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2016-2019 residents

Jackie Anderson

Jackie AndersonHometown: Milroy, MN
Undergraduate: The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH
Medical school: Rocky Vista University COM - Parker, CO
Bio: I was recently described as a cruise missile by a former Flight Surgeon with over 30 years of service all over the world. From him, I was humbled and honored because he followed it up by saying, "with a few coordinates, she will launch & hit a target nothing else could." I left my parents' farm in southwest Minnesota ten years ago with a high school diploma and an acceptance letter to the biggest college in the United States. Although there were several detours and surprises between now and then, I'm a family medicine resident at a program now that inspires me to do more every single day. I'm grateful for every opportunity God has put on my path and I couldn't be more thrilled to be on this journey. I had two incredibly supportive parents to begin with and after meeting my husband, I gained two more that love and encourage me. I have "homes" all over the US and though I might be biased, I think I'm the luckiest girl in the world.
Why Via Christi? Most people aren't surprised to hear it when I say that I get bored easily and I want to be involved. To me, an FM doc should be ready and willing to do pretty much anything. I wanted to go to a residency that prepared me to be dropped out of a plane anywhere in the world and be ready to do whatever they needed me to do in that place, at that time: surgical obstetric training, preventive medicine, sports medicine, ICU... the list goes on and on. When I came here as a sub-I, the list of what the residents were actually doing matched with what their website said that they could do...and not only that, they were super cool people. The residents here inspired me to think of medicine as more than just medicine... it was a way to reach people & they thought of medicine as just this cool set of skills they got to do on the side. I was so intimidated by how smart the residents were and how great they were at teaching - I knew I wanted to be a part of that. 
Passions/hobbies: I get really excited about learning something practical and putting it to good use. It makes me happy when I finish a project & it was overall a success: my cabinet doors went back on level & with all the original hardware after painted them, my walls were still standing after I sanded and re-textured them, my table stood when I assembled the legs. I like lifting heavy weights and running for a while. I feel great about my cooking skills when a recipe turns out the way someone on Pinterest said it would. I drive my husband crazy by scrapbooking, sewing, and sending him freebie nickknacks from Shutterfly. And when my to do list is running short, I just head to my happy place on the farm to see what Dad is up to.
Favorite book: "Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder, "The Littlest Angel" by Charles Tazewell, and "Let Papa Sleep" by Emily Reed.
Favorite quote: But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31
What are you doing now? My number one goal heading into residency is to be proud of every day here at Via Christi. I'm working on getting my life organized and I've been practicing holding my breath because even though I can tread water for awhile, I might end up under the surface so I figured it's best to be prepared.

Jamie Borick

Jamie BorickHometown: Boynton Beach, Florida
Undergraduate: University of Miami
Medical school: The Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Bio: Originally from Florida, where the sun is bright, and the beach is close, my husband and I chose to move to Wichita for the community and opportunities here. I really wanted to train at a broad spectrum family medicine residency, and Joe (my husband and BFF) felt like he just clicked at the Med-Peds program at Wesley! We spent four years in Israel for medical school where we learned a ton about global health, had some amazing opportunities traveling, and became annoyingly proud parents to our awesome son, Luke (8 months old). We love Jesus, and are so thankful for where he has led us so far, and are so excited to see how He allows us to take part in His work in these next few years.
Why Via Christi? There are about a hundred reasons why Via Christi. First, I am so excited for the community in Wichita. I am hungry for Christian community after our time abroad and felt like there was incredible leadership and accountability in Wichita. We’re excited to continue to learn how to serve our neighbors and the needy. I’m excited to be trained as broadly as possible so that our family can one day serve internationally, if the Lord wills. And I cannot wait to deliver my patient’s babies!
Passions/hobbies: My biggest passion is being a mom. I had no idea how great it would be! I am also passionate about learning and teaching global health and women’s health, caring for those in need, and learning to love those who are hard to love. My hobbies include gardening, reading, volleyball, and I dabble in art.
Favorite book: It's really hard to choose one! Top ten: King’s Cross by Tim Keller; Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Metaxas; A Severe Mercy by Vanauken, The Space Trilogy by Lewis and I’m a huge LOTR nerd.
Favorite quote: “I am an early bird and I’m a night owl. So I’m wise and I have worms.” –Michael Scott
What are you doing now? I'm starting Sports Medicine in July!

Craig Cunningham

Craig CunninghamHometown: Spencer, Iowa
Undergraduate: Iowa State University
Medical school: University of Iowa
Bio: I grew up in rural Iowa in a family of 6; this is where my appreciation for family medicine began. I really looked up to my family doctor as well as his colleagues and the type of full-scope family medicine they practiced. After graduating from Iowa State University, I attended the University of Iowa for medical school and began dating my wife, Lauren. We were married after M2 year and had a baby 1 week prior to M4 year. Our daughter Emma is now 16 months and we couldn't be happier parents. I want to practice full scope rural family medicine with obstetrics and c-sections as well as endoscopy. I'm a devout Catholic, striving to become the man that God created me to be. I am working to grow in love for Jesus Christ each day through service to my family, patients and colleagues. This program was a huge blessing for us and we are excited for the next three years.
Why Via Christi? I was looking for 3 things in a program: 1) exceptional broad scope family medicine training with obstetrics and endoscopy; 2) colleagues with strong character and drive to challenge each other to become better people and physicians; and 3) a place that respected my values as a practicing Catholic physician. Via Christi met and exceeded all three of these goals for me. Via Christi provides excellent opportunities to gain experience in obstetrics (including c-section) and endoscopy, as well as all other facets of family medicine. During my interview and second visit I was continually impressed with the residents. I could really see myself working with them and learning from them, and I already respected them as physicians. Via Christi actively supports me in my goal of practicing medicine in accord with my values as a Catholic. This includes encouraging and teaching my patients to use Natural Family Planning. In addition to all this, I found Via Christi to be very family-centered. They respect and value my role not only as a doctor but as a husband and father. My wife has a strong support system in the other resident spouses, and families are always welcome at any and all program events.
Passions/hobbies: My wife, Lauren; daughter, Emma; faith, golf, football and exercising.
Favorite books? The Emperor of All Maladies; Kite Runner and Gifted Hands|
Favorite quote? "A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."- John A Shedd
Post residency plan? Full scope rural practice with OB (including C-sections) and endoscopy. Advice for medical students: Take advantage of every clinical encounter and try to learn one thing per encounter. Also, see and do as much as you can during medical school.

William Garre

William GarreWhat is your position/graduating year? 2019 resident 
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Undergraduate: The University of Texas at Austin
Medical school: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Bio: I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I was initially talked out of medicine. I majored in TV and Video Production in Austin, Texas. I spent 20 years in the Air Force as a navigator on the C-130 Hercules. During that time I discovered that I never lost my interest in medicine, so I started getting my prerequisites one at a time over an 8-year period. By the grace of God I ultimately ended up here! My wife's name is Dana and my 2-year-old son (and possible future Via Christi resident) is Samuel.
Why Via Christi? I think the level of full scope Family Medicine training available here is among the highest in the nation, but it was the quality of the people, both residents and faculty that really drew me to the program. It is wonderful to work in a program where I know I won't be pressured to compromise my principles. Everyone is incredibly supportive and helpful. The work here is hard but I know that both my peers and faculty have my back.
Passions/hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife, Dana and our son Samuel. I also enjoy cooking (BBQ especially), and working on my old mustang.
Favorite book: Favorite quote: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

 

Sara Gower

Sara GowerHometown: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Undergraduate: Oklahoma Christian University
Medical school: University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa
Bio: I grew up in OKC and most of my family lives there. I have an older sister-expecting my first nephew!- and a younger brother. I enjoy spending time with friends and family and I love playing sports!
Why Via Christi? I was drawn to Via Christi for many reasons, but the most important thing for me was the positive work environment that the residents provide. I appreciate the residents and attendings working for a greater cause and striving to administer whole person care. I am attracted to the spiritual encouragement that I am surrounded by and enjoy being able to address the spiritual needs of my patients. My plans for the future involve serving the underserved wherever God places me in the future and I am confident Via Christi is the best place to obtain full-spectrum family medicine training. The family medicine culture is amazing in Wichita and I am thankful to be trained at an unopposed facility where the preceptors are ready to share all of their knowledge. Via Christi is a large program that is very well organized with many opportunities for everyone to learn. The resident’s number of procedures is one of the highest I have found. I am impressed by the skill level of the residents at Via Christi. Overall, I love the culture and encouraging environment to work and learn in during the next three years!
Passions/hobbies: I have a passion for serving the underserved population. I developed this after volunteering and working at several free clinics in OKC and Tulsa, OK. I realized that there are many people in medical need right in the middle of the city! I plan to serve this population wherever God places me in the future. I hope to be able to use my full-spectrum training while serving those in need. My hobbies include playing sports, being outdoors, and staying involved in my church and family. 
Favorite books? I strive to read the Bible daily. I enjoy reading self-help books and spiritual books. A Joy-filled Life by Mo Anderson is my recent favorite!
Favorite quote? "If you are going to do something, do it well!" – My mom.
Post residency plan? I am striving to serve the underserved in a population such as OKC or a similar sized city. I am not sure the exact plan that God has in store, but I am excited to see!
Advice for medical students: Find a place that you fit in. Get to know the residents because they will be your family for the next several years. Learning with people you can trust and rely on is much more fruitful and encouraging. Work hard. Be kind. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
 

Rachel Griffith

Rachel GriffithWhat is your position/graduating year? 2019 resident 
Hometown: Parker, CO
Undergraduate: Oklahoma Baptist University
Medical school: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: I am originally from colorful Colorado but am happy to have joined the Via Christi family here in Wichita. Faith, family, friendships and fun are the most important things in my life and I do my best to incorporate them all into my daily routine. I am excited about the possibility of practicing full scope family medicine in a rural area in or near Colorado. For me that means obstetrics including c-sections, scopes, pediatrics and inpatient/outpatient adults.
Why Via Christi? #1- The people are rock stars- faculty, residents, staff, nurses, spouses & significant others and kids. The combination of these groups of people makes for a welcoming, fun, hard working, brilliant group. Who wouldn't want to work and do life with these people? #2- The program itself- prepared to train you to be a broad spectrum doctor with ALL the skills. And if you know or decide that's not for you, you will still learn a lot along the way. #3- The opportunity for character and faith development- people care about more than just your medical knowledge. They are interested in your heart, your passions and your strengths/weaknesses. They will challenge you to be a better person.
Favorite book(s): To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Favorite quote: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. -Marianne Williamson

Connor Hartpence

What is your position/graduating year? 2019 resident
Hometown: Eudora, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical school: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Bio: I grew up in Eudora, Kansas, a small town about an hour west of Kansas City. I have a twin brother, an older brother, and 6 step-siblings. Despite growing up in KU Jayhawk territory, I completed my undergraduate training at Kansas State University. I met my wife, Stephanie, while at K-State, and we got married between third and fourth year of medical school. We lived in Cleveland, Ohio for four years during medical school, and are now very excited to be back in Kansas for residency.
Why Via Christi? My wife and I knew that we wanted to come back to Kansas, but I also wanted to make sure that I trained at a program that would prepare me for full-scope family medicine. The training at Via Christi is top-notch and the people are great, so it made our decision an easy one. There truly is a family atmosphere at Via Christi, which makes it an ideal environment for learning and growing as a clinician.
Passions/hobbies: I am a huge sports fan, especially college athletics. My teams are the K-State Wildcats, Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cleveland Cavaliers. I also enjoy spending time with my wife and two dogs, playing guitar and piano; and being outdoors - hunting, fishing, golfing and playing soccer.
Favorite books? A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Potter, Bill Snyder: They Said It Couldn't Be Done
Post residency plan? After residency, my wife and I plan to stay in Kansas, likely in a small town closer to Kansas City so that we can be closer to both of our families. I plan on practicing full-scope family medicine including OB and scopes.
Advice for medical students: There are literally hundreds of programs to choose from when applying to residency, so it can be overwhelming when deciding where to apply and interview. I think there are two main questions that you should ask yourself: 1) What am I looking for in a program? and 2) Is the program a good fit? The first question can often be answered by exploring program websites. On the other hand, the second question is more intangible. Once you have narrowed your list by answering the first question, I think it is important to answer the second question by going to interview dinners and attending second-looks, if possible. Spend time with the residents outside of the hospital/clinic and ask a lot of questions. Go with your gut instinct - if the program "feels right" and it seems like a great fit, don't ignore that feeling.
 

Erin Hoffman

Erin HoffmanWhat is your position/graduating year? 2019 resident
Hometown: Brighton, CO
Undergraduate: Simpson University, Redding CA
Medical school: Rocky Vista University
Bio: I grew up on the front range of Colorado as one of the few lucky natives, there I spent my time playing volleyball, riding horses, and climbing mountains. God whispered to me in El Ciudad Juarez, Mexico at 13 years old that I should pursue medicine and learn Spanish and I’ve been chasing that dream ever since. My original idea that the only way to practice missional medicine was to practice internationally has been both refined and enhanced; and I am currently striving to better understand the calling to love our neighbors as well as to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Why Via Christi? I felt that it was important to have as many tools as possible in my medical tool belt in order to have a lot of ways to be useful at the end of residency and I love OB. There are only a few programs that are as full-spectrum as they claim to be and Via Christi is one. So that was easy.  Also, Via Christi is full of people who are concerned about the mission of medicine and who are concerned with making it better. They are the kind of people that I want to be like and they end up doing the things that I want to do.
Passions/hobbies: I love Jesus Christ because he loved me first. I long for my whole life to be testament to that love.  My studly husband. Running. Exercise in all of its forms. Reading. Riding horses. Also...the mountains...skiing, hiking, camping, all of it.  Seriously. I had to add a few bumper sticker tributes to Colorado to my car and have a moment of silence as I saw them fade in my rearview mirror before I could fully set my mind to the Kansas move.
Favorite books? The Bible and the Great Divorce--C.S. Lewis; As far as medical literature that doesn't read like a textbook, I love The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee and everything by Atul Gawande, Being Mortal at the top of the list. I also think everyone who longs to change the world should read Charity Detox by Robert Lupton.
Favorite quote? I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full-John 10:1
Post residency plan? As it sits right now, I would love to practice broad spectrum medicine in a rural community with intentional time off to work in conjunction with a sustainable medical clinic internationally. I am also interested in disaster relief medicine.
Advice for medical students: Look for a program where the graduates are practicing the kind of medicine that you want to practice. Be honest and humble. Try hard. Look for the right fit.

Michael Kirkover

Michael KirkoverWhat is your graduating year? 2019 resident
Hometown: Chester, IL
Undergraduate: Southern Illinois University- Carbondale, IL
Medical school: University of Illinois- Rockford, IL
Bio: I was born and raised in a small rural community (population ~8,000) in Southern Illinois. Growing up in a town most people have never heard of - and even fewer could locate on a map if they tried - has its stereotypes. Nonetheless, I am proud to say that I was raised in Chester, also known as the "Home of Popeye". In general, I consider myself to be highly self–motivated; unlike many of my peers, I have no family members who work in the field of medicine. Instead, my passion for medicine came from role-modeling the local physicians who currently still practice in the region. I was frequently impressed by how they could give so much of their time to improve someone else's quality of life and how little they would ask for in return.  It is because of these experiences growing up, I knew I wanted to pursue a carrier in medicine.
Why Via Christi? When it came time to apply to programs my fourth year of medical school; many places advertised training in broad spectrum family medicine, but very few could live up to the hype. Via Christi is very unique, in that you are not only directly involved, but in most cases primarily responsible for your patients in every aspect of medicine from operative OB, peds, med, and preventive medicine. Unlike most programs, there was nothing on my wish list that I couldn't practice here. Being a relatively large program, it is filled with people who will push you everyday to make you better not only as a physician, but as a person.
Passions/hobbies: Anything that gets me out outside; camping, fishing, shooting, ATVs, motorcycles. Overall I just enjoy spending time with family and friends no matter what we happen to end up doing.
Favorite sports teams: Cubs, Bears, and Blues
Favorite books? No particular favorites, currently working on a series of books written by Atul Gwande; "Being Mortal" & "Checklist Manifesto".
Post residency plan? Still undecided, most likely will move closer to family and practice true broad spectrum medicine in a small community. I enjoy the traditional model of medicine and honestly prefer following patients in and outside of the hospital.

Mary Masterman

Mary Masterman

What is your graduating year? 2019 resident
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Undergraduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Medical school: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Bio: I grew up in Oklahoma City. I always loved science and math and thought I wanted to be a scientific researcher. During my undergraduate years I became interested in global health and in the global and national health disparities that we are facing and decided to apply to medical school.
Why Via Christi? I wanted to train at a full-spectrum program where I would get great OB and hospitalist training, including operative obstetrics, in order to keep the doors open.
Passions/hobbies: playing music, writing, bird watching, cooking, hiking, reading, watching movies, global health
Favorite books? A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Greyhound, Nineteen Eighty Four, the Hobbit, Jane Eyre, Mountains Beyond Mountains, His Dark Materials, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Outsiders
Favorite quote? "If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." — Harry Potter books
Post residency plan? I would like to do full spectrum family medicine including clinic, OB, and possibly hospitalist. I have family in this area of the country (Oklahoma and Kansas), and my husband's family is from Zacatecas, Mexico, so I would like to end up practicing in one of those two places. I have always wanted to treat the underserved that otherwise might have a hard time obtaining access to care. I am also interested in medical education and clinical informatics.
Advice for medical students: Work/study hard — the moment when you are expected to manage your patients relatively independently comes a lot sooner than you would expect! Don't be afraid to take multiple Sub Is if you are able to — I did ones in inpatient medicine, peds and OB/MFM and feel that it has helped me a lot.

Joshua McCoy

What is your graduating year? 2019 resident
Hometown: Buckley, Washington
Undergraduate: Seattle Pacific University
Medical school: Loma Linda University in California
Bio: I grew up in Buckley, Washington, a smallish town near Mt. Rainier where I developed a love for pine scent, the alpine treeline and walking sidehill until your ankles feel like they’re going to break. After undergrad I worked for a year building houses as part of a framing crew and if this whole medicine thing doesn’t pan out my backup plan continues to be building houses internationally whilst moonlighting for the BBC Earth camera crew. Actually I have a passion for long term medical missions and have been fortunate to spend a bit of time studying reconciliation in South Africa and to witness the Bible come to life in the mother tongue of a small Papuan people group. I love mountains…I don’t particularly enjoy heat or humidity—that said, there is truly no place my wife and I would rather be for residency than here at Via Christi.
Why Via Christi? Lots of reasons: Excellent training in a place filled with awesome people who are serious about excelling in medicine as well as in life’s other and greater pursuits. My wife and I resonated with a group of residents and docs who are living and ministering in a particularly underserved portion of the city (if you are interested or have questions about this I’d love to chat!) and I was confident that my wife would have the support of a fantastic community as I tackled the rigors of this program. I also am grateful for the opportunities for mentorship here. Ultimately, there are many terrific residencies out there but we felt a God-given peace to pursue Via Christi.
Passions/hobbies: I really enjoy rock climbing which I unfortunately didn’t get into until leaving Washington and California and coming to Kansas (go figure). If you haven’t heard of pickleball… well, you’re missing out. I hope to author a children’s book. I am particularly passionate about consuming chocolate chip cookies. Mostly though I love Jesus and I pray that he makes me daily more passionate about his Kingdom.
Favorite books? East of Eden (Steinbeck), The Big Hungry Bear (Wood), Bonhoeffer (Metaxes), King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub (Wood), Stone Fox (Gardiner), Kim (Kipling), Blueberries for Sal (McCloskey), Though Gates of Splendor (Elliot).
Favorite quote? I have a difficult time with favorites so here is one and then a few bookmarked witticisms from G.K. Chesterton. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even while we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

Chesterton: “Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”

“By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.”

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

“I believe in getting into hot water. I think it keeps you clean.”

“Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

“There is no man really clever who has not found that he is stupid.”

Any unusual training experiences during residency/fellowship? I started residency on OB. I walked into my first C-section on service, was pushed to the right side of the operating table, and the next words I heard were "Scalpel to McCoy." I then proceeded to be the primary surgeon my first C-section as an intern. This has nothing to do with me and everything to the program. For a family medicine program it is a place with unique opportunity, great responsibility, and fabulous support.
Stats - Vaginal Deliveries, C-Sections, Forceps, Vacuum, Colonoscopy, EGD, Colposcopy/LEEP, Stress Treadmill? At the time of writing this I am only 3 months into residency and yet, after 1 block of OB I am approaching 30 vaginal deliveries, several CS as primary surgeon, a couple colonoscopies, and an LP. There have been opportunities to do more and other things but one must have the time and prioritize. Despite the fact that Via Christi offers so many great opportunities, I'd encourage applicants not to focus only on numbers. Look at the people and the mission and see if you resonate. If you are married, allow your spouse to speak into the decision--they are in residency too.
Advice for medical students: Here are my two cents: BE HUMBLE. The end

Macy Rupprecht

Mary RupprechtHometown: Saint Marys, PA
Undergraduate: Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA
Medical school: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus
Bio: Raised in a small-town in Western Pennsylvania, I am the oldest of 3 girls. A career in medicine always seemed to interest me, but only after realizing that becoming a marine-mammal biologist didn't offer a very promising career outlook. Growing up, I thought I would stay close to home. However, after a trip to Haiti during undergrad I knew I was meant for so much more than this little town could ever offer me. My life took on a whole new trajectory that I never expected after that special experience. My motivation for going into Family Medicine has always been to serve those who would otherwise have no access to medical care, the manner in which this may be fulfilled never ceases to surprise me! I am excited to embark on this adventure called residency to see what the Lord has in store for me next!
Why Via Christi? "Kansas?! What?! Why, what could possibly be in Kansas, Dorothy???" This or something similar is what I have had to contend with by so many friends and family on the Eastern side of the country. All I can say is that the Lord led me here. In fact, I originally thought I would end up in Pittsburgh for residency. During a Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in my first year of medical school, I was first introduced to the Via Christi program. I tucked their brochure away for later and didn't really think much more of it. As the time neared to schedule audition rotations and Sub-I's, I pulled out the brochure and thought to check out the program. I reviewed my list of criteria that I was using to make list of programs to apply to, and Via Christi fulfilled each point. After spending a month immersed in the program, I knew that this program was where the Lord was calling me. 

I wanted an unopposed, dually accredited program that offered full-spectrum family medicine and would prepare me to feel comfortable in dealing with any situation I may be placed in as a physician. I also wanted a program that offered a strong community atmosphere among the faculty and residents in addition to where I could continue to grow spiritually. Having a curriculum or focus in global health was also important to me. After establishing what I was looking for in a program, I soon realized how limited much this limited me. Most programs fell short in at least one area or just did not "feel right". In the depth of my being, Via Christi just "felt right."
Passions/hobbies: My biggest passion is following Christ in all that I do and growing in my Catholic faith. I feel called to serve on the international mission field, a calling that first came during a brief trip to Haiti while I was a Junior in college. But beyond that I feel called to serve the poor and underserved where ever I am and to share the love of Christ with each person I meet. I also enjoy being outdoors and hiking as well as playing sports (running, ultimate frisbee, softball, volleyball, swimming). I enjoy baking and cooking, as well as trying new cuisine. Exploring new places and stretching my comfort zone is something I enjoy doing. I love spending time with family and friends.
Favorite books? I love reading and just learning. It is hard to pick a favorite. Here are just a few at the top of the list: 
The Bible
Mountains beyond Mountains
Hinds' Feet on High Places 
No Greater Love
A Simple Path
Rediscovering Catholicism
The 7 Pillars of Catholic Spirituality
Spiritual Freedom: God's Life-Changing Gift
Favorite quote? "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."- Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.'" -Erma Bombeck
"A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace." -Mother Teresa
"We have been created for greater things, to love and to be loved." ~Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Post residency plan?
As a recipient of the National Health Service Corps scholarship, I will be fulfilling my 4-year service commitment in one of the nation's designated health care shortage areas. I am open to going where ever I am called, but right now, I am thinking of serving somewhere in the Southwest region of the country. Beyond that, I am hoping to serve as a long-term medical missionary, but ultimately it is up to the Lord!
Advice for medical students: Before trying to sift through all the programs available to apply to for residency, first reflect on what you are hoping to get out of a residency program. Think about what you want your future career to look like and develop a list of criteria that you are looking for in a residency program- things that are important to you. After developing this list, use it to help sift through the hundreds of programs available to apply to for residency. 

Enjoy your last year of medical school. You will be given a lot of freedom and opportunity to grow- take advantage of these opportunities and cherish each moment because it goes by quickly. Don't be afraid to stretch your comfort zone.

Cooper Stewart

Cooper StewartHometown: Belle Plaine, KS
Undergraduate: Newman University (Wichita, KS)
Medical school: University of Kansas School of Medicine
Bio: I was born in Wichita and grew up in the small town of Belle Plaine in south-central Kansas. I met my wife during my undergraduate training at Newman University (although she attended Wichita State) and we married shortly before medical school began. We moved to Kansas City for my first two years of medical school and had a great time; yet realized that small-town life was more for us. I completed my third and fourth years of medical school "back home" in Wichita near life-long friends and family. We were blessed with a daughter born between fourth year and my first year of residency.
Why Via Christi? I have always wanted to return to a rural community to raise a family and practice broad-spectrum family medicine. I spent a significant amount of time during undergraduate and medical school with an outstanding group of rural physicians who came to be my mentors and clinicians I look up to. It turns out they were all trained here at Via Christi. In addition, during my time spent at Via Christi for my sub-internship and interviews I was impressed with how hard the residents worked and were challenged yet still wanted to show up everyday with a determination to become better clinicians and people. The knowledge and quality of the residents and attendings associated with the program is unsurpassed.
Passions/hobbies: Anything outdoors - I love to fish and hunt (waterfowl, deer, and pheasant), grill/smoke food, maintain our yard and make home improvements, go to movies, and follow my favorite sports teams (KU Jayhawks, KC Chiefs and Royals). I also enjoy spending time with my wife and newborn daughter.
Post residency plan? After residency, I hope to move back to a rural Kansas community and practice full-scope family medicine including in-patient and out-patient medicine, surgical OB, minor surgeries, and scopes.
Advice for medical students: Try to find a residency program "that is a good fit". You should ask yourself: Will I enjoy working with these co-residents for the next few years? Does the residency have people who are similar to me and share my beliefs and goals? Would I (and my family) really be happy here? Answer these questions by spending time with the residency and getting to know the people.

Sarah Stokes

Hometown: Apex, NC
Undergraduate: Gardner-Webb University
Medical school: Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: I grew up in Apex, North Carolina, attended undergrad in the one-stoplight town of Boiling Springs, NC and after working for a year, moved to the mountains of southwest Virginia for medical school. My perspective and passion for medicine and God’s kingdom has been further developed with experiences in India, east Africa, South America, and rural Virginia and continues to be refined. I am engaged and look forward to being married to my wonderful fiancé Lucas. I never thought I would come to Kansas but am so thankful to be here at Via Christi (and am adjusting to the flat geography)!
Why Via Christi? I wanted a full-spectrum family medicine program with strong obstetrics, inpatient, peds, and procedures, and ideally with osteopathic and international health components- a program that would prepare me for whatever setting I end up practicing in after residency. This program exceeded my expectations for all of those. The people here are awesome with a character, knowledge, and support among the residents and faculty that encourages and challenges me to grow in medicine, as a person, and in my faith. It is a community of like-minded, hard-working residents and faculty with a culture of teaching and caring well for patients and each other and some of the best procedural training in family medicine.
Passions/hobbies: Christ, mountains and outdoors activities – running, hiking, camping, horseback riding, swimming; spending time with my fiancé, friends, and family; trying new recipes or foods; traveling; Spanish; whole person care
Favorite books? The Bible, Knowing God, When Helping Hurts
Favorite quote? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
Post residency plan? I will be serving in an underserved area in the US with National Health Service Corps immediately following residency and would like to continue practicing full spectrum family medicine in an underserved community in the states or overseas in a missional context after that.
Advice for medical students: Think about what is important to you and where you want to be, look for people and programs that align with that and will help prepare you it, be humble and honest in the process.

Preston Wright

Preston WrightHometown: Covington, TN (Near Memphis)
Undergraduate: Lambuth University
Medical school: Kansas City University
Bio: To make a long story short, I grew up in small town Tennessee, went to a small undergrad where I played soccer and spent time with ministries in Iraq and Memphis that changed my life in in so many ways and pushed me into the trajectory of life I am in now. I love traveling with my wife, playing soccer, watching Tennessee Volunteers football and eating good food. I love to eat. I recently got married, which has been the adventure of a lifetime. Most of all I love exploring what the will of God is on this earth and contributing to that in the ways that I feel nudged (or called) with my wife. Right now that means learning medicine and more here in Wichita and praying through what that will look like after.
Why Via Christi? Via Christi has so many positives and is grounded in very enduring and life giving things. Whether you are a person of faith or not, Via Christi provides what I think is one of the most well rounded and full spectrum programs in the nation (I'm not biased or anything of course). As for medicine, Via Christi provides some of the best evidence-based, hands-on experience and leadership-invested rotations I've experienced. And that is across the board with medicine, OB, pediatrics and specialty rotations. Our attendings care, are very well read, and intentionally teach each resident every chance they get. As for community, Via Christi, through residents, spouses, attendings and other avenues, offered the best support community that my wife and I could find. My wife felt like this would be the place she could invest and be invested in as much as I would be.
Passions/hobbies: Soccer, traveling, eating good food, eating good food, running... and eating good food.
Favorite books? Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis (overall favorite), Captain Underpants (my favorite childhood book), and the Dune series (favorite entertainment books series)
Favorite quote? "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
Post residency plan? Overall plan is to practice in a medically underserved area with a missions focus. Right now I think that is means being in the inner-city south or somewhere in Mississippi where medicine is badly needed.
Advice for medical students: Focus on doing the best you can do and don't focus on competing and comparing yourself with your fellow students or residents. Want the best and help to support the best in your peers and it will bring out the best in you. Work hard, seek for purpose in your work and be humbly grounded in something bigger than yourself. Put granola bars in your coat pocket, you never know if a surgery or clinic day is going to go too long.
 

 

Class of 2018

Class of 2020