Frequently Asked Questions
- Refer a Patient
- Graduate Medical Education
- Student Electives
- Contract and Handbook
- Family Medicine Residency
- Internal Medicine Residency
- Transitional Year Residency
- Medical Staff Bylaws, Organizational Plan, Credentialing Policy
- Nursing Education
Q: What qualities do you look for in an applicant?
A: We strive to attract the best candidates regardless of medical school or national origin. What describes the ideal candidate? Certainly we are looking for individuals with demonstrated academic excellence. But the most important qualities we value are integrity, humility, and character—attributes necessary to become a successful physician leader in today’s society.
Q: I have been told that I need to go to a university program in order to obtain a good fellowship. Is that true?
A: You can look at our history of fellowship placement and decide that for yourself. Approximately 40 percent of our residents choose to pursue subspecialty training. Residents have been quite successful in obtaining fellowships in all specialties at many prestigious institutions, including Indiana University, Ohio State University, Duke University, Cleveland Clinic, University of Kentucky, University of Utah, University of Cincinnati, and University of Washington, among others. Our program will provide you with the clinical and academic background necessary for you to obtain the fellowship of your choice. Approximately one-third of the medical subspecialists in our community are graduates of the residency program. Many other graduates of our program have gone on to obtain faculty positions in university settings. Please see the list of alumni for further details.
Q: Are you a community or academic program?
A: Although we are a free-standing residency program, we view ourselves as an academic medical center and strive for academic excellence. Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital houses the Indiana University School of Medicine—Muncie, a satellite campus for the Indiana University School of Medicine, and most medicine faculty members hold university faculty appointments. Dr. Neal is the Governor-Elect of the American College of Physicians Indiana Chapter and is an author of four endocrinology textbooks and multiple peer-reviewed journal articles. He has been a question contributor and reviewer for the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as reviewer for numerous medical journals. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital faculty published over 50 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals in the last three years. Multiple faculty members are engaged in clinical research and original research projects and residents regularly compete against much larger programs in poster and abstract competitions. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is located adjacent to the campus of Ball State University. Many library and faculty resources are available here with just a short walk from the hospital.
Q: Are you part of the Indiana University School of Medicine?
A: While Indiana University Health is our parent organization and we enjoy a strong association with IUSM, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is a free-standing program with its own medical education governance and is not part of the IUSM program. We remain a strong clinical training site for IUSM students (the largest outside Indianapolis). Being part of the IU Health organization has enhanced our institution's ability to provide educational resources to our residents.
Q: What is the patient load? Will I see enough patients?
A: Each PGY-I resident cares for approximately 6 – 10 patients on a daily basis on the ward medicine service. In the outpatient clinic, residents gradually assume more responsibility as they progress, and PGY-III residents see approximately 6 – 8 patients per half-day session.
Q: Will I learn anything about the business of medicine at your program?
A: Our program, in collaboration with the Family Medicine program, has created a Practice Management seminar series teaching the basics of the "business of medicine" focusing on financial statements, contracts, negotiation, credentialing, billing/coding, and effectively running an office. For those desiring a more advanced understanding of business, we have collaborated with Ball State University to offer a Business Essentials for Professionals graduate certificate which can be completed online or via live courses. These courses also apply towards the BSU Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree which can be completed either during residency or at a later date. BSU and surrounding universities (e.g., Indiana Wesleyan University) have many flexible distance learning options available, including Web-based courses. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital offers a number of courses on proper inpatient and outpatient coding, and office management is an integral part of the PGY-1 and III Multidisciplinary Ambulatory Experience (MAX) months.
Q: Does your program provide training in "hospitalist" medicine?
A: IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital has a strong hospitalist program. The hospitalist program is integrated with the Department of Medical Education and hospitalists serve as attending staff for a significant number of months. Experience with hospital consultative medicine may also be obtained during an elective. This elective complements the inpatient experiences on Ward Medicine, Cardiology, and ICU. We recently have modified our PGY-3 year to accommodate those interested in a Hospitalist career, by offering more inpatient rotations (Hospitalist and ICU) in place of two ambulatory rotations.
Q: Will I learn how to be a good outpatient physician?
A: Our ambulatory experience mirrors that found in a typical internist’s office. Dr. Dickey, our clinic director, is an academic internist who trains our residents in performing multiple procedures.
Q: How do your residents perform on the ABIM Certifying Examination?
A: Our pass rate for the past 10 years is 94 percent which is well above the state and national average. We are committed to residents passing the boards, and supply ample funds for board review courses and educational materials (e.g., board review videos). Most of our conferences are structured in a "problem-based learning" format, and an optional "board review" self-study elective is available in June of the third year.
Q: What are the requirements for application?
A: All applications must be submitted through ERAS. Candidates will be selected for interview based on a number of factors: USMLE scores, letters of recommendation, course grades, and Dean’s letter. Because we receive more than 1,600 applications per year, we are unfortunately unable to interview all candidates. We typically require a USMLE average of 80 (two digit score) with no failures.
Thank you for your interest in our program.
J. Matthew Neal, MD, MBA, CPE, FACP, FACE
Executive Medical Director, Academic Affairs
IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital