Impact Curriculum
Students working on lung vest

Sooner Than Later

Make the world a better place at your pace.

Making a Difference

Our Impact curriculum provides students with abundant opportunity to take on society’s biggest challenges in health, health care and health system delivery while in medical school.

Our students arrive motivated to make a difference, and our goal is to open doors that allow them to do just that. A requirement for graduation is the Capstone for Impact (CFI), a culmination of the Impact curriculum where students demonstrate how they can move medicine forward during their time with us.

You can choose to pursue Impact through a Path of Excellence, the Leadership Program, a dual degree, or in one of four Branches.

Already have an idea? You will be exposed to or assigned an advisor as well as some potential mentors who might be able to help make your idea a reality.

Ready to be inspired? You will have the time (up to 20 months) to work on and channel your CFI passion in the Branches.

There are five steps to achieve maximum Impact at Michigan Med:

  1. Be curious when generating ideas for Impact and research what already exists
  2. Develop your idea with input from a faculty advisor
  3. Explore and gather resources
  4. Set and reach project milestones
  5. Summarize what was done in an abstract and share your work

There are two goals at Michigan Medical School: to become a good doctor and to positively impact the health and wellness of society. We are here to provide remarkable students with remarkable opportunities to do that."

Michael J. Englesbe
MD, Darling Professor of Surgery and Branch Director
Bringing Your Vision to Life

CFI Checklist

All CFIs must reflect an area of student interest and result in a positive impact upon health, health care and/or health systems. In addition, students are asked to include the following components in their CFI:

  • Discovery of new info and critical thinking
  • Teams and teamwork
  • Demonstration of communication skills (e.g. meetings, emails, presentations)
  • Self-directed learning (student takes initiative in identifying needs, goals, completion)
  • Reflective practice (self-assessment and reflection)
  • Dissemination through papers, presentations, abstracts

CFI Funding Opportunities

CFI Grants are merit-based grant opportunities available to every medical student in any phase of the curriculum for work toward their Capstone for Impact project. Projects not specifically earmarked as a CFI will also be considered and will follow the same application and assessment process. A faculty sponsor is needed to sign off on the project.

Students are eligible for $500 for M0 Summer Impact Accelerator Program, $1,000 for M1 Summer Impact Accelerator Program, and $2,000 for the CFI Grant.

person standing with two space suits Capstone for Impact

The only thing that limits a CFI is your imagination. Projects can take all forms. They range from research projects to publications, from dual degrees to starting a company. There are no limits to how these projects are designed.

While projects may begin as early as year one in the Scientific Trunk (either in a Path of Excellence, the Leadership program or independently), the majority of students will find quality time to work on them in the Branches.


Summer After Scientific Trunk

If you develop an idea for your CFI during your first year of medical school, you may want to consider the Impact Accelerator for M1s. This opportunity is offered during the summer break between the Scientific Trunk and Clinical Trunk years.

We strongly encourage students to take full advantage of the summer break to rest and recharge, however we also recognize that some students will want this opportunity to start work on their CFI.

  • Current M1s apply in the spring with a 250-word proposal and brief letter of support from their project advisor/mentor (if none, their Path of Excellence or Leadership advisor). Students who are working outside of these areas will have their proposal reviewed separately by the CFI committee.
  • Impact Accelerator runs for four weeks in the summer; 20-30 hours/week.
  • Projects are not restricted geographically; may be done in or outside of Ann Arbor
  • Includes $1,000 grant to help cover expenses related to project

By the end of four weeks, students will submit a short personal reflection on how their Impact Accelerator project has informed their non-clinical professional development.

Incoming students who are ready to start making an impact are invited to apply for a Summer Impact Accelerator just for M0s. Students do not have to be in Ann Arbor to take advantage of this optional opportunity.

Your mentor does not need to be affiliated with Michigan Medical School. This opportunity does not include patient care, however, patient care might be part of your Capstone for Impact project once you are a student here. There’s an expected workload of 20-30 hours/week for the months of June and/or July.

The summer opportunity wraps up before Launch with the submission of a brief reflection that addresses how the work might inform a future Capstone for Impact. Students who complete the project will receive a $500 grant.

The M0 Summer Impact Accelerator application involves writing a brief proposal outlining your project's goals, methods and mentor. The application will be shared with incoming students on May 1st.