Indiana University School of Medicine

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Indiana University
School of Medicine
Type Public
Established 1903
Dean Jay L. Hess
Students 2,059[1]
Location Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Campus Urban

The Indiana University School of Medicine is a medical school and medical research center connected to Indiana University; its principal research and medical center is on the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis campus in Indianapolis. The medical school awarded the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree to its first class in 1907. With 1,404 M.D. students and 168 Ph.D. students in 2016, it is currently the second largest medical school in the United States.[1][3][4][5] The School offers several joint-degree programs, including an MD/MBA, MD/MA, MD/MPH, and an NIH-designated Medical Scientist Training Program, a highly competitive subset of MD-PhD programs. For the 2015 entering class, there were 377 students enrolled in the M.D. program.[1]

The school is a pioneer in cancer, immunology, alcohol, neuroscience, and diabetes research (see section below). Notably, some of its recent research discoveries that have received international acclaim include a curative therapy in testicular cancer used to treat patient Lance Armstrong, the development of echocardiography, several genes linked to Alzheimer's, and creation of inner ear sensory cells from pluripotent stem cells.[6][7][8][9] The IU School of Medicine is home to the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, an NCI—designated Clinical Cancer Center.

In the U.S. News & World Report, rankings, the school ranks 47th in the nation for primary care and 45th for research out of about 150 medical schools.[10]

As of 2013, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health is home to 21 nationally ranked clinical programs, including Pediatrics, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Urology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Pulmonology, Gastroenterology and Orthopedics.[11] The James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health ranked nationally in all ten designated specialties in the U.S. News & World Report.

The current dean of the medical school is Jay L. Hess, M.D., Ph.D., who succeeded D. Craig Brater in 2013.


Founding in Indianapolis[edit]

The story of the founding of Indiana University School of Medicine begins in rivalry with Purdue University, who competed with Indiana University-based founders over the authority to operate the most premier medical school in the state. In March 1903, William Lowe Bryan, the 10th president of Indiana University, proposed to the University trustees the establishment of a Department of Medicine. Approved, the new department was established in May of the same year. A doctor by the name of Burton D. Myers, previously at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was hired to be the head of the Department of Anatomy in Bloomington; Myers would later serve as dean of the medical school from 1927 to 1940. May 1904 saw the induction of the School of Medicine into the American Association of American Medical Colleges (the AAMC). However, early founders wished to locate facilities in Indianapolis for a medical school as well. Eventually, the founders in Bloomington secured funds to acquire the title and building of the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, previously part of the Purdue University's Medical Department. This building was renamed as part of the State College of Physicians and Surgeons. There continued to be rivalry between the Indianapolis medical school and the one at Purdue.

Finally, in April 1908, the founders of the medical school in Indianapolis reached a resolution with the faculty at the Purdue medical department to consolidate the Purdue Medical Department with the State College of Physicians and the Bloomington Medical Department of Indiana University. Students would carry out the four years of a medical education in Indianapolis.

The separate medical schools in Indiana had now been consolidated, marking the "second founding" of the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Allison Maxwell was named as the first dean. He led the fledgling school through a difficult time, as financial budgets were an issue and the number of faculty had had to be decreased. Dr. Maxwell served his position until 1911.

The Flexner Report[edit]

Abraham Flexner, renowned American educator whose work helped reform many medical schools, visited IU School of Medicine in November 1909. He noted in his later Flexner Report that, "The situation in the state [was], thanks to the intelligent attitude of the university, distinctly hopeful, though it will take time to work it fully." He made a recommendation for the progress of the school, noting, "In order to make the school attractive to highly qualified students, it will be necessary (1) to employ full-time men in the work of the first two years, (2) to strengthen the laboratory equipment, (3) greatly improve the organization and conduct of the clinical courses." The Indiana School of Medicine was one of a select number of medical schools in the nation at the time to receive a positive evaluation from Flexner.[12]

Early leaders[edit]

Several key leaders in the IU School of Medicine's history were drawn from Johns Hopkins. After Dr. Allison Maxwell, Charles P. Emerson from JHU was named the new dean. In 1912 Willis D. Gatch, who received an M.D. from JHU, began his career at Indiana. Gatch invented the Gatch adjustable hospital bed, which with the aid of a crank the patient's head and feet could be raised or lowered. One of IUSM's first faculty members, George Bond was initially employed at JHU. He became perhaps the first individual to operate an electrocardiograph in the nation.

Rise of buildings[edit]

Many campus buildings were built in this decade and the next. In February 1912, IUSM founders acquired property in the area on West Michigan Street; the Robert E. Long Hospital would eventually become the site of the IU Medical Center. Emerson Hall was built in the fall of 1919. Riley Hospital for Children opened in 1924, built with $45,000 donated by a mass fundraising event by Indiana civilians. Myers Hall was built in 1937, and Fesler Hall in 1939. 1947 saw the expansion of the medical research building using a five-year grant from the Riley Children's Foundation. The VanNuys Medical Sciences Building opened in 1958.[13]


The Indiana University School of Medicine has received national and international recognition[citation needed] for its curriculum. In 2003, it was one of ten medical schools nationwide chosen by the American Medical Association to develop new methods of teaching professionalism to doctors.[14] In order to ensure that its educational process more accurately reflected its commitment to graduating caring and competent physicians, the Indiana University School of Medicine initiated a competency curriculum in 1999. The first class of students to enter under a four-year competency curriculum graduated in 2003.

To model and support the moral, professional, and humane values expressed in the new formal competency-based curriculum, the IU School of Medicine simultaneously implemented a school-wide "relationship-centered care initiative" to address its informal curriculum.[15]

Launching in the fall of 2016 with the Class of 2020, IU School of Medicine will implement a new curriculum with the goal of better preparing students to meet the challenges of a complex, ever-evolving healthcare environment. The new curriculum honors the legacy curriculum, while reflecting and supporting changes in delivery models, readying students to practice medicine in a team-based interdisciplinary setting.[16]

Hospitals and facilities[edit]

Clinical training[edit]

The School helps train interns and residents in 92 medical and surgical specialties. Students train under faculty and staff at:

The majority of the teaching hospitals are within walking distance of, or adjacent to, the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, with the exception of Methodist Hospital and Larue Carter Hospital, which are located a few miles from the main campus. Methodist Hospital is connected to the main Indiana University Medical Center campus by means of the Indiana University Health People Mover, an elevated people mover system.

Ball Memorial Hospital is located in Muncie, Indiana and includes the largest physician-teaching program in Indiana, outside of Indianapolis.[18]


The school's main facilities are located on the campus of Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Additionally, the school maintains eight regional centers on college campuses throughout the state at Bloomington, Muncie, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute, Evansville, West Lafayette, and Gary.

First- and second-year students attend classes at either the main campus at IUPUI in Indianapolis (approximately half of the class) or at one of the eight regional centers. In the past, third- and fourth-year students spent the last two years of medical school at the IUPUI campus. In recent years clinical clerkships have been added to regional campuses, where students can choose to spend third- and fourth-year.[19]

The DNA Tower by sculptor Dale Chihuly at the Morris Mills Atrium in the Van Nuys Medical Sciences Building

The VanNuys Medical Sciences Building at the IUPUI campus houses the DNA Tower sculpture by Dale Chihuly.


Students at IUSM hail from both home state and out-of-state, at a ratio of 1,516 to 543. There were 6,146 applicants for the 2015–16 cycle. The average GPA of that entering class of 2015 was 3.74, and the average MCAT score was a 30/0.[1]

The School is notable for its Tour the Life Student Blogs, in which medical students from all years write about their academic, clinical, and personal experiences at IUSM.[20]

The School offers several combined degree programs: the MD-PhD, MD-MBA, MD-MPH, and MD-MA. The MD-MBA is in conjunction with the Kelley School of Business. The MD-PhD program, which offers full-tuition and stipend to acceptees for all years of training, is one of 40 medical schools to be designated an MSTP by the NIH. Typically about five students a year are accepted into the MD-PhD program at IUSM.[21] MD-PhD students can choose to conduct research with faculty at either the medical school or at Purdue University.


Discoveries at IUSM[edit]

With $302.3 million in research grants and contracts, including $46 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as part of the $685 million federally funded Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative.[22] It is the home of a NCI—designated Clinical Cancer Center, of the only NIH—funded viral vector production facility for clinical grade therapeutics.[23] Also notable is the range of research institutes and centers.

The school holds a first in developing the use of echocardiography, a heart imaging technique using ultrasound. In the 1960s, Mori Aprison discovered the inhibitory neurotransmitter glycine. Another neuroscientist and faculty member at IUSM, Dr. Paul Stark, led the clinical team at Eli Lilly and Company in the development of Prozac, the most widely prescribed antidepressant. In 1984, IUSM established the first DNA "bank" in the world; blood samples from clients were used to extract DNA which could indicate the genetic risk for certain illnesses and conditions. The school researchers also discovered the use of cord blood as an alternative source of hematopoietic stem cells and pioneered their use in the clinic. In the early 1990s, the School was one of the first institutions to study the use of computer systems in reducing the costs of healthcare management.[24]

The school is known for establishing a curative therapy for testicular cancer. Patients from around the world, including Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, have traveled to the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center for this therapy and comprehensive care. The school has been a pioneer in establishing a cure for Fanconi Anemia (a precancerous condition in children), specific radiation therapy techniques, techniques in a type of nerve-sparing surgery for urological cancers, the development of drugs to stimulate blood cell production, and novel drug therapies for breast cancer. Researchers at the medical school also discovered the cancer-fighting agent in Tamoxifen.[25][26] In 2011, the school announced plans for an institute specializing in personalized medicine, which would pursue an individualized and genomics-based approach to treating cancer, pediatrics, and obstetrics.[27]

IU School of Medicine is a leader in the research, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury and mild traumatic brain injury, known also as concussion. In 2012, federal officials designated IU School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana as a Traumatic Brain Injury Model System site, marking the partnership center as a national leader in TBI-related care and research. As only one of 16 such sites in the United States, the center received a five-year, $2 million grant to add researchers and physicians to the initiative of studying and treating traumatic brain injury and its impact on the lives of patients and their families. The center offers the highest level of comprehensive and multidisciplinary rehabilitation care and adds to national capacity for high-quality treatment and research for people with TBI. IU School of Medicine is also a leading member of the NCAA and U.S. Department of Defense CARE Consortium, a $30 million initiative to study concussions among student athletes and use that knowledge to improve safety and health of athletes, military service members and the general public. CARE Consortium research includes exploration post-concussive symptoms, performance and psychological health of student athletes and the analysis of data related to biomechanical, clinical, neuroimaging, neurobiological and genetic markers of injury. This work represents the largest and most comprehensive concussion study to date.[28]

Research centers, institutes and groups[edit]

  • Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Center
  • Bowen Research Center
  • Center of Excellence in Women's Health
  • Diabetes Translational Research Center
  • Indiana University Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases
  • Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine
  • Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research
  • Indiana Alcohol Research Center
  • Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center
  • Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
  • Indiana Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Center
  • Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
  • Indiana University Center for Aging Research
  • Institute of Psychiatric Research
  • Krannert Institute of Cardiology
  • Regenstrief Institute, Inc. "The Regenstrief Institute conducts research to improve health care by optimizing the capture, analysis, content, and delivery of the information needed by patients, their providers and policy makers and conducts interventional studies designed to measure the effect of the application of this research on the efficiency and quality of health care."[29]
  • Stark Neurosciences Research Institute
  • Wells Center for Pediatric Research

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d
  2. ^ (PDF)  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "How Lance Armstrong Beat Cancer". 
  7. ^ "Study Finds Novel Gene Associated With Alzheimer's Disease Development". 
  8. ^ "Study of cerebrospinal fluid reveals potential new Alzheimer's gene". Retrieved 2016-05-09. 
  9. ^ "Generation of inner ear sensory epithelia from pluripotent stem cells in 3D culture". 
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Flexner Report on Medical Schools". Archived from the original on 2011-03-01. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "IUSM Timeline". 
  14. ^ Wear, Delese; Aultman, Julie (2006). Professionalism in Medicine: Critical Perspectives. Springer. p. 275. ISBN 0-387-32726-6. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  15. ^ "The Relationship-Centered Care Initiative". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Indiana University School of Medicine". Our Partners. AMPATH. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "About Us". Ball Memorial Hospital. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Tour the Life Blogs". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "NIH MSTPs". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "IUSM Research Centers Overview". Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  24. ^ "IUSM Computerized Healthcare Study". The New York Times. January 20, 1993. 
  25. ^ "IUSM Cancer Research Milestones". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  26. ^ Pollack, Andrew (December 30, 2008). "IUSM Cancer Research, NYTimes". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "Personalized Medicine Institute at IUSM". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Regenstrief". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  30. ^ Indiana University. "Five honored with Herman B Wells Visionary Award", Indiana University website, November 15, 2001. Retrieved on 17 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Interview with Lawrence Einhorn". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  32. ^ "Jill Taylor's Stroke of Insight". Retrieved 16 September 2013. 


  • Litzelman, Debra K. & Cottingham, Ann H. (2007). The New Formal Competency-Based Curriculum and Informal Curriculum at Indiana

University School of Medicine: Overview and Five Year Analysis. Academic Medicine, 82(4), pp. 410–421.

  • Cottingham, Ann H., Suchman, Anthony L., Litzelman, Debra K., Frankel, Richard M., Mossbarger, David L., Williamson, Penelope R., Baldwin, DeWitt C., Jr. & Thomas S. Inui. (2008). Enhancing the Informal Curriculum of a Medical School: A Case Study in Organizational Culture Change. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(6), pp. 715–722.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°46′32″N 86°10′36″W / 39.77556°N 86.17667°W / 39.77556; -86.17667