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Emergency Medicine Specialty at a Glance

Students interested in a career in emergency medicine should complete the emergency medicine Phase 3 clerkship on the Indianapolis campus in either the IU Health Methodist Hospital or Eskenazi Health Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital emergency department.


Match Statistics

Step 2 median score: 249
25th percentile USMLE Step 2 CK: 240.0
75th percentile USMLE Step 2 CK: 258.0

  • Why should a student choose emergency medicine?

    Emergency medicine will appeal to students who:

    • like to be challenged.
    • enjoy a wide range of pathology and patient population.
    • have good problem-solving skills.

    The pace and acuity can be challenging, but it is a broad specialty that allows tremendous flexibility in terms of career path and provides extensive opportunity to help the most vulnerable patients.

  • Are there things students should be doing in Phase 1 (year 1 and 2) to prepare?

    We recommend Phase 1 students focus on learning as much as possible in all areas to set yourself up for success on clinical rotations. Also, join the Emergency Medicine Student Interest Group.

  • What electives are recommended for students pursuing emergency medicine?

    Elective rotations should focus on getting a wide variety of clinical experiences.

    Highly recommended electives:

    • Two emergency medicine clinical rotations. One should be an away rotation if possible.
    • Two standard letters of evaluation (SLOEs)

    Suggested electives:

    • Adult intensive care unit
    • Cardiology
    • Dermatology
    • General orthopedics
    • Ophthalmology
    • Pediatrics (emergency department or intensive care unit)
    • Radiology
    • Toxicology
    • Sports medicine
    • Ultrasound

  • What sub-Is are recommended for students pursuing emergency medicine?

    Students can do any of the available sub-Is (internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, surgery or obstetrics and gynecology). The sub-Is can be done at anytime during the Phase 3 year and do not need to be completed prior to applications being submitted.

  • Is an away rotation recommended for emergency medicine?

    Students are required to complete an emergency medicine clerkship rotation at Methodist Hospital or Eskenazi Hospital in the early months of Phase 3/fourth year. Additionally, it is advisable to consider completing one away rotation at a location associated with an emergency medicine residency.

  • How important is research? Does it have to be specialty specific?

    This varies from program to program, but most programs do not require or expect research. It can help students stand out from applicants that otherwise have similar levels of competitiveness.

  • How long is emergency medicine residency training?

    Residency training for this specialty is three to four years.

  • Are there any specialty-specific recommendations regarding letters of recommendation?

    Yes, you must obtain at least one and preferably two standardized letters of evaluation (SLOEs). These letters can only be obtained by doing a rotation at a location that has an emergency medicine residency and getting an official letter from that program. Other emergency medicine letters that are not official program letters do not count as SLOEs.

  • What are some useful resources for students considering this specialty?
  • How does career mentoring at IU School of Medicine work in emergency medicine?

    Students interested in emergency medicine should complete the Request a Career Mentor form in order to be assigned a mentor. The Department of Emergency Medicine provides a resident mentor to Phase 1 students to help them learn more about the specialty. Once students reach Phase 2, we will assign a faculty mentor to help assist with residency preparation.