Match, MSIV, MSIII, Program Director Interviews

Program Director Interview Series: Sorabh Khandelwal, MD | The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Sorabh Khandelwal, MD, is the residency program director at The Ohio State University College of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine. He shares with EMRA about the residency program and culture.

What sets your program apart from others?
I think our program offers an excellent clinical and academic environment to learn EM. Ohio State has many programs specifically designed to enhance the resident learning experience:

  • Coaching Program. This program encourages residents to reach their maximum potential and to understand the importance of goal development.

  • Professor Rounds. This is time each EM teaching faculty member spends in the ED away from their clinical obligations with the expressed purpose of teaching and providing observational assessments.

  • Longitudinal Tracks. Multiple longitudinal tracks (eg, Ultrasound, EMS, Global Health, and Research) have been designed to allow residents to follow their passion. All residents concentrate on developing leadership and ultrasound skills in two strong longitudinal curriculums led by nationally recognized leaders.

  • Facilities. We have a strong partnership with Nationwide Children's Hospital, a nationally recognized children's hospital. And we have a new state-of-the-art, 106-bed ED with a dedicated observation unit and a cancer section.

  • Other Educational Programs. We use a flipped classroom model that encourages residents to learn actively. We also have a robust simulation curriculum, grand rounds, visiting professor, and interdisciplinary case conference series.

What are the benefits of attending a 3- vs. 4-year EM residency program?
There are advantages to both 3- and 4-year programs. Since I am the PD of a 3-year residency, let me speak to that. I think a 3-year program is sufficient to produce an excellent practicing emergency physician. After graduation, the resident can complete 1-2 years of fellowship (in lieu of a PGY4 year). Fellowships can help jumpstart an academic career or a leadership position in the community. When properly designed, a 3-year curriculum can still allow time for personal growth and fulfillment (eg, tracks, elective time, etc.).

What is something that students may not know about your program?
We recently received a $1 million endowment (and matched by the department) to enhance resident wellness and encourage individual growth and development.

What range of USMLE/COMLEX Step 1 scores do you look for in an applicant for the program?
We don't make interview or match decisions based solely on board scores. Ideally, we would like to see a Step 1 score  ‰¥ 215 and a Step 2 ”‹ ‰¥ 224. However, we try to holistically look at each candidate and see the value they potentially could add to our residency program. We have seen many applicants with lower board scores who have accomplished some amazing things in medical school.

What kinds of opportunities for research exist? Do you look for residency candidates with research experience?
Like many EM residency programs, our residents are required to complete a scholarly project. We try to provide enough resources (eg, faculty mentorship, research staff support, medical education specialists) to encourage residents to complete a project that is worthy of submission to a peer-reviewed journal. We don't specifically look for research experience in residency candidates, but we do look for evidence that the candidate has demonstrated curiosity (eg, independent work, exploring a need, etc.).

Do you have opportunities to explore global health at your institution?
Absolutely. The Director for Global Health for the COM is a faculty member in our department. We have a longitudinal track focused on global health. Several of our residents take the opportunity to go abroad during residency.

What are some qualities that your program looks for in applicants?
Candidates who are resilient, motivated, willing to get involved, and wanting to be leaders in academic medicine and the community.

Interested in learning more about The Ohio State University's EM residency program? Get details!