Internal Medicine Resident Elective

Brief or more prolonged electives for trainees and students interested in clicnial ethics are possible on a case by case basis. Attempts will be made to customize the experience for each individual trainee or student.


Internal Medicine residents at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) are invited to participate in a month-long ethics elective sponsored and coordinated by the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics at Indiana University Health.  Residents are expected to spend a total of 9 hours per week engaged in activities related to the elective.  Up to two (2) residents may participate each month.  Vacation time is limited to five (5) days.

During this elective, residents have access to ethics activities in both in-patient and out-patient facilities of the IU School of Medicine, IU Health Hospitals, and Wishard Memorial Hospital.  Participating residents may use the workroom within the Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics (in the Methodist Hospital Noyes Pavilion) if they require temporary space for coordinating their activities.

Residents will gain experience in various aspects of hospital-based clinical ethics activities, such as clinical ethics consultation, chaplaincy and the religious and spiritual aspects of hospital ethics, and legal aspects of medical ethics and health law. 

Required activities include:

  • Participation in twice-monthly meetings of the IU Health Ethics Consultation Subcommittee (2 per month, 1.5 hours each)
  • Participation in monthly meetings of the IU Health Ethics Committee (1 per month, 1.5 hours)
  • Participation in the weekly seminar class of the Fairbanks Fellowship in Clinical Ethics, including readings associated with each class (2 hours per week, 4 classes per month, plus 1-2 hours reading per week) This class runs concurrently with Super School hours, so residents are excused from the parts of the Fellowship seminar which conflict with Super School.
  • Attend at least one (1) Unit-Based Ethics Conversation (schedule varies, 4-8 per month, 1.0 hour each)
  • Prepare and submit a brief annotated bibliography summarizing readings on an ethics topic of interest, to be identified by each resident in collaboration with Fairbanks Center Staff.
  • Attend the monthly Fairbanks Ethics Lecture (1 per month, 1 hour each)

Additional activities may include:

  • Participation in at least one direct, patient-centered consultation with the Ethics Consultation Service
  • Assisting in preparation of a consultation chart note and summary report

Residents interested in additional experience in research ethics may also participate in the following activities:

  • Attend meetings of any of the five (5) IUPUI Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)
  • Attend meetings of the IUPUI Executive Committee of IRBs
  • Attend meetings of the IUSM Conflict of Interest Committee
  • Participate in relevant lab meetings of investigators designing clinical trials
  • Participate in the Research Subject Advocate Program of the Indiana University General Clinical Research Center

The coordinators of the elective will attempt to accommodate special requests based on interest as much as possible. Residents will be encouraged to undertake a brief research project, case report and analysis, or research paper for publication as part of their elective.

For additional information contact:

Lia Logio, MD -
Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program
Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine

Paul R. Helft, MD -
Director, Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Hematology/Oncology
Indiana University School of Medicine

Alexia M. Torke, MD, MS -
Associate Fellowship Program Director
Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics
Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine
Scientist, Indiana University Center for Aging Research