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Class of 2020

Michelle Baalmann

Michelle BaalmannHometown: Colwich, KS
Undergraduate: University of Dallas
Medical school: University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita
Bio: I grew up in Colwich, KS on a small dairy farm. I went to Bishop Carroll high school in west Wichita, then moved to Dallas for undergraduate. I moved to New Orleans for 1 year for a masters in pharmacology from Tulane University. I moved back to Wichita for medical school and have been there ever since.
Why Via Christi? Happy residents, kind residents, intelligent residents, great OB and inpatient training.
Passions/hobbies: Anything outdoors, gardening, piano, cello, painting.
Favorite books? A Moveable Feast (Hemingway), any book from The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Divine Comedy (Dante), autobiographies
Favorite quote? "We suffer each his own shade." -The Aeneid
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page." -St. Augustine
"What did I tell ya? There's the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it but the birds, the stars and the chimney sweeps." (Mary Poppins)
Post residency plan? TBD
Advice for medical students: Never stop reading. Never stop learning.

Scott Cooper

Scott CooperHometown: Wichita, KS
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical school: University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita
Bio: I'm a Wichita boy who loves Kansas and wouldn't leave for any amount of money. I grew up in a non-medical family playing sports and hanging with friends, and didn't know what I wanted to do until college. Engineering wasn't for me, so I became a pre-med like 50% of all college attendees. I was nerdy and stubborn enough to stick with it and got accepted to KU Med. I almost dropped out of med school to become a Catholic priest, but decided to stay and marry my beautiful wife, who was in nursing school at the time. I got accepted to the residency of my dreams and we are now expecting our first child in two weeks.
Why Via Christi? I'm a big believer in going with your gut for big life decisions. This ended up being an easy decision for me. For two reasons: culture and competence. Via Christi had the culture I knew I needed, and their senior residents were impressively competent. It was a sweet bonus that my wife and I did not have to leave our hometown to find a program that is known nation-wide to be among the best.

After spending four weeks with the residents, I knew this program had a culture of caring people. Not just 'nice' people, but people that are actually looking out for each other: covering shifts, bringing you coffee, taking some of the load off your back when you really need it. After my first two months of residency, I'm happy to say I'm even more impressed than I was as a student. Just last week, after a stressful night shift, a senior resident did my rounding for me when he realized my workload had surpassed what I could handle. That gave me an extra 2 hours of sleep when I really needed it. I will never forget that.

The senior residents are impressive for multiple reasons. First of all, they are remarkably confident, which stems from their competence. They're competent because we are a high volume program full of people who care about teaching. It's clear the residents were smart before they came here, but this program has prepared them to go out and do whatever they want, wherever they want. Every program wants to say that, but most cannot prove it. The proof is in the list of what graduates are going off to do. Not what they want to do, but what they going off to do. I would encourage all applicants to get their hands on such a list from every program they are seriously considering.

In short, I recommend spending time with the programs you're serious about, and then simply go with your instincts. It needs to be more than just the interview day, in my opinion. I was fooled by some programs on interview-day. If you don't consider doing a Sub-I here, I truly believe you are missing out.
Passions/hobbies: There are lots of passions/hobbies I wish I had. Sports, fishing, wood-carving, banjo-playing, singing, reading novels and fairy tales, camping, coffee brewing, beer drinking, eating my mom's salsa, walking into a warm home smelling my wife's cooking, mowing the lawn, coming up with puns, and exercising - or rather - enjoying the feeling of having-had exercised.

I dabble in the above, but the only things I do regularly are pray and hang with my wife. Favorite books? The Lord of the Rings.
Favorite quote? "The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasures in every meal, and in every word and song." - The Fellowship of the Ring

"Our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life itself, is apparently not only like, but IS the Divine life operating under human conditions." - C.S. Lewis

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things,
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices
-St. Teresa of Avila

Post residency plan? Direct Primary Care. I've had my heart set on that for 4 years now. If you haven't spent a day in a DPC clinic, you are missing out.
Advice for medical students: "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, kid. You can never go wrong." If you can name the movie, you've got my vote to come here.

In all seriousness: Pray, hope, and don't worry.

Cheryl Dobson

Cecilia HintonHometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Undergraduate: Northwest Missouri State University
Medical school: University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita
Bio: I am originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, but I have lived in Kansas for more than 20 years and call Wichita home. My husband and I just celebrated 19 years of marriage, and we are the proud parents of two teenage sons. My undergraduate degree is in Spanish and K-12 education, and prior to going into medicine I was primarily a stay-at-home mom.
Why Via Christi? I fell in love with the culture at the Via Christi Family Medicine Residency. The residents and faculty are very intentional about building one another up and creating a positive, healthy environment in which we can learn and provide optimal care for our patients. I also appreciate the emphasis on full-spectrum, hands-on training and the ability to choose electives which best fit my interests.
Passions/hobbies: Passions: I have many, but my priorities are God, Family, and Friends. My free time is usually spent hanging out with my family- we love travelling and camping, but our favorite weekend activity is to work around the house/yard and then watch a movie together. I also enjoy volunteering with the Boy Scouts of America, and have served in a variety of roles over the years including Cubmaster, Den Leader, and Merit Badge Counselor.
Favorite books?The Bible. My faith plays an instrumental role in my life, providing strength, direction, peace, and forming the foundation on which I live.
Favorite quote? "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." -Romans 10:9-10
Post residency plan? I have some ideas about what I would like to do following residency, but no solid plans at this time. I am interested in rural emergency care in Kansas and would also like to do some teaching and short-term missions work.
Advice for medical students: Integrity is essential. Make sure you are the same person when around others and when you think no one is watching.

Karissa Gilchrist

Cecilia HintonHometown: Rose Hill, Kansas
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Medical school: University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita
Bio: I was actually born in rural Oklahoma. I moved to the Wichita area with my family when I was young and have been here ever since! I decided to stay in Wichita for undergrad at Wichita State (Go Shox!!), medical school at KU-Wichita, and couldn't be happier with my decision. I have dreamed of a life in medicine for as long as I can remember and I love the support for family medicine here. I enjoy spending time with family and am so happy to be doing my residency at home in Wichita!
Why Via Christi? The people! I did a rotation here as a medical student and had an incredible experience with the faculty and other residents. I hoped to find a residency that would make me feel like family, yet still challenge me to continuously improve. I wanted to be a part of a program that valued comprehensive patient care with obstetrics as well as endoscopy. I believe I found that at Via Christi and I feel like the training I'll receive from this program will prepare me to confidently practice in any future setting.
Passions/hobbies: My first passion is definitely my family! I love to spend as much time with family and friends as possible. I also enjoy doing anything outdoors such as hiking and running. I especially love slalom skiing and wakeboarding at the lake in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. Music is another passion of mine. I have played the piano since I was seven years old and I love to sing (as long as I'm alone in my car). I also love a good cup of coffee!
Favorite books? Complications by Atul Gawande, Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Favorite quote? "Happiness is not to be pursued; rather, happiness will ensue from a life lived with purpose"
Post residency plan? I plan to practice full scope family medicine with obstetrics and endoscopy.
Advice for medical students: Search for the mysterious "fit". It truly is about knowing yourself and what you're passionate about, then searching for a program where you feel encouraged to explore and expand on that passion.

Caleb Gillham

Cecilia HintonHometown: Walla Walla, WA
Undergraduate: Southern Adventist University, Tennessee
Medical school: Loma Linda University, California
Bio: My first memories were of Palm tree and Ocean surf on the small Island of Guam. Growing up a missionary kid, we moved a lot, but each place stole a little piece of my heart. Now a first year resident, those little pieces are still calling me out. This is exactly why I am here at Via Christi, to become equipped for the road ahead.
Why Via Christi? I never would have imagined I would be in Wichita for residency. Away, far away, from the majestic mountains of the Northwest and my family, not to mention my wife's family! So how did Via Christi find its way to #1 on my list?
1. Intense full spectrum training
2. Most inspiring Christ centered faculty and residents I've ever seen. Seriously, it is contagious.
3. All the residents wives took my wife in so warmly that see was crying for joy when we matched here knowing she would be with friends, and she is from Oregon only visiting for call back weekend.
I couldn't be happier to be here in Kansas.
Passions/hobbies: Riding tandem bikes with my wife Katie!
Playing with my Ausie dog!
Old dusty books who's authors were smarter than me.
Language studies
Studying and religious text
Favorite books? Bible
Sabbath it's meaning for modern man - Abraham Herschel
Conflict of the Ages series - Ellen White
Mountains beyond Mountains - Paul Farmer
Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
Favorite quote? "We came to believe that God could, and would, if he were sought." Big Book of AA
Post residency plan? Mission Service in Central or South America if and when God opens the door.
Advice for medical students: You can't get to know a residency during interview time. Do away rotations, a lot of them. Not because you have to but because you get to. This will clarify your rank list.

Cecilia Hinton

Cecilia HintonHometown: Columbia, MO
Undergraduate: Creighton University
Medical school: Kansas City University
Bio: I was born in Omaha, Nebraska but have grown up in Columbia, Missouri for the most part. I'm so blessed to have family all over- including Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Arizona! I'm part of a very large Italian family and I love it! I met my best friend Skyler when I was 15, and I am so lucky to travel through this journey of life with him!
Why Via Christi? When I did my rotation here, I fell in love with the resident community. I was included in activities from day one and there was always something to do! In the hospital, everyone worked together so well and they were all so willing to teach: I am so lucky to be surrounded by them all.
Passions/hobbies: I love spending time with my family, friends, and my German Shepherd Ryder. We love to go on long runs and he was my training partner for my first half marathon. I love working out, doing exercise classes, cooking, baking and crafting. I have a whole craft room in our house and love to create personalized handmade gifts for all the new Residency babies!!
Favorite books? The Real Doctor Will See You Now
Favorite quote? "If you don't like it: deal with it, get over it, or seek counseling."- My Grandma

"In the end, everything is going to be alright-- if it's not alright, it's not the end.

"Work hard, play hard."
Post residency plan? I am interested in applying for Sports Medicine fellowships and someday hope to work with orthopedic surgeons as a non-surgical option for patients. I hope to use my OMM skills to treat athletes and orthopedic patients on and off the field!

Advice for medical students: Learn as much as you can, take notes, ask questions and trust your gut. Everything works out as it should!

Taylor Hircock

Cecilia HintonHometown: Adel, IA
Undergraduate: University of Northern Iowa
Medical school: University of Iowa
Bio: I was born and raised in small-town Iowa and have not lived outside the state until I made the long leap to Kansas for residency. I met my wife Marcie while working at a summer camp together and we were married just prior to starting med school. We made the leap to parenthood by welcoming our first child, Blake, in December of fourth year. Ever since being inspired by the TV show Scrubs, my path to medicine has been a pretty straight shot with the exception of a brief stint building pallets. I am the only one of my family in medicine so whenever I thought of a doctor I automatically pictured "do-everything" family medicine. By the time I realized the difference I was already sold on it.
Why Via Christi? With the goal of doing full-scope medicine including inpatient, outpatient, adults, kids, OB, procedures, etc, I felt there were really only a handful of places with the rigor and education that would prepare me to finish and do all of those things with complete confidence. Via Christi was at the top of that pack for me and it sealed the deal when I met the residents and faculty and knew that me and my family would feel so at home with everyone here. I was able to spend a couple days here during interview season and the things I remember sticking out were the quality and intentionality of the teaching by attendings and the confidence of residents in their own skills. Program culture is such a hard thing to define but what I saw as unique about Via Christi is how connected everyone's lives are both inside and outside the hospital.
Passions/hobbies: It may be cliche but it holds true that my faith and my family are the top priorities for me. After that I'm a big sports fan, bordering on obsessive when it comes to the Iowa Hawkeyes. Also running, racquetball, spikeball among others. My wife and I love playing board games with friends. Other random interests: hunting/shooting, fantasy football, jeopardy
Post residency plan? Rural full scope medicine in Iowa or elsewhere in the Midwest doing inpatient, outpatient, and OB is the dream right now. I'm also passionate about international missions and am weighing that either full or part time
Advice for medical students: For everyday use: When you get those moments of teaching that you find really helpful or interesting, write things down and start compiling your own little "best of" medical textbook that you can go back to
For residency search: 1) The more you get asked, the better you will get at realizing what you want out of your training; 2) Do lots of research on programs ahead of time so you know if they fit that. This will leave you more time and effort to; 3) Focus on the feeling you have as you leave a program. Preferably call somebody. Its so easy to doubt things later but you can come back to that top of the world feeling you had when you found your fit.

Tessa Hovenden

Tessa HovendenHometown: Valdez, Alaska
Undergraduate: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Medical school: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: Hello everybody! My name is Tessa, and I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Alaska! I grew up in a couple of different rural towns and spent most of my childhood fishing, camping and hiking. After high school I moved to Fairbanks (the second largest city in Alaska) and did my undergraduate degree in Biology. Fairbanks is also where I met my husband Jake. Together we drove through Canada and several states all the way to Denver Colorado where I went to medical school. I pursued the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track at my medical school, and I continue to have a strong interest in rural medicine. In March of 2017 we welcomed our daughter Molly into our lives. We are enjoying Kansas so far, although we do miss the mountains!
Why Via Christi? Aside from the fact that it is an excellent program for full scope family practice, the people here are genuinely warm, kind and supportive. I am very happy to be here! Passions/hobbies: My weirdest hobby is that I like to crochet stuffed animals. I also really enjoy the outdoors, and Ultimate Frisbee!
Favorite books? I feel like this changes all the time so if you asked me again in 6 months my answer might be different. A recent favorite of mine is “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. I am such a softy for dogs!
Favorite quote? "To belittle, you have to be little" -Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
“You’re only young once, but you can always be immature” –Germaine Greer
Post residency plan? We are planning to return home to Alaska after residency. Family medicine docs are needed so badly there! I would like to practice in interior Alaska and do some rural outreach in that region.
Advice for medical students: The best advice I can give is to just be yourself! It is certainly a crazy time for the fate of your life and career to be up in the air during the match process. The good news is that if you are open about who you are and what is important to you, you will find your way to where you are meant to be,

Sarah Johnson

Cecilia HintonHometown: Southeast Michigan
Undergraduate: University of Michigan
Medical school: University of Michigan Medical School
Bio: I grew up in southeast Michigan before moving an hour away to Ann Arbor to attend the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!). There, I studied chemical engineering, international health epidemiology, and medicine. I met my husband - a buckeye - at church, but it took him awhile to get over the fact that I'm a wolverine. We married during my fourth year of medical school, just a few weeks after learning that we'd spend the next three years in Wichita!
Why Via Christi? I first heard about Via Christi as a second year medical student at the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville, KY, where I unexpectedly ran into a friend from my master's program. At the time, his wife was a Via Christi resident, and the two of them told me about their experiences in Kansas while we caught up over lunch. All the while, I was thinking to myself, "That sounds great, but I'm not going into family medicine and I'm not moving to Kansas." However, over the next couple years, with an interest in one day working overseas, I found myself more and more drawn to family medicine because of its access to a diverse patient population, emphasis on public health, procedural opportunities, and OB experiences. From my conversations at GMHC, I knew that I had to at least consider Via Christi when applying for residency. Ultimately, after the interview season, I found that this was the only program to meet or exceed every one of my expectations: residents are skilled at both inpatient and outpatient medicine, and they have the opportunity to become competent in multiple procedures including scopes and C-sections; faculty are not only excellent teachers and clinicians but also hugely supportive of residents on a personal level; a number of residents and faculty are interested in working in underserved areas both domestically and internationally and are taking practical steps to prepare themselves to do so; and the sense of community here is unlike anywhere else I interviewed. Most importantly, the mission of the residency resonated with me and my husband, with its emphasis on developing character and serving the community.
Passions/hobbies: Rock climbing, hiking, biking, reading, traveling, visiting national parks, skyping with my nieces, baking and making ice cream
Favorite books? The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers
Favorite quote? May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. - Psalm 19:14
Post residency plan? TBD! We have thought a lot about international missions, but ultimately we will go wherever the Lord leads us.

Kate McDermott

Kate McDermottHometown: Granville, NY
Undergraduate: Cornell University
Medical school: University of North Texas Health Science Center
Bio: I grew up in a big, loving family in an agricultural town south of the Adirondack Mountains. I studied Biology and Global Health in Ithaca, NY, Rural Public Health in College Station, TX, and Osteopathic Medicine as a Rural Scholar in Fort Worth and various small towns across Texas. I've had the privilege to work in Cameroon, Malawi, and Guatemala.
Why Via Christi? Via Christi offers a curriculum rigorous enough to prepare me for practice in low-resource clinics and hospitals, intensive care and labor and delivery units, emergency departments, and developing countries. The unique breadth and intensity of training is balanced by attending physicians and co-residents who are more supportive and inspiring than I could have imagined. I value the open ICU, rich point-of-care ultrasound curriculum, emphasis on endoscopy, inpatient and outpatient procedures, and surgical obstetrics training, built-in NICU and PICU rotations, moonlighting opportunities in rural Kansas, and the International Family Medicine fellowship.
My only concern with Via Christi: would I like living in Wichita? After I moved here, I realized that it's a very under-sold city. I was thrilled to discover that there is a lot going on for young people, and the culture both in and outside of the program is one that fosters real friendship.
Passions/hobbies I love art! I could spend all day in an art museum or working on oil paintings. I re-charge by camping and hiking, being with friends, and visiting family. I also love exploring new places, eating, and trying to learn languages.
Favorite books? Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; The Trouble with Testosterone: And Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament by Robert Sapolsky
Favorite quote? "... Thin love ain't love at all." -Toni Morrison
Post residency plan? In the future, I'll mostly work in an under-served, rural community that needs a Family Medicine physician who can offer broad services such as health behavior education, endoscopy, inpatient pediatric care, C-sections, community health interventions, emergency procedures such as central line placement and intubation, and support groups for patients with chronic disease or affected by mental illness. I will also work annually in one community in a developing country to build capacity for primary care.
Advice for medical students Know that it's easy to be a mediocre Family Medicine physician but extremely challenging to be a great one. Therefore, don't let geography prevent you from getting the best training. You only have three years to learn as much as possible in the broadest, most needed field in medicine.

Mylhan Myers

Cecilia HintonHometown: Rolla, Missouri
Undergraduate: Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri
Medical school: Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: My name is pronounced "My-lan". I am a 6th generation Missourian born and raised in the Ozarks where I hope to return to practice. Love my family and my doggo, Ghost the white German Shepherd.
Why Via Christi? Strong obstetrics with C-sections, up and coming ultrasound curriculum (the future of medicine), support for osteopathy. Family medicine service unopposed. Exceptional physicians, residents, and staff in the program who are highly skilled and educated. Values- the people here care about patients like I do.
Passions/hobbies: Wearing ridiculous socks, the St. Louis Cardinals, getting lost in random fact quests on Wikipedia, osteopathic medicine, and everything that has to do with boats and water.
Favorite books? The Great Divorce by CS Lewis; Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson; To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Favorite quote? "Work hard and be nice to people."
Post residency plan? Rural family medicine with surgical obstetrics
Advice for medical students: Do as many auditions/sub-I's as you can. Doors don't open from your computer. Go to the places on your radar and find your Match. Work hard and be kind.

Margo Pray

Barrett RichardHometown: Greensboro, NC
Undergraduate: Appalachian State University
Medical school: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bio: Hey y'all! My name is Margo, I came here to Kansas from good old North Carolina! My family moved around for my dad's job but this is the first time I've lived in the Midwest! I have a pup named Eliza who is my number one hiking buddy, and I enjoy being outdoors and time with friends and family. My faith is what drives me to work hard and to serve, to heal others like Jesus did! I am so excited that you are looking at Via Christi, and if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to reach out and email me!
Why Via Christi? At my interview and shadowing at Via Christi, I was acutely aware that not only did they learn and practice excellent medicine, but their kindness, humility, and quality of character stood out. They not only exemplified the competent doctor that I wanted to be, but also the kind of person I wanted to become. There was also a group of residents living on mission in a community called Planeview with neighbors from all over the world- and that was something I wanted to be a part of. Also when the program director crowd surfed at Callback weekend - pretty much sold me.
Passions/hobbies Jesus, mountains, sunsets, hiking, camping, backpacking, travel, cooking, animals, pottery, reading, snowboarding
Favorite books? Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Crazy Love, When Crickets Cry, the Bible, Mountains Beyond Mountains, HARRY POTTER SERIES
Post residency plan? I am headed back to rural underserved North Carolina- the mountains [and my family] are calling me and I must go! Also interested in short-term missions vs career missions, but looking to see where the Lord leads me in the next three years! No matter what, I want to be taking care of the least of these, both spiritually and physically.
Advice for medical students Defend the balance in your life! There is always more you could be doing, but it is not worth sacrificing relationships and the things that are most important to you!

Barrett Richard

Barrett RichardHometown: Harrisburg, PA
Undergraduate: Juniata College
Medical school: Penn State College of Medicine
Bio: Prior to moving to Kansas to begin residency, I had lived in Pennsylvania my whole life. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to Harrisburg, PA at the age of two. Growing up with two physician parents, I was exposed to the medical profession early in life. Ever since I started seriously thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I wanted to go into medicine. I studied chemistry at Juniata College, a small liberal arts college within a few hours of home, where my roommate was my identical twin (who is going into dentistry). I went to medical school at the Penn State College of Medicine. Wonderful experiences with family medicine in college and medical school made choosing this specialty easy for me.
Why Via Christi? I learned about the program at the AAFP National Conference at the beginning of my fourth year of medical school. I was immediately impressed with the enthusiasm the residents and faculty members exhibited about the program. Still having an unclear picture of how I wanted my future practice to look, I wanted to go to a program where I could receive excellent training in all the aspects of family medicine (including strong procedural training) and truly be prepared to practice in any clinical setting. I found that Via Christi offers not only these features but also a program where the residents support each other and are truly invested in each other's education and well-being.
Passions/hobbies: I enjoy bowling and playing ping-pong and basketball. I also like listening to music and watching movies and television. I am a loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Favorite books? Harry Potter series
Favorite quote? “One dreamed of becoming somebody. Another remained awake and became.” – Fortune cookie
Post residency plan? I am still working on it. I am grateful that I matched into a program that offers excellent full-spectrum training so I can pursue a career path that matches the interests I develop along the way. At this point, I think I would like to practice mainly outpatient medicine in a suburban or rural setting in Pennsylvania. I want to work with an underserved population and would like to incorporate teaching into my profession in some capacity. I had a great experience with primary care sports medicine in medical school, and I will consider pursuing a sports medicine fellowship. I will keep an open mind and let my upcoming experiences in residency help guide my future career plans.
Advice for medical students: Work hard and strive to learn as much as you can during medical school, but devote some time to your hobbies and interests outside of medicine (especially during fourth year). Always remember why you went into medicine and actively work to maintain those ideals.

Steve Schaeffer

Cecilia HintonHometown: Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso
Undergraduate: Grove City College
Medical school: Drexel University College of Medicine, Philly, PA
Bio: I grew up in West Africa, specifically a landlocked country called Burkina Faso (it really is a country). My parents are missionaries in the second largest city of Bobo Dioulasso. As a kid, I spent a lot of time playing soccer on the city streets. I was mostly home-schooled, but spent some time in public, private, French, video, and even boarding school at Black Forest Academy in Germany. My dad is from Cleveland, Ohio (go Cavs!) and my mom has connections to Pennsylvania so that is somewhat of a home base in America. I have 3 brothers and a sister. I am the middle child, and yes, I suffer from middle child syndrome.
Why Via Christi? The residents were both caring and competent, which is an attractive combination. I love the procedural focus (c section, colonoscopies, etc.) and the relatively large size but tight knit family feel, but what really sealed the deal is when I watched the program director crowd surf and get thrown up in the air multiple times during call back weekend.
Passions/hobbies Soccer, basketball, volleyball, spikeball....basically any sport.
Some of the residents and faculty (myself included) live missionally in a low income neighborhood called Planeview. Please ask if you're interested or want to hear more about this!
Favorite books? On Call - David Thompson, MD
Peace Child - Don Richardson
Insanity of God - Nik Ripken
The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom
Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion - Os Guinness
Any of Tim Keller's stuff
Favorite quote? "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound." - Isaiah 61:1
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." - John 1:5
Post residency plan? Unclear, but interested in teaching and international medicine. Advice for medical students: Be humble. Have fun. Don't settle.

Brandon Stucky

Brandon StuckyHometown: Garden City, Kansas
Undergraduate: Friends University
Medical school: University of Kansas School Of Medicine Wichita
Bio: I am privileged to say that I am a resident at Via Christi Family Medicine! A true Kansas native, I grew up as the third of four boys in a small town in the southwestern part of the state. The son of a general contractor and an elementary school teacher, I was blessed with loving parents who portrayed the values of faith, responsibility, compassion, hard work, and a commitment to excellence in their daily lives. In addition to this, my parents instilled in each one of their children the desire to make an impact in the world around us by helping others with whatever means and God-given abilities possible. To my parents’ surprise, it was these values that would eventually lead me, along with each of my three siblings, to enter medical school and become physicians. Once in my medical training, it was the realization of the immense value of longitudinal patient relationships as well as the extreme intellectual challenges of caring for all patients at all stages of life that led me to choose to specialize in Family Medicine.
Why Via Christi? Like many other great Family Medicine programs out there, Via Christi checked all the right boxes when it came down to the specifics that I was looking for, such as obstetrical care training and critical care experience. In the end, however, it was my personal experiences with the outstanding residents, faculty, and alumni that make up the community of Via Christi Family Medicine that won me over. As a resident, I look forward to showing up to work beside co-residents and faculty members who consistently challenge me to become a better person and physician each day.
Passions/hobbies When I’m not at the hospital or clinic, you can find me hanging out with my brothers, accepting the #1 uncle award, working on a dirt bike, upgrading my Jeep, or exploring in Colorado. I also enjoy camping, hunting, mountain biking, rock climbing, and dark coffee.
Favorite books? Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Favorite quote? "If you are still alive on this planet, it's because He has something for you to do. He placed us on this earth for purposes that He orchestrated long before we were born." (Eph 2:8-10) - Francis Chan
Post residency plan? I plan to eventually practice in a rural setting where I can put my training in broad scope Family Medicine with surgical obstetrics into practice.
Advice for medical students: Work hard, but don’t let the urgent things crowd out what's important.

Natalie Stucky-Frye

Natalie StuckyHometown: Moundridge, KS
Undergraduate: Bethel College
Medical school: University of Kansas
Bio: I grew up near Wichita in a teeny tiny town in Kansas called Moundridge. Most of my community relied on agriculture for their way of life, my family included. Growing up as a farm kid, you learn the value of hard work and long hours. Summers were spent not in the pool like many of my peers, but on the tractor or driving grain truck. However, I wasn't cut out for farm work and instead knew that I wanted to be a doctor from an early age. This was probably the combination of my mother (laboratory technologist), grandmother (nurse), and our local doctor, Dr. Loganbill. I decided to stay small for college and attended Bethel, following in the footsteps of my two brothers and countless family members. During that time, I had some great medical influences and entered into medical school at the University of Kansas Kansas City campus. I met my wonderful fiancé, Josh and literally a month later moved to Wichita for clinical training. The journey has been long and I am excited to continue my training at Via Christi!
Why Via Christi? Via Christi is a unique opportunity. They are one of the few programs that offers full scope family medicine training with c sections in 3 yrs. I didn't realize how hard this was to find on the interview trail. Additionally, I was so impressed by the residents, faculty and dedication of community faculty. It is an amazingly supportive atmosphere in Wichita. Finally, I had a built in support system with my family only an hour away. It was too good of an opportunity to give up.
Passions/hobbies: Oreo (my cat)
Favorite books?The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Post residency plan? I would love to work in a small town in Kansas practicing full scope family medicine with c sections!
Advice for medical students Keep working hard! Enjoy your fourth year! The time will go super fast!

Joseph Sumhlei

Cecilia HintonHometown: Bettendorf, IA
Undergraduate: University of Iowa
Medical school: University of Iowa
Bio: I was born in Burma (Myanmar) in 1990 and our family immigrated to America in 1995. We settled in eastern Iowa of all places because my paternal uncle and his family were already settled there. Had a lot of fun transitioning to America and making new friends in elementary school. Middle school was awkward. High school was aight. College was a blast. Med school was good too. I also spent a year between college and medical school interning with Cru, a college Christian organization, at the University of Iowa which was a great experience as well.
I'm the middle child and teased my older sister Jane and especially my younger brother Josh (yes, all J's) growing up. I am blessed to have grown up in a loving family and have great friends. Above all, I love God and thank Him for such wonderful people and opportunities in my life, even in the tough times.
I tried to keep it short and sweet. You're always welcome to ask me any questions if we meet!
Why Via Christi? Great people. Without a doubt Via Christi stood out as the program with the most wonderful people including staff and residents. One of the most important things I was looking for in a residency was a place where I would feel at home and Via Christi was the right fit. Going through my first month on inpatient medicine, the busiest rotation, was manageable thanks to the wonderful residents and staff. The people here truly care about you and want to see you succeed in the program and life in general. On top of that the training you receive here is top notch.
Passions/hobbies: I love tennis, hands down my all time favorite sport. I've been playing since I was in middle school, played all four years of high school, and continue to play whenever I get the chance. I'm also a huge Roger Federer fan. Besides tennis, I like sports in general. I am a Hawkeye and a loyal Iowa Football fan. I also started getting into fantasy football a couple years ago.
I'm pretty nerdy too. I've played a decent amount of video games in my day. I love Star Wars and all the Marvel movies. I enjoy hanging out with people in general, going out for meals with friends is always a good time.
Favorite books? The Bible. Harry Potter series. I honestly don't read much for leisure but I do like to read to learn. Recently reading some books on finances and investing.
Favorite quote? "Trust in the Lord with all heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6
Post residency plan? I am considering practicing overseas, especially back in Burma if possible. Via Christi also has an international fellowship and I am considering that as well. Ultimately, I would like to practice full spectrum family medicine wherever I go.
Advice for medical students: Take into very serious consideration what the people are like at all the programs you interview at. You will be spending at least the next 3 years of your life with those people and others like them. Make sure you pick a place where you are confident you will fit in and enjoy your time in residency. Going through the rigorous schedule of residency with people you do not like would be truly a soul crushing experience.

Andrew Westbrook

Andrew WestbrookHometown: Canton, Kansas
Undergraduate: Bethany College
Medical school: KCU
Bio: I played football for 4 years during undergrad, where I studied Athletic Training and Biology. I love my wife and beautiful daughter. I’m hoping to do the Sports Medicine fellowship after residency, but still plan to do full spectrum Family Medicine in my career.
Why Via Christi? I was drawn to the people. The residents here love medicine and provide genuine care. I love the camaraderie among the residents. Also, Via Christi offered the broad scope Family Medicine training that I was looking for.
Passions/hobbies: auto restoration, camping
Favorite books? Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
Favorite quote? “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right direction.” – Stephen Covey