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MD Curriculum

Students pursuing a Doctor of Medicine degree at IU School of Medicine progress through a statewide medical education curriculum that includes training in the basic sciences as well as clinical training in tertiary care centers, community hospitals, ambulatory care settings, student-outreach clinics and physician offices. Many students also take advantage of opportunities to participate in a Scholarly Concentration, medical research and campus and community programs.

Given the importance for training to reflect real-world situations and settings of professional practice, IU School of Medicine recently updated the MD curriculum to reflect and support changes in care-delivery models, readying students to practice medicine in team-based, interdisciplinary settings. The new curriculum closely integrates clinical experiences and basic sciences and offers opportunities for learners to more deeply explore foundational science in a chosen specialty. Collaboration within learning communities and inter-professional work further enhance the training experience. With the help of student assessments, program evaluations, learning technology, and input from the teaching and learning community at IU School of Medicine, the MD curriculum continues to evolve and improve to meet the ever-changing knowledge needs of successful physicians.

Student Support

The Mentoring and Advising Program (MAP) at IU School of Medicine supports students at each stage of medical school training. From help with study skills and social engagement in the first year to academic planning, career development and exam preparation, professional academic advisors and career mentors guide students toward successful careers in medicine.

Map Program

Musculoskeletal Health

Integrated Learning

Clinical experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum, which enable students to apply foundational and behavioral science knowledge to clinical care. Conversely, foundational sciences are integrated throughout the curriculum to allow students to maintain and enhance the application of scientific principles to patient care.

Individualized Support

With four-year advising and mentoring support as well as transitions courses and learning communities that connect students from all campuses, medical students are prepared to make intentional, values-driven decisions about their careers. Students explore the actual experiences of physicians early and choose a specialty that fits their strengths and lifestyle choices.

Scholarly Concentrations

Scholarly Concentrations empower students to pursue a focused area of study—such as Urban Medicine and Healthcare Disparities or Quality and Innovation—that highlights expertise across the state and expands upon the school’s core curriculum without adding to the time it takes to complete a traditional four-year MD degree.

Interprofessional Experience

Through small-group instruction and opportunities to learn and work alongside peers in other health care fields, IU School of Medicine students benefit from a collaborative approach to intentional learning and build networks with others across campus.

Statewide Leadership

Statewide and local course directors work together with site leaders at each campus to develop educational and assessment tools that take full advantage of the school’s multi-campus system. Curriculum leaders work toward developing a sense of community for the faculty and students in each course to promote collaborative course planning, thus leveraging resources throughout the state to deliver content.

Learning Communities

All medical students are part of a learning community, a small group that fosters interaction, learning and professional development. These communities also include faculty members who provide support throughout a student’s medical school experience. These interactions guide students in their development and allow ample opportunities for reflective practice.


Curriculum Diagram


Curriculum Structure

The MD curriculum at IU School of Medicine is divided into three phases with transitions courses incorporated at each stage to give students the cultural capital they need to succeed at every level of medical school.

Phase 1

The first phase of training focuses on developing foundational science knowledge and its integration with clinical skills.
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Phase 2

The second phase of MD training is dedicated to developing clinical skills through broad clinical clerkships.
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Phase 3

The third phase of training focuses on advanced clinical learning and individualized career exploration.
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Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for the IU School of Medicine MD Program varies by stage of training.

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IU School of Medicine prepares future physicians for practice in the modern, ever-changing health care environment by extending the six core competencies of ACGME through all four years of training.
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Curriculum governance at IU School of Medicine is led by the Curriculum Council Steering Committee with the support of four subcommittees.
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Bloomington Campus MD Program


The Elective Program gives students opportunities to select courses that enable them to explore specific professional interests in advanced sciences, clinical practice and professional development.
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Student Support

IU School of Medicine student support services ensure that students can access critical resources throughout the training process.
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Dual Degrees and Additional Credentials

Students pursuing an MD at IU School of Medicine can also complete requirements for a dual degree, certificate or Scholarly Concentration to prepare for a career that combines expertise in clinical patient care with another area of expertise.
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