Frequently Asked Questions

What do you look for in a resident?

Acceptance at IU is highly competitive because of our excellent programs, location and benefits. Applicants should be a good fit for a larger program - independent, confident, excited by different opportunities, etc... We look for:

  • Commitment to patients and serving others
  • Hard-working with a sense of duty/responsibility
  • Active learners who thrive by doing and getting involved
  • High personal expectations with a drive to improve
  • Caring and respectful of others
  • Team player

What is it like being part of a big residency?

The intern class size, with 25 categorical residents, is a large program but has a personalized feel with individualized experiences, personal connections and meaningful mentorships. There are, of course, many benefits of a large program for scheduling, call trades, leave switches, vacations, etc... Our program also provides a good diverse social network with frequent resident outings.

Riley is the only children's comprehensive care hospital in Indiana; our residents receive training in a wide range of pediatric problems. For most residents, this is an ideal way to learn and thrive. Our residents are independent self-starters, are adaptive to different settings and agree that they develop and master skills faster in a system of active learning and diverse experiences.

What are the unique opportunities special to IU/Riley?

  • Full depth and breadth of pediatrics: Our health system and statewide primary care, community hospital and referral network provides diagnostic, cultural and socioeconomic breadth to the clinical experience that simply does not exist in many other programs. You will have enough patient volume of general and specialty care to understand both ‘bread and butter’ common problems, and unique patients with complex childhood issues.
  • Unique International Medicine programs: Other programs may offer an “international experience” but our Global Health track and international offerings are special.  The ‘crown jewel’ is the IU-Kenya program— a 25-year educational and clinical collaboration with the Moi School of Medicine in Eldoret, Kenya. This program has been recognized as a model of collaboration. In Kenya, we have on-site Indiana University School of Medicine faculty, residents and researchers (Indiana-Kenya Partnership). Other programs include China elective on international adoption, Honduras for medical Spanish development, and many more sites.
  • Community Pediatrics Training Initiative: We are 1 of only 10 programs awarded the AAP/Dyson foundation grant. This program focuses on community involvement and patient advocacy, working with community organizations that aid families of children with special health care needs, those with a history of domestic violence and recent immigrants (Anne E. Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative).
  • Outstanding Research Opportunities: Indiana University's Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research is one of the top biomedical facilities in the nation and an internationally recognized leader in pediatric research.Unique to IU is the Morris Green Scholars Program which integrates research into the Pediatric residency. This program prepares residents and fellows for investigative careers in academic pediatrics and allows you protected research time and ABP pathways with opportunities for bench or clinically based research training (Morris Green Academic Scholars Program).

How much time will I spend at each of the 3 hospitals?

Approximately 80% of rotations are at Riley Hospital for Children which is the main base for the residency program. Throughout residency, residents spend 1-2 months at Eskenazi Hospital and 2-3 months at Methodist Hospital. This ensures that our residents receive a balance of primary care and specialty experiences along with interactions with different staff and settings which will better prepare you for a variety of future careers.

How are the teams structured?

Riley Hospital has two general pediatric hospitalist teams, along with a variety of subspecialty-focused teams.  Teams vary in size and structure by service from larger teams (such as Pulmonary and Heme-Onc) where 4-5 interns/residents provide care for 20-25 patients. Other specialties such as Endo, GI, ID, Renal, etc. have smaller teams of 2-3 residents who care for inpatients while also providing consultations. On call teams are combined from different specialty services, with effort made to keep continuity with your assigned team patients.

How many electives do I get?

Two as a PGY1, two as a PGY2, and three as a PGY3. These 7 months are for you to tailor to your individual needs. Faculty advisors and program directors help residents design their experiences to explore careers options, evaluate fellowship interests and/or get involved in projects to expand their future career plans. We are committed to being creative, flexible and supportive so you get what you need for your individual path.

How frequent is call?

Most inpatient rotations for interns are q5 ‘short calls’, assisting with admissions in the late afternoon/evening. This ends at 9:00pm so interns can have time at home and not miss out on daily rounds and conferences.  Intern electives have weeks without call and a few back-up / jeopardy calls.  We do expose interns to some night call experiences as well— PGY1s have a total of 4 weeks of night float, divided into two blocks. Interns also have some night calls while covering rotations like Heme-Onc, NICU and normal newborn. 

 We strike a good balance in support for time off and rest, while preparing interns for admissions, deliveries, and events that are unique to nights and call.  Our overall call schedule is comparable to most large academic centers— call is an important time to learn, to develop independent decision-making and to participate in deliveries and procedures. We have resident teams on call who work together and 24/7 in-house faculty support for teaching and assistance.

What is the patient population like?

We have a diverse patient population in Indianapolis! We have one of the largest urban African-American populations in the U.S.; the growing Latino population is a major part of most Eskenazi clinics and one continuity clinic is housed at a fully bilingual office; referral patients from around Indiana include rural patients and a large Amish population. There are several immigrant groups from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe that are included in the patient population. Our patients vary from those that are well-educated and armed with internet information to uninsured low-income patients. In summary, you will see all types of patients from the common to the rare and from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

How diverse is the residency program?

We attract outstanding students from around the U.S. and international schools. Our current residents come from medical schools in 25 states. In addition, IU has one of the largest medical schools in the US and we have a small but strong core of our top IU students who go into pediatrics. In addition we select a few outstanding international medical graduates, many of whom have gone on to become Chief residents and top fellows. We usually have a few osteopathic trained residents and MD/PhDs in each class.  At the end of the day, we care more about people and who they are more than letters or credentials as we strive to preserve our strong culture of team-players who support each other.

 As with most pediatric programs, about 75% of our residents are women. 30%-50% are married, some with families. We have several couples in the program and work hard to make scheduling coordinated. Our diversity reflects most pediatric numbers with a growing number of African-American, Latino, and under-represented minority residents in the program.  We have many faculty and residents who are part of the LGBTQ community and actively support making our program welcoming to all!

How much vacation do I get?

We appreciate the hard work done by our residents, and therefore provide ample vacation opportunities. PGY1s and 2s have 3 weeks of vacation, while PGY3+s have 4 weeks. Additionally, all residents will have a 5-day holiday block over Christmas or New Year’s holidays. PGY1s will start their intern year 1 week early to assist with transition into residency, and therefore will get an extra week of vacation between their PGY1 and PGY2 years.

What are the IU Boards ABP pass rates?

Our program has excellent ABP Board pass rates that are well above the national average.  The 3-year average is 90%.