I rotated through this department as an MS4 during summer 2016 and was planning on writing a review eventually, but BE205's post prompted me to action early.
This is still a six resident program where the residents rotate through several locations including Eskenazi Hospital (County hospital), a VA, Riley Children's Hospital, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye institute, and with a private group called Midwest Eye Institute (MEI) about 30 mins away from the main campus in Carmel, IN which was recently bought out by Indiana University anyway. MEI has had a very long association with IU with many faculty members holding joint appointments at both lcoations. A key facet of MEI is that all members should have academic pursuits and be actively researching and publishing, so there is a great deal of exciting work there. All of the hospitals except Midwest eye are on the same (albeit somewhat expansive) campus and parking is provided. When you look at the "faculty" listing on the Indiana website, you'll find the traditional strengths of the program with glaucoma and pediatrics to be very well represented, but may be surprised to see that plastics, retina, and cornea might not seem as strong. In reality, many faculty members who represent these specialties choose have their primary practice at MEI, and can be found under "affiliated faculty." Residents seemed to indicate that faculty in all specialties were well connected enough to facilitate excellent matches in any specialty should a resident desire this. Over the past few years, the residents indicated that the vast majority of their graduating classmates had gone into comprehensive practice with 2/6 going into fellowship in the class of 2016 (1 retina at a Chicago program, and I can't remember the other...), and 1/6 applying for fellowship (retina) in 2017. Peds, glaucoma, and ASOPRS plastics fellowships in house, but it doesn't seem like the residents have made use of them recently.
There will be some changes in the future for the program. Dr. Cantor, the chair and current secretary of education with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, will be stepping down at some point in the next year or two and the search process for a new chair is currently beginning. Some of the residents indicated that they believed Dr. WuDunn, the current program director, was likely to step into the role of chair as past program directors of the program tended to move into the chair position meaning a new PD would be necessitated as well. This is only speculation though. While reading about Dr. Cantor online over the summer, I did come across this article: http://www.ibj.com/articles/53114-tensions-spawn-exodus-of-iu-ophthalmologists
. If there was tension in the department, I was unaware of it during my time rotating with this group and the residents did not seem to be lacking in their exposure to any sub-specialty. As far as I could tell as a student, the situation was under control. Dr. Cantor indicated to me that there are plans to continue to expand the basic science research end of things at this program over the next few years with the addition of even more laboratory space at the Glick Eye Institute. Glaucoma service seemed especially strong with several MD/PhDs on board, and I believe there will be several clinical trials starting at IU through them as well.
As a whole residents were a fairly happy bunch and seemed happy with their interactions with attending physicians. There were a few odd and occasionally tough physician personalities here and there, but no one stood out as particularly malignant as I rotated through VA, Glick, MEI, Eskenazi, and Riley. Non call work days usually started around 8am unless there was morning lecture (maybe 2x per week at 7 or 730), and usually wrapped up around 430 regardless of the site, although there were a few later days (530 being the latest I think) mixed in. Residents seemed to have at least 30 minutes to grab lunch regardless of rotation, and there were more than a few days at some of the clinical sites where the entire group had time to go out for a sit-down lunch in between morning and afternoon sessions, something I didn't see at any of my other rotations. Personally, I thought clinic flow was a little less at the VA, Glick, and Eskenazi than some of the other places I rotated. With six residents at Eskenazi and the VA, they tended to see about 45-55 patients in a day. All patients were signed out to attendings. Fellows tended to rotate and private offices so there was minimal competition for cases. I don't really have a sense of surgical numbers, but all of the third years who were getting ready to go into comprehensive practice voiced that they seemed ready to do so. There were normally three-four didactic sessions a week including grand rounds. For rotations, residents rotated through block 2 month blocks of each of the sub-specialties including comprehensive. One slight downside someone else might be able to comment on is that I don't think there was a plastics rotation until the second year of the program, although I could be wrong. Call schedule was great with first years about 1/7 covering weekends and holidays. Second years were responsible for 20 call days throughout their second year with no weekends or holidays. Third years take backup surgical call. All call was home call though, and residents did say that they were typically quite busy over night. Still, nobody seemed that bothered by it. Board pass rate per doximity is 79%. Not sure how recent grads have fared.
Several of the residents I encountered at this program had, or were recently starting families with several having multiple children. One of the first year residents was able to coach his kid's soccer team in the evenings so it did seem like there was a decent work/life balance here. Unmarried residents seemed to have time for weekend travel/enjoying what Indianapolis had to offer as well. Many of those not married were in relationships.
The program also does have a history of accepting IMGs, although typically with some stipulations. One recent IMG had a family member who was an ophthalmologist in Indiana who I believe advocated for that person. Several other IMGs completed residency in their home countries FIRST followed by research/fellowship in America, then a residency at IU. There is presently a resident there who took that path, and I've met several other faculty members at other institutions who took this path through IU as well. Another IMG completed a residency in IM first, and is now part of their residency program. Overall, it doesn't seem like you can just graduate from a foreign medical school and get in, but if you are dedicated it is possible
to match at IU.
As an away rotation
: You spend one week rotating at Eskenazi, the VA, glaucoma service (multiple locations) and Peds at Riley Eye hospital. You will be required to give a 10 minute (no more) grand rounds presentation which is very well attended. There is also an untimed final examination which consists of multiple choice questions, 10 cases with associated questions, and practice fundoscopy. It is hand written, and takes quite a while (about 3-4 hours). Resources are made available to you to help you study for this (several books and a website devised by faculty), but ultimately I found they didn't entirely cover all aspects I needed to be responsible for for the examination.
Obtaining a letter of recommendation from this rotation seems like it would be challenging. You do not work much with attending physicians, and given you are only spending a week at each site, you don't have much of an opportunity to develop a relationship with faculty. If your scores are outstanding, maybe Dr. Yung who oversees medical student education and away rotations could be helpful in this regard but I'm not sure who else. This is a rotation where you shadow almost entirely. Often, there are not enough lanes for you to see your own patients, and residents often don't know you well enough to trust you to see your own or do your own notes. I offered to take call with several residents, and discussed the matter with Dr. Yung; all of whom told me I should only do it if I wanted to see trauma. Call was not required of medical students, and nobody seemed to think it would change the faculty's impression of your work. I was told my time was better spent studying. Ultimately, I felt I could never really make an impression on anyone while I was here, but that was just my experience. While I honored the rotation, I was not invited to interview.
: This seemed like a solid, amicable, well rounded program with good clinical, research, and surgical experience. I would have been happy to match here. Best of luck to those interviewing this week!!!!