INDIANAPOLIS—First-year medical students joining Indiana University School of Medicine in the fall of 2022 will be provided with new laptops for the duration of their training program, thanks to funding from the United States Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Medical Student Education Program.
The funding allowed the school to create the Primary Care Reaffirmation for Indiana Medical Education (PRIME) program in 2020. PRIME aims to enhance the skills and knowledge needed by medical students to tend to the health care needs of the community with special attention to underserved populations.
Incoming students for the class of 2026 will receive a common laptop computer loaded with the same learning platforms, educational software and curricular content for delivery of PRIME content and the core curriculum. The school will conduct a pilot study on the benefits of supplying first-year students with these laptops and look at ease of use, student acceptance and impact on educational programs.
“Students will have ready access to a plethora of educational resources relevant to the PRIME grant, including point-of-care ultrasound, telehealth, equity and social determinants of health, as well as content and tools relative to the curriculum overall,” said Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs, and one of the principal investigators of the program. “We are excited to offer this technology to our students to continue to provide them with the best medical education possible.”
The PRIME curriculum incorporates telehealth, ultrasound, student-driven community improvement projects and scholarly concentration programs across the state. Experiential training opportunities are also being expanded throughout the state, particularly in underserved communities.
“This project aims to increase interest in medical school training from potential applicants in those same underserved areas to help address projected physician workforce gaps in the future,” said Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for medical student education and a principal investigator of the program. “We can already see the impact this training is having on our current students and teaching faculty, and the unique PRIME program promises even greater opportunities over the next few years.”
IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.