Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have been awarded a $5 million grant for the Primary Care Reaffirmation for Indiana Medical Education (PRIME) program. IUSM says the program is geared towards expanding primary care training and experiences for medical students and helping to prepare them to communicate and treat underserved populations.

“Physicians who are able to listen to their patients’ wants and needs are more likely to have a better working relationship and to be better providers. This investment will not only benefit IU School of Medicine, but all Indiana communities where these future and current physicians practice,” said Dr. Bradley Allen, senior associate dean for medical education.

The funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration will be used to enhance the classroom and clinical learning experiences—using face-to-face as well as the growing platform of telemedicine to build trusting relationships between trainees and their patients.

Part of the curriculum includes learning how to fully utilize telemedicine to the benefit of patients.

“We will be bringing in over 200 telemedicine kits for our students,” Reese said. “By practicing with this technology, our students will be able to learn best practices for interacting and working with patients remotely, allowing them to become effective future practitioners,” said PRIME telemedicine director and associate professor of clinical medicine Dr. Lindsey Reese.

A portion of the grant will be used to acquire telemedicine equipment and use at all nine IU School of Medicine campuses.

IUSM says the new award for the program will add to the previous four-year, $7 million grant received by the school in 2020.