The Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) was founded in 1903, and its first students were enrolled on the Bloomington campus. It was the fourth medical school in the United States, after Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Western Reserve, to require two or more years of collegiate work for admission. The school awarded the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree to its first class of 25 in 1907. Following the union of all medical schools in the state with Indiana University in 1908, the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, in 1909, mandated that Indiana University assume the responsibility for medical education in the state. Initially, students had the opportunity of taking the first two years of their medical school work at either Bloomington or Indianapolis. In 1912, all students entered through the Bloomington program and moved to Indianapolis for their second-, third-, and fourth-year courses. This remained in effect until 1958, when the work of the Bloomington division was transferred to Indianapolis. Excellent facilities for the teaching of the basic medical sciences and a strong nucleus of basic science faculty remained in Bloomington. Consequently, in 1959, a new experimental program of medical education was started in Bloomington in cooperation with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School. This program, the Medical Sciences Program, included studies that could lead to combined M.D., M.S. and M.D., and Ph.D. degrees.

In 1965, a faculty committee of the School of Medicine recommended the adoption of a comprehensive plan for medical education throughout the state of Indiana. The plan involved the use of regional facilities in addition to those of the Medical Center in Indianapolis. The plan would coordinate and utilize elective programs in community hospitals, preceptorships with practicing physicians, internship and residency programs, and continuing medical education programs throughout the state.

The plan also resulted in the formation, within existing educational institutions, of ‘‘Centers for Medical Education’’ for teaching basic medical science courses to first-year medical students. In 1971, the General Assembly of the State of Indiana unanimously authorized legislation that led to the completion of the Indiana Statewide Medical Education System. This legislation mandated that the Indiana University School of Medicine be responsible for selection, admission, and assignment of students, for curricular development, and for evaluation and accreditation of the system. The institutions presently involved in this program, in addition to the Medical Sciences Program at Indiana University Bloomington, are Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, Ball State University, Indiana State University, the University of Southern Indiana, and Indiana University Northwest. In addition, a first-year program was initiated in 1981 at the Fort Wayne Center for Medical Education on the campus of Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Further development of the Indiana Statewide Medical Education System was approved in the 1979 Indiana General Assembly. Approval for planning and funding for a second year of medical study at each of the Centers for Medical Education was passed. Consequently, second-year students were first appointed to all centers, except Fort Wayne, in the fall 1980 semester. Funding for second-year students at the Fort Wayne campus began in the fall of 1990. The school awarded 261 M.D. degrees and enrolled a total of 1,173 medical students the 2007-2008 academic year.

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