Application Criteria & FAQs

You have many questions as you research internal medicine residency programs.

Below, Dr. Brandon S. Dickey, program director, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the program at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

Applications

  • Applications to our residency program are only accepted through ERAS.
  • All positions are filled through the NRMP. We do NOT sign candidates outside of the match.
  • We are committed to accepting the best candidates, regardless of their medical school or national origin. Our program is diverse with residents from many different universities and cultures.
  • We receive approximately 2,000 applications per year for eight positions and therefore are able to personally interview only about four percent of applicants. We do personally review all applications and you will only be notified if you are selected to interview with our program.

Examination Criteria

  • USMLE Step 1 or COMLEX Part 1 pass in the first attempt.
  • USMLE Step 2 or COMLEX Part 2 scores preferred prior to rank submission and pass in the first attempt.
  • No prior failures on USMLE CS or COMLEX PE.
  • USMLE or COMLEX results must be within the last five years.
  • We typically require a USMLE average of 220.

Approved Medical Schools and Year Cut-Offs

  • U.S. Allopathic Schools or Osteopathic schools: senior or graduate preferably within the past three years.
  • International Medical Schools: senior or graduate preferably within the past three years. Please note your school must be listed on the Medical Board of California Approved Medical School List AND NOT listed on the Indiana Licensing Board Disapproved List. If your school is not on the California approved list, you will not be called for an interview.

Visas

  • We cannot guarantee sponsorship of any type of visa. Availability of visas depends on many factors outside our control that cannot always be anticipated in advance.
  • We currently sponsor J-1 visas only.

What qualities do you look for in an applicant?

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.

I have been told that I need to go to a university program in order to obtain a good fellowship. Is that true?

You can look at our history of fellowship placement and decide that for yourself. Approximately 20 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; The 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.

Are you a community or academic program?

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.

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.

Are you part of the Indiana University School of Medicine?

While IU Health is our parent organization and we enjoy a strong association with IU School of Medicine, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is a free-standing program with its own medical education governance and is not part of the IU School of Medicine program. We remain a strong clinical training site for IU School of Medicine 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.

What is the patient load? Will I see enough patients?

Each PGY-1 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-3 residents see approximately 6-8 patients per half-day session.

Does your program provide training in "hospitalist" medicine?

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital has a strong hospitalist program which is integrated with the Department of Medical Education. Hospitalists serve as attending staff for a significant number of months.

Experience with hospital consultative medicine may also be obtained during an elective, which 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.

Will I learn how to be a good outpatient physician?

Our ambulatory experience mirrors that found in a typical internist’s office. Dr. Singson, our director of ambulatory medicine, is an academic internist who trains our residents in performing multiple procedures.

How do your residents perform on the ABIM Certifying Examination?

Our pass rate for the past 10 years is 84 percent. We are committed to residents passing the boards, and supply ample funds for board review courses and educational materials (e.g., board review videos).

Do you require the CSA examination?

Completion of the Clinical Skills exam is necessary for the ECFMG certificate. Therefore, you cannot participate in the Match without it.

Do you have a preliminary year?

No. We are a categorical program (three years).

Do you sponsor Fifth Pathway graduates?

No. This is no longer sponsored by the American Medical Association and is no longer considered a valid credential for entry into GME programs at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

Is clinical experience in the US required?

This is desired but not required.

Do you have externships/observership positions?

We are unable to sponsor such positions at this time.

Do you take medical students from non-U.S. schools?

We are not a medical school, and our student electives are sponsored through the Indiana University School of Medicine. You may contact John Keller at the IUSOM's Student Affairs office via email if you have further interest, as student rotations must be coordinated through IUSOM.

How many letters of recommendation do you require?

Three letters are desirable. These letters need to be part of your ERAS packet and not faxed, e-mailed or mailed to the program.

Do you require Step 3 USMLE?

No.

International Student Frequently Asked Questions

Do you require the CSA examination?

Completion of the Clinical Skills exam is necessary for the ECFMG certificate. Therefore, you cannot participate in the Match without it.

Do you have a preliminary year?

No. We are a categorical program (three years).

Do you sponsor Fifth Pathway graduates?

No. This is no longer sponsored by the American Medical Association and is no longer considered a valid credential for entry into GME programs at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

Is clinical experience in the US required?

This is desired but not required.

Do you have externships/observership positions?

We are unable to sponsor such positions at this time.

Do you take medical students from non-U.S. schools?

We are not a medical school, and our student electives are sponsored through the Indiana University School of Medicine. You may contact John Keller at the IUSOM's Student Affairs office via email if you have further interest, as student rotations must be coordinated through IUSOM.

How many letters of recommendation do you require?

Three letters are desirable. These letters need to be part of your ERAS packet and not faxed, e-mailed or mailed to the program.

Do you require Step 3 USMLE?

No.