Lilly and IU School of Medicine Partner on Rotation Program for Medical Students


Applied Clinical Trials

INDIANAPOLIS, March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Students from Indiana University School of Medicine are getting a first-hand look at how new medicines are discovered. Through a partnership with Lilly USA, third- and fourth-year medical students from IU School of Medicine are learning about drug development and how the many physicians working at Lilly play different and important roles in bringing new and innovative medicines to patients.

"As a former medical educator, scientific investigator, and health system administrator, I recognize that there are few opportunities for medical students to learn about the scientific rigor and complexity involved in developing new medicines," said Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Sr. Vice President and Lilly US Medical Leader.

"Future physicians will be dependent on new medicines for their patients and will benefit from learning about the discovery and approval process. I am thrilled that we can offer this unique educational experience," said Pescovitz, former executive associate dean of research affairs at IU School of Medicine and CEO of the University of Michigan Health System.

The Medical Student Rotation Program is a four-week experiential learning program. Through real-world projects and workshops, the students become directly involved with various departments within Lilly, such as research, clinical trial development, medical affairs, regulatory, bioethics, and patient safety. Students also get the opportunity to meet and network with Lilly medical leaders.

"I think being a part of this program has helped me develop an incredible amount of appreciation for the work that must go into developing new drugs, as well as meeting regulatory requirements set forth by various agencies around the world," said Chris Wrobel, a fourth-year medical student at IU planning to pursue a career in cardiology. "One of the things I've been most impressed with is the commitment by so many people to improving patients' lives. Whether they are physicians, statisticians, pharmacists, or team leaders, every individual member of a medical team sees their work as integral to the development of a product that will positively impact a patient's life."

The rotation program is designed around a student-centric curriculum and is guided by experienced, knowledgeable mentors at Lilly who help students explore drug development and diverse career options in healthcare. Through these experiences, students learn about the pharmaceutical industry and its place in the practice of medicine. 

"Indiana University School of Medicine is proud to partner with Eli Lilly and Company to provide an innovative educational experience about pharmaceutical discovery," said Dr. Sara Jo Grethlein, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at IU School of Medicine. "As Indianapolis neighbors, we have a long history of collaboration in research and are eager to build this industry-academy project.

"Grounded by a foundational exploration of the ethical and regulatory aspects of drug development, this partnership gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge of how translational research happens, and how an idea moves from the bench to market," said Grethlein. "Our graduates will participate in all aspects of medicine including clinical practice and academics, inspiring many students to become leaders in pharmaceutical research."

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