A priest, a school principal, and a musician walk into medical school... Meet three non-traditional students who bring perspective and maturity to their journey to medicine.

PLUS: A new vision for caring for patients with sickle cell disease, how IU School of Medicine is working to meet the nation's physician shortage, and profiles of Indiana's state health commissioner and the new chair of family medicine.


About this Issue:

Summer 2024 issue
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cover of the summer 2024 issue of IU Medicine magazine with a photo of Kamille Ward. Across her chest is the headline "How can we lower barriers to care for Hoosiers?"


As medical students, they stand out. Because of where they’ve been, how long it took them to find medicine as their calling and, of course, because of their age. The average med student is 23.5 years old. These arrive at 29 or later. They’ve already had other careers. Many have families. And, each year, IU School of Medicine counts about two dozen among its ranks. And, despite the challenges, they bring another kind of diversity to the school — one of perspective, steadiness, maturity, and life experience. They are “non-traditional” medical students.

Kamille Ware shakes hands with a participant at a public health event



Creating critical continuity for sickle cell patients

IU School of Medicine’s faculty strive to find ways to lower barriers for Hoosiers to access care and pursue research to advance treatments for sickle cell disease.



It’s no secret the United States faces a daunting physician shortage. More than 83 million Americans live in areas without sufficient access to a primary-care physician. In the next decade, the national physician shortfall could reach more than 124,000. IU School of Medicine is tackling the challenge with two unique programs designed to train and retain physicians where they are needed most: medically underserved rural and urban areas.


Lindsay Weaver speaks at a podium during a press conference during COVID
Summer 2024

A prescription for improving the state's health

From her earliest memories, being a doctor was “just what I wanted to do.” Today, Lindsay Weaver, MD, is state health commissioner — Indiana’s top doctor.


dean hess stands with his arms folder leaning against a shelf in his home library
Summer 2024

From the Desk of Dean Hess

We have much to be proud of in medical education. The stories in this issue of IU MEDICINE feature our impressive students and the important work we’re doing to train the next generation of healers.

portrait of taylor etchison
Summer 2024

The cost of success

At IU School of Medicine, limiting student debt is a combination of scholarship gifts, controlling costs and sound financial advising.

Kola Okuyemi stands in front of the Department of Family Medicine sign
Summer 2024

Family Medicine chair aims to bridge the gaps in health care

Dr. Kola Okuyemi’s career as an academic family medicine physician has focused on research and training programs to improve the health of underserved populations and advance health equity.

a model of a house with a red bow tied around it and the key dangling from the bow
Summer 2024

Let go of the hassle: donate real estate and maximize your impact

Indiana University School of Medicine has the resources and expertise to accept gifts of real estate, allowing you to make a lasting impact.