IndyReads (a nonprofit that provides adult literacy programs) in Indianapolis, the Anderson Book Nook (a fundraiser for the Madison County Literacy Coalition) in Anderson, and the Book Nook in Bloomington.
    • And more!
  • Half-Price Books has many locations to find used copies of the book. They also have online sales.

The Publisher’s Website

  • Visit the publisher’s site to see links to purchasing the book in person or online via Amazon, Barnes and Noble and more.

Optional Activities

Flint Service Project Alternative Break

When: July 23—28, 2019
What: Want to make a difference this summer? Join classmates on a week-long trip to Flint, MI—where you’ll learn alongside community leaders about neighborhood revitalization and the impact of a water crisis on public health.

Pre-Matriculation Success Program

When: July 22 – 26, 2019
What: Get a head start in medical school where you’ll:
• Develop peer study groups before academic year starts
• Establish support systems
• Begin establishing daily routines
• Get to know faculty, staff and upper-level students
• Preview first-year medical school coursework
• Experience medical school labs and quizzes
• Participate in wellness activities to connect with self and peers
• Enjoy a ton of fun activities!

Limited spots are available

Cross-Cultural Retreat

When: July 30, 2019
What: The Cross Cultural Student Leadership Retreat provides an opportunity for new students to connect with each other, develop skills necessary for student success, and identify support systems across the IU School of Medicine community for the coming school year.