Match, Program Director Interviews

Program Director Interview Series: Butch Humbert, MD | Indiana University

This month, we interviewed Aloysius "Butch" Humbert, MD, Program Director at Indiana University School of Medicine's emergency medicine residency program about applying for EM residencies and opportunities at IU. Dr. Humbert shares his advice and insight.

What sets Indiana University School of Medicine's EM Residency Program apart from others?

There are several things that set the Indiana University School of Medicine's emergency medicine residency program apart from others. The first is our diverse patient population with more than 250,000 patients annually in three departments, a major tertiary care center, the county hospital for Indianapolis, and the largest children's hospital in the state of Indiana. All of this provides residents with the core clinical exposure required to be an outstanding emergency physician in any environment. Because of this patient volume and pathology, you will be trained to be successful in any EM job you choose after residency.

Next, the residents benefit from a large, diverse, and talented group of clinical educators who teach at the bedside, provide scholarly mentorship, and contribute to the close family experience that is IU.

Residents are encouraged to take ownership of the residency and drive their own education. They are involved in committees and encouraged to be proactive in making a positive and lasting impact on the legacy of the residency.

 Finally, we are committed to resident development and growth outside of the ED as manifested in curricular elements such as reflective writing, professional development activities, and wellness. To accomplish this, we provide reasonable clinical commitment during department months to allow time for growth in these areas. (Our volume, mentioned above, allows us to do so.) Additionally, our value added tracks provide additional opportunity for residents to grow in a niche area that includes advocacy, EMS, research, toxicology, administration, medical education, and simulation.

What is something students may not know about your program?

Our faculty are responsible for medical direction of both Indy EMS, a large urban EMS system, as well as the Indiana Poison Center, the only poison center in Indiana, which gives our residents outstanding training in these areas. We have a large faculty base that can provide mentorship in a wide variety of specialties including research, ultrasound, disaster medicine, and many other areas.

 Probably the biggest unknown is the city of Indianapolis.  It is a great place to live – a very liveable city with great bars and restaurants as well as multiple parks, concert venues, and breweries.  The cost of living is great, and residents can afford to buy a house during residency.

What range of USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 scores do you look for in an applicant for your program?

We do a holistic review of residency applications and do not use any strict USMLE cutoffs for applications. However, we do require that DO candidates provide a USMLE Step 1 score in order to be considered.

Do you look for residency candidates with research experience? What kinds of opportunities for research exist for residents in your program?

The research mission at Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine is undergoing a period of significant growth that started 5 years ago.  There are ample opportunities for residents and students to get involved in ongoing projects, as well as receive mentorship to develop their own project. Topic areas range from bench research on pulmonary embolism to clinical research in the department to education or simulation research. With 80+ faculty members, we are likely to have one who shares your passion and can help you develop it into a research project. As part of our holistic review, we do place value on research experience, especially in a well-balanced applicant who has also excelled in the clinical environment. However, research experience or interest is not a requirement.  As a resident, you will be required to do a scholarly project, which encompasses a very wide range of projects.

Do you have opportunities to explore global health at your institution?

IUSM has a number of established global health programs, most notably in Kenya. Residents have been able to participate in these activities, which include AMPATH, a world-renowned HIV program in Africa. In addition, several faculty members have an interest in global health, including in Honduras, Liberia, and Nepal. Some residents have put together electives to enhance their education in these areas ranging from short clinical trips to learning wide-ranging public health systems issues in other countries.

What are some qualities that your program looks for in applicants?

The most important quality that we look for in applicants are people who share the family values that have been prevalent here for many years. This includes residents who understand that their own growth and development is tied to the growth and development of the entire group. These are residents who want to make a difference – who won't be passive learners, but who will come into residency and work hard, take ownership of their residency experience, and make an impact on their own learning, the residency, and the lives and development of their fellow residents.

Interested in learning more about Emergency Medicine at Indiana University?

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