Impact Curriculum

Sooner than Later

Make the world a better place at your pace.

Our Impact curriculum provides students with abundant opportunity to take on society’s biggest challenges in 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. One of our requirements for graduation is the Capstone for Impact (CFI). This is the culmination of the Impact curriculum where students demonstrate how they have moved medicine forward during their time with us.

You can choose to pursue Impact through one of the eight Paths of Excellence, the Leadership Program, a dual degree, or in one of four Branches. Each student will have up to 20 weeks in the Branches schedule to complete their Capstone for Impact project.

Already have an idea for changing the world? You will be exposed a range of potential mentors who might be able to help make your idea a reality.

Ready to be inspired? You will have the time to figure out where to channel your passion and take action in the Branches.

No matter where you fit on this spectrum, there are five steps to achieve maximum Impact at Michigan Med:

  1. Generate an idea for Impact.
  2. Develop idea with faculty advisor.
  3. Explore and gather resources.
  4. Set milestones.
  5. 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, M.D., Darling Professor of Surgery and Branch Director

Capstone for Impact

Bringing Your Vision to Life

Capstone for Impact (CFI) projects can take all forms. They range from research projects to publications, from dual degrees to starting a company. There are really no limits to how these projects are designed.

While projects may begin as early as M1 year for students in a Path of Excellence or the Leadership program, we anticipate that CFI will occur throughout the Branches.

Each Capstone for Impact will produce one of the following outcomes:

  • Written summary of the goals, background, methods, results and dissemination plans;

  • Paper submission for scholarly dissemination;

  • Arts submission (poem, artwork, short story), professional presentation or significant contribution on a committee or grand rounds;

  • Completion of a degree-granting program (MBA, MPH, PhD) and a specific activity or project related to their Path. This can be an assignment or thesis in the dual degree program, or completed during medical school.

A Capstone for Impact should reflect the student’s interest and passion for alleviating a burden in health, health care or health systems.

Below, M4 Jasmyne Jackson shares her Capstone for Impact in this video presentation directed by another UMMS student.

Impact Accelerator Opportunities

M1 Summer

If you develop an idea for your Capstone for Impact 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 welcome this opportunity to start work on their Capstone for Impact.

  • Current M1s apply in the spring with a 250-word proposal and brief letter of support from their Path of Excellence or Leadership adviser. Students who are working outside of these areas will have their proposal reviewed separately by 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 $500 stipend 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.

M0 Summer 

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.

A maximum of 10 students will be selected based on a brief proposal with a supporting letter from a mentor. 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 M0 Impact Accelerator will receive a $500 stipend. Applications will be shared with incoming students on May 1st.