Residency Program Embeds Students At Speedway

May 20, 2019

During the month of May, medical residents from across the country are in Indianapolis for a program at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The program offers a chance to train two sides of emergency medicine.

The Indiana University Health Emergency Medical Center in the infield of the Speedway treats drivers and spectators.

IU Health Dr. Geoffrey Billows is the chief medical officer at IMS. With nearly 400,000 people on race day, the grounds become the equivalent of the second biggest city in Indiana.

"It provides [residents] an opportunity to take care of fairly large numbers of people with limited resources," says Billows. 

The motorsports medicine part of the program also allows doctors in training a chance to respond to high-speed crashes trackside. 

Drew Lowry is an emergency medicine resident from Texas.

"Being out during the wrecks, getting to assess the drivers on the scene as well as when they come back here," says Lowry. 

Billows says on race day they’ll treat 600 t0 800 patients. 

"So we see things you see in any large city. We see heart attacks, strokes, diabetic emergencies, belly pain," says Billows. 

The motorsports emergency side of the program also allows residents to learn about driver safety innovations.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said the program was designed for medical students. That was incorrect. The program is for emergency medicine residents.