Click the links below to jump to each bio:
Katie Adkins | Julien Atis | Ryan Bures | Samantha Claassen | Sarah Crudden
Rachel Engle | Daniel Frantz | Caleb Holder | Stacy Ignowski | Olivia Johnson
Mariah Kriwiel | Stephanie Kuo | Zaid Mahmood | Katie Rose-Borcherding
Taylor Russell | Erica Seabold | Samuel Smith | Hannah Smouse
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Undergraduate: North Greenville University in Tigerville, SC
Medical School: University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
Bio: I was born in China, but I was adopted as a baby and grew up in the lovely state of South Carolina, where tea is sweet and chicken is fried. I have had a passion for international missions since a young age. I didn't know I wanted to be a doctor until college, where I also met my wonderful husband Cameron. I am amazed to see where God has brought me on this journey, and I’m so thankful for the support of family and friends!
Why Via Christi? It's a common answer, but it really came down to the people - I sensed such an uplifting culture and positive mindset from the residents and faculty here. I was looking for a program that would support not only my intellectual growth but my spiritual growth as well. I was also drawn to Via Christi’s excellent reputation for full-spectrum Family Medicine training including in C-sections.
Passions: Loving and serving Jesus. The unreached. My family and friends. Chick-fil-A and basically anything involving peanut butter. Sports teams - Tennessee Volunteers and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Hobbies: I love board and card games, and I'm always down for some Nertz/Dutch Blitz. I also enjoy playing tennis, basketball, and hiking outdoors… gotta find some areas of elevation around here first!
Favorite Books: The Bible. Jesus, MD by David Stevens and Gregg Lewis. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand. Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado.
Favorite Quotes? "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” – St. Augustine
"Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things." – George Carlin
Post Residency Plan? I want to do overseas medical missions in some capacity.
Hometown: Lawnside, New Jersy
Undergraduate: Wheaton College, Illinois
Medical School: Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, New Jersey
Bio: Hey! I’m Julien. We’re so excited to see that you’re interested in Via Christi! I was born and raised in South Jersey to two incredible parents and have two older brothers and a younger sister whom I love.
Having two Haitian parents, I’ve always been interested in life from a global perspective, especially from those who’ve been marginalized. Volunteering in Camden, NJ opened my eyes to the destruction and brokenness that material poverty can cause and instilled in me a desire to partner with “the least of these.”
I graduated from Wheaton College where I met my wife, Amber. Her zeal for Jesus, life, and people encourage me to live a life that makes an eternal impact for God’s glory in whatever we do.
I was drawn to medicine and Family Medicine specifically to partner with people at any stage of their life, to help them pursue the goals they have for themselves and their families.
Why Via Christi? As Amber and I desire to serve overseas long-term, I didn’t want my training to limit the resources of medical knowledge and training I would be able to offer future patients. I found Via Christi from a Google search of “Global Family Medicine Programs.” I was attracted to the program for its rigorous training and autonomy to do surgical obstetrics, its opportunities, and its legacy and commitment to the care of the Majority World. This program was so far from the top of my list when I started my application process that I almost cancelled my interview, but I am so grateful I didn’t.
When I came for my interview, I was amazed at the caliber of residents and faculty here in character, knowledge, heart, and excellence. I found Via Christi to be a place with an incredible community of supportive, developing, and genuine people who are living intentionally and passionately to pursue their ambitions and callings while caring for others. This program works you hard, but the residents are well-balanced, enjoy what they do, and there’s a great culture of resident wellness. What I also really appreciate about Via is the large number of graduates, current faculty, and residents who do and want to do what I envision myself doing when I graduate. Here, I find people who are not only invested in how well trained a physician I am, but care about me as a person, husband, friend, and follower of Jesus.
Passions and Hobbies: In everything, I strive to glorify God and enjoy Him fully. I like to do that by making Jesus my priority, spending time with my wife, learning how to love my neighbors, campaigning for adoption, and pursuing racial justice. I like to spend my free time singing and dancing, enjoying the arts, kayaking, working out, doing DIY projects, gardening, eating good food, cooking, and learning the ukulele.
Favorite Books: When Helping Hurts, Just Mercy
Favorite Quotes: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – The Bible. Micah 6:8
“How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.” – Ryan O’Neal
Favorite Podcasts: The Bible Project, Code Switch, Mega the Podcast
Post Residency Plan? Lord willing, we’d like to go to the Caribbean, Central, or South America to practice full-spectrum Family Medicine long term. We’re also interested in inner-city medicine and community development.
Hometown: Antigo, Wisconsin
Undergraduate: The University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
Medical School: The University of Wisconsin
Bio: I grew up on a 40-cow dairy farm in a small town in northern Wisconsin – the most wonderful life a kid could ask for. Unlimited access to the forests, lakes and rivers of Langlade County was a blessing that I unfortunately did not fully appreciate until after I left for college. I played a couple years of football in undergrad before joining the National Guard as an infantryman.
Eventually one of my professors sparked my interest in bench research studying the retina, which led to me enrolling in the Neurosciences PhD program at the University of Wisconsin. At the last second I came to my senses and realized that probing the minutiae of cell biology was much less fulfilling than healing sick people. My faith also played a big role in that transition. The opportunities to serve patients as a physician are literally unlimited, and I can’t imagine a more rewarding way to spend my working life. I am also married to a fantastic lady (also from my hometown) and have an obscenely cute daughter named Marley.
Why Via Christi? I am actually planning on primarily practicing rural emergency/hospital medicine and providing endoscopy services after residency, so my “bigs” for a residency program were a little different than the norm. This program was recommended to me by a faculty member at my medical school because, as he described it, “if you want procedural training, you won’t be disappointed.” After making some initial contact with faculty/residents, the first two things I noticed were 1) Everyone was completely supportive of my future plans and could name multiple others who were doing the things I wanted to do, and 2) The program was actively widening their scope of practice into areas such as point of care ultrasound at a time when Family Medicine as a specialty is narrowing. What sealed the deal was seeing the awesome resident/faculty community at the program during my interview and callback weekend – it really is something special. All said and done, I was extremely confident I would get awesome training and mentorship here, both in medicine and in life.
Advice for Medical Students: Unforeseen changes are going to happen before you start residency and while you are in residency. Find faculty whose goals and principles are such that you fully trust them to make good decisions when that time comes.
Passions and Hobbies: Hunting, fishing; really anything outside. I love woodworking – there is something profound about harvesting a live tree and processing it all the way into a treasured gift or family heirloom. I am really into live-edge slab tables right now which has been quite an adventure.
Favorite Books: Gates of Fire (Steven Pressfield), Ecclesiastes (unknown authorship, possibly King Solomon of Israel), The Screwtape Letters (CS Lewis)
Favorite Podcasts: EM Rap, The Bible for Normal People, Bigger Pockets, Revisionist History
Favorite Quotes? “If more information was the answer, then we'd all be billionaires with perfect abs.” – Derek Sivers
"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man." – CS Lewis
"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything." – Warren Buffet
“A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive, and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.” – Vince Lombardi
“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. Otherwise, it could end up like a city sewer, rejecting nothing.” – G.K. Chesterton
Post Residency Plan? I will be heading back to the great state of Wisconsin to find a cabin in the woods and start setting down some roots. I plan to practice rural emergency and hospital medicine while also providing endoscopy services, but who knows how much my interests will change throughout residency. I am also looking for a way to incorporate international medical missions into our life at some point in the future.
Hometown: Whitewater, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita
Bio: I grew up on my family’s farm about 45 minutes outside of Wichita, where we have hogs & cattle and also grow crops (if you didn’t spend your summers walking your 4-H pigs and cleaning out pens, have you really lived?). In high school, I was involved in almost all of the extracurricular activities, as many are in small towns, and I think this variety of interests and activities early on in life is probably why I ended up going into Family Medicine – I’ve never wanted to limit myself to any one thing! When it came time to choose a college, I knew I wanted to go into a healthcare field and also had developed a love for cooking, so I decided to combine the two and majored in Nutrition Sciences at K-State.
I moved to Wichita for all four years of medical school at KU (my true sports loyalties still lie with K-State, though – Go Wildcats!). I had amazing experiences with many family doctors throughout my med school rotations, which further solidified my choice of Family Medicine. When I’m not working, some of my favorite stress-relieving activities are going to concerts with my sister & cousins (pop, country, jazz, musicals – I really love any live music!) and spending time at the lake with my family water-skiing and watching my brother attempt wake-boarding tricks.
Why Via Christi? Via Christi has an excellent reputation for preparing physicians for full-spectrum rural practice, which was a big draw for me. I wanted the opportunity for lots of vaginal deliveries and C-section training, and I also knew that the resident community at Via Christi is filled with fantastic people. It was definitely a benefit to be able to stay close to my family, friends, and the church community that I grew up in.
Hobbies: Baking (especially cheesecakes), running (because I make too many cheesecakes), reading, concert-attending, water-skiing
Favorite Books? Beneath a Scarlet Sky (by Mark T. Sullivan), Born to Run (by Christopher McDougall), The Lunar Chronicles (by Marissa Meyer)
Favorite Quote? “I still find each day too short for all of the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” – John Burroughs
Post Residency Plan? Full-spectrum Family Medicine, including obstetrics and some inpatient medicine, in a rural Kansas town
Hometown: Fenton, Missouri (suburb of St. Louis)
Undergraduate: Biochemistry at Rockhurst University
Medical School: Kansas City University
Bio: St. Louis hometown girl (Go Blues! Go Cards!) with two younger brothers. I was a band kid growing up. I started out on piano, with one of my favorite genres being ragtime. In addition, I played flute and piccolo, keys in the jazz band, and became the senior drum major in my high school marching band. I grew up mountain biking with my dad and brother and building forts in the backyard common ground with my best friend. At my first ballgame ever, I caught an Albert Pujols foul ball. And probably my coolest God-given talent is my ability to burp on demand. As a kid, I'm pretty sure I broke burping records.
On a more serious note, my faith is super important to me, which ultimately drew me to Rockhurst University in Kansas City for college. There, I became involved in Res Life and Greek life. I was accepted into the Partners program between Rockhurst and KCU during my sophomore year and began the medical school journey shortly thereafter. I soon discovered the depth of ethics in the field of medicine and realized how important it was for me to explore medical ethics more... hence, I earned a masters in Bioethics during medical school, which I enjoyed applying to my practice in clinical encounters as a medical student and now as a physician!
The last little bit about me is that I refer to myself as a "yes girl." Ask me, and I will generally give something a shot - whether it's new to me or not. That's how I ended up swimming for the middle school swim meet one year (I fell off the block before the gun went off and shockingly came in last place). Saying yes makes for the best memories ;)
Why Via Christi? I chose Via Christi because it is a super well-rounded program with training that I know will prepare me for real world full spectrum practice. The OB learning at Via Christi is hard to beat, and exposure to medicine is phenomenal in our virtually unopposed program. Just as important, the people at Via Christi are just plain special. The culture at Via Christi is one of love, selflessness, and dedication to patients and each other, all to bring glory to our Lord. The work is hard, but I couldn't imagine an environment filled with more family-like love and support. When I matched, I wanted to be a part of a program that offered the best training in congruence with the warmest atmosphere for me, and that is why I chose Via Christi. The people at Via Christi make me a better person and constantly push me to be a better physician.
Hobbies: Going for runs and walks, good conversation, baking and cooking for others, dancing, playing flute for Mass on Sundays
Favorite Books: I really like meditation/prayer/self-improvement books. One of my favorites is Rediscover Jesus. I also love Jodi Picoult.
Quote: Lately I've really appreciated this: "God loves you just the way you are. BUT, He loves you too much to keep you that way."
Podcast: Primary Care RAP. None for fun just yet.
Post Residency Plan? Currently, I am wanting to find myself in a gig where I can practice full spectrum medicine (including OB) as a small-ish town doc somewhere within an hour of St. Louis (home for me). I would also love to participate in a medical ethics board or something of the like.
Hometown: Roswell, Georgia
Undergraduate: Georgia Institute of Technology
Medical School: Ponce Health Sciences University
Bio: Hey, Buenas! I am Rachel! Born to a strong Catholic family of six in Cocoa Beach, Florida and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I am pretty shocked to be in Kansas! In fact, most of my life has been on Eastern time. I was raised saying yessir, yes mayam and picking peaches off horseback. Summers were often with extended family in Vermont. After graduating high school, I studied international relations at Georgia Tech, twice going to Chile (which, little known fact, is also Eastern time) as a study abroad student. At the time, I was thinking diplomacy, but found my true calling when I walked into, and assisted, the birth of a cow in Vermont. I was hooked! From GT I was blessed to have gone to a bilingual American medical school in Ponce, Puerto Rico (Eastern time! who knew?). Being in PR for the past four years had its major advantages, including fantastic coffee, which filled an entire suitcase when I moved out. The photo above was taken at a plantation with my brother. Quickly getting scuba certified, I am proud to have averaged three beach trips a week on our 70-hour work weeks in the ER. It was well worth it! Now here in Wichita with my horse, I am looking forward to scouting out trails by the reservoir and, well, finally changing my clock!
Why Via Christi? As a medical student rotating through various hospitals, I struggled to find a balance between compassionate, ethical care and strong academic foundations. I applied to Via Christi after spending time on L&D on the other side of the country with an attending who graduated from Via Christi. After a few minutes of the typical ice-breaker questions (who you are, where you came from, where are you going...) he was like, “You have to apply to Via Christi! It has everything you are looking for!” I wanted a program that focuses on procedures like C-sections, biopsies and ‘scopes, caters to the underserved, and really encourages residents as leaders. We also have a great international medical program (see plans, below!). I am happy to call it my home!
Hobbies: Horseback riding, scuba/snorkeling, dancing, ultimate frisbee, traveling, getting my hands dirty!
Favorite Books: The Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis. The War Doctor by Dr. David Nott. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Anything Tolstoy
Favorite Quotes? “Creme Fresh and Carpe Diem.” (Ie. “Live richly and seize the day.”) – My older brother (pictured next to me!)
1 Peter 1:3-9
Post Residency Plan? Hacerlo todo!! Hoping to do an international medical fellowship, then work alternating between a small town in America and humanitarian medical work in conflict zones. I want to practice full scope family med with a strong focus on obstetrics and cater to a diverse under-served patient population.
Hometown: Frisco, Texas
Undergraduate: Dallas Baptist University
Medical School: Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center
Bio: I was a short boy who met a tall girl, waited 10 years until I was as tall as her, then asked her to marry me. Now I'm a doctor. She's a nurse. We like eating, being outside, and hanging out with our dog, family, and friends. So best case scenario, everyone we love is eating together on a dog-friendly patio.
Why Via Christi? As I interviewed at programs all over the country I was the most impressed with the level of training that the residents receive at Via. It had been on my radar throughout medical school. I was told, "If you want full-scope Family Medicine, Via Christi is one of the best places in the country for that." So it was the training that initially drew me in, but then as I started looking closer the people here clenched it for us. There are other good programs out there with great training, (and some in more traditionally beautiful parts of the country), but the community of people here cannot be beat. My wife and I feel like we have found true support and friendship in our co-residents, faculty members and their families.
Passions and Hobbies: My faith in Jesus is why I do what I do, has brought me to where I am today, and is shaping where I go tomorrow. Hobbies include hanging out with my wife, Noelle & our German Shorthaired Pointer, Peggy. Also weightlifting, martial arts, woodworking, cooking, cycling, eating the hottest hot sauce I can find, brewing, gardening, outdoor activities, hunting, archery/bowhunting, drinking whiskey, and eating bacon.
Favorite Books: I have loved and read through both the Harry Potter series & Lord of the Rings multiple times. G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and Dostoevsky are all great.
Favorite Shows: Santa Clarita Diet, Office, Parks & Rec, Schitt's Creek, Hannibal, Peaky Blinders, MeatEater. I also follow a number of Youtube Channels (Hot ones, Joe Rogan).
Favorite Quote? "I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women, and breakfast food." – Ron Swanson
Post Residency Plan? There's so much life to live after residency, so I'm holding plans loosely and focusing on learning what I can at the moment. Short term – I’m considering a fellowship in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine or International Medicine. Long term – practice medicine, work internationally in some capacity, and continue learning. I hope to have some kiddos, adopt some kiddos, always have a dog with an old lady name, and move to the mountains to make my wife happy.
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Undergraduate: Missouri State University
Medical School: Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: I was born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis, with a close family and the best cousins. We grew up going to the lake, riding dirt bikes, and playing any sports we could. After high school, I moved to Boston to pursue a career as a hockey goalie until I tore the labrum in my hip, requiring surgery. I decided to pursue a career in medicine after reading about my surgery, wanting to become a doctor for other athletes who struggle knowing what to do when they get injured. I have a younger brother that lives in the mountains of Colorado and always reminds me to live life to the fullest. I’ve decided to pursue Family Medicine because of the flexibility it offers and the rewarding aspect of having continuity patients.
Why Via Christi? I had a very hands-on experience during my clinical years of medical school and became very close to my preceptors. Because of this, my medical knowledge and skill-set increased dramatically. I wanted my residency training to be similar. I researched each and every one of the 600+ FM programs in the country and also completed a Sub-I in Missouri. Via Christi’s reputation, leadership, and training opportunities surpassed almost every program I looked at. When I interviewed here, residents and faculty were going out of their way to stop by, say hey, and welcome us to the program. I felt welcome and at home. I drove up from Alabama to make it for the call-back weekend (which I highly recommend) and realized that this would be the best group of people to learn from and grow with.
Hobbies: Traveling, spending time outside, action sports, board games, motivational speaking
Favorite Quotes: “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye
“What a day!” – Ask me about this one if you see me on interview day.
Post Residency Plan: I keep joking that this is a problem for future Caleb, but I’m hoping to narrow it down here soon. I have life-long friends still in the St. Louis area, so I would love to go back there. But with my brother living in Colorado, I think it’d be pretty cool to live out there and see what that’s all about.
Advice for Medical Students: Don’t mistake cynicism for wisdom
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: Kansas City University
Bio: Born in raised here in Wichita. I grew up with 3 older brothers, 2 wonderful parents and most importantly 2 dogs. I married my high school sweetheart shortly after graduating from KSU. We have a golden retriever/ furry adventure buddy named Tuttle (any K-Staters?).
Why Via Christi? I was a Kansas City University core student with Via Christi Family Medicine. In other words, I had the privilege of learning from the best residents during my 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations. I felt at home right away at Via Christi. The faculty and residents took ownership for my education and made it fun! I picked the residents’ and rotating sub-interns’ brains about residency and where I should look. Everyone encouraged me to look at all the options, but Via Christi Family Medicine was already home. The training will prepare you for anything, and the people are amazing.
Hobbies: Spending time with my husband and dog, kayaking, skiing, hiking, the Kansas City Chiefs
Favorite Quotes? “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone cross waters to create many ripples.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)
Post Residency Plan? I wanted a program that would prepare me for all types of Family Medicine. However, I have a particular interest in Direct Primary Care.
Hometown: Smithfield, North Carolina
Undergraduate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (GO HEELS!)
Medical School: The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
Bio: Hi y’all! I grew up in the small town of Smithfield, NC, where vinegar-based BBQ reigns supreme. I was raised alongside my older sister and by my two incredibly hard-working, encouraging, and God-fearing parents who instilled in me the importance of leading life with a servant’s heart, a willingness to work, and a passion for loving and pursuing others. Aside from my grandmother working as a nurse in her twenties, I had no significant medical influences within my family. I am still flabbergasted that I ended up traveling along this messy yet beautiful journey of medicine. Cosmetologist, interior designer, lawyer, veterinarian, and engineer were other careers I strongly considered throughout my childhood and early adulthood. Honestly, medicine didn’t cross my radar until I was well into college after I had the opportunity to connect with a five-year-old boy battling leukemia through an organization called Carolina Pediatric Attention Love and Support (CPALS). This experience taught me the value of relationships and helped me realize my desire to pursue a career that was both intellectually stimulating and encouraged personal connection. Medicine was the perfect marriage of these two features. Through my shadowing experiences and during medical school, it became clear that I enjoyed working with a diverse patient population, building and maintaining longitudinal relationships, and having the unique ability to prevent, detect, and treat disease in the context of patients’ family and community.
Why Via Christi? Four years ago, I seriously would have never ever believed it if someone told me I would be moving across the country to Wichita, Kansas for residency! But boy, I am so overjoyed and thankful for the opportunity to train at a stellar program alongside incredible residents and faculty. The first time I heard about Via Christi was as a newly minted fourth year medical student at the AAFP National Conference in Kansas City, MO, just a few months before I submitted my ERAS application. I desired true full-spectrum Family Medicine training, in addition to surgical OB experience, so I was scouting out programs that checked these boxes. After sitting in on Dr. Stringfield’s talk about maternity care within Family Medicine, I knew I had to apply to Via Christi. After my interview and call back weekend, it became very clear that the training and community at Via Christi was unparalleled. My husband and I are so grateful to have matched here and are beyond excited for what the next three years hold.
Passions and Hobbies: Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my best friend and husband, Henry, and our sweet and sassy wire fox terrier, Finley. We enjoy going to the beach, boating, water skiing, biking, picnicking – really anything outdoors! We are also huge Carolina Panthers fans – KEEP POUNDING! Aside from spending quality time with my hubby and pup, I enjoy yoga and running as a means to unwind, and I satisfy my sweet tooth with lots of baking!
Favorite Books: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp; Being Mortal by Atul Gawande; Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan
Favorite Quotes: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.” – Dr. Watson
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Post Residency Plan? I would love to work in low-resource settings (rural and international) doing full-spectrum Family Medicine with surgical obstetrics (+/- OB fellowship).
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Undergraduate: Texas Christian University
Medical School: KU School of Medicine - Wichita
Bio: Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. Met my husband, Toby, on a blind date to our senior year homecoming dance (set up by our dads). Married Toby after we graduated college in 2014. I took a gap year after undergrad to scribe for an OBGYN and ended up catching baby fever myself - and we had our first son, Titus, in June 2015. We moved back to Kansas for medical school and to be close to family. Then had our second son, Bennett “Bear”, in August 2017 during my 3rd year of medical school. Our daily life is somewhere around not-so-organized-chaos, but we’ve learned how to make it work. Toby has had a variety of jobs, from starting his own business to social services to marketing, but is now pursuing his Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.
Why Via Christi? Via Christi was a perfect fit for me as a person and as a physician. I felt like I knew a lot about the program being from Wichita, but it wasn’t until my Sub-I and interview experience that I truly fell in love with Via Christi. I knew I wanted to be trained in full-spectrum Family Medicine, especially OB w/ C-sections, and Via Christi is unopposed in so many areas that it’s hard to beat the exposure/numbers you can get here. And then there are all of these wonderful people that make the Via Christi program so amazing. I always felt welcomed and felt like people were excited to have me here. I never felt like I was “in the way,” and everyone was doing their best to get me involved and teach me whenever possible. The level of care my colleagues and attendings have for their patients, and for each other, has been incredibly apparent and the primary draw to this program. Residency is hard enough, so you might as well do it with people who rally around you and lift you up to be the best person you can be.
Passions and Hobbies: Being a mom is the best! I love getting to spend time with my kids and see the world through their eyes. Being a wife is pretty awesome too! I love playing sports and am always up for some friendly competition, especially if it involves sand and a volleyball! I’m also a fan of board games/card games. Catan is my jam! I enjoy traveling and exploring new cities and just being outdoors.
Favorite Quote? “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Post Residency Plan? I have the KMSL (Kansas Medical Student Loan) agreement and plan to work in a small rural town practicing full-scope Family Medicine! I am also very interested in DPC (direct primary care) and get pretty excited thinking about running a DPC clinic one day.
Hometown: Germantown, Maryland
Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University
Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Bio: I’m a first generation Taiwanese American who grew up in Germantown, Maryland. Being raised by immigrants, the major display of affection I learned was shoving food into others' faces. I did manage to pick up some social skills in school, but don't be alarmed if I just start scooping food from a buffet line onto your already full plate and then sit next to you eating in silence. That means “I love you” in Asian. From the 'burbs of Maryland, I ventured to Baltimore for undergrad, and when that was over, I moved about two minutes away to do some research, apply to medical school, and serve as volunteer staff at the campus ministry where I started to follow Christ. After that, I really spread my wings and migrated a whole THREE MILES south for medical school. So, naturally, after having moved all over the place, packing my bags for Wichita was no big deal. Thankfully, I have a supportive “west coast-best coast” fiancé who stayed east with me for 8 years, and is now graciously taking this new adventure with me to the Midwest!
Why Via Christi? Coming from the east coast, the concept of full-spectrum Family Medicine was somewhat foreign to me. It is there, but hidden in obscure pockets and not very common in the cities where most medical schools are. A rotation in Shiprock, New Mexico with the Indian Health Service at Northern Navajo Medical Center opened my eyes to a broader view of Family Medicine. I really value continuity, so I wanted to be equipped to serve throughout the spectrum of care, including intensive care, high risk obstetrics and C-section training. I also value justice in the form of quality healthcare for the underserved - both domestically and internationally. Via Christi's program trains for all of that and more! Not to mention, from interview day and callback alone I knew that I had found my people - and this means a lot because as hard as I try not to be a timid and awkward walking stereotype of an Asian, I am, and it usually takes me a long time to let my guard down. I'm excited to say that within two weeks of moving here, I felt comfortable enough to show my co-residents how weird I actually am, and they say they still like me!
Passions and Hobbies: Food! Eating, baking and cooking. Hiking and running. Portrait and landscape photography (if you want a holiday card photo, family portraits, or engagement photos fo' free, hit me up!). Indoor bouldering (I've never tried outdoor bouldering but would love to). I've also recently gotten into napping and love it.
Favorite Books: The Art of the Commonplace by Wendell Berry, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Free of Charge by Miroslav Volf
Favorite Shows: Friends, Kim's Convenience, the Chef show, Street Food, the Great British Baking Show, Tidying up with Marie Kondo
Favorite Movies: Any Disney classic, all the Marvel movies, Pan's Labyrinth, Life is Beautiful, Chef, Mean Girls, Elf
Post Residency Plan? All the doors are wide open - my plans now are to work hard, learn as much as I can and let the Lord show me which path to take when the time comes.
Hometown: Mosul, Iraq
Undergraduate: University of Texas - Austin
Medical School: University of Texas San Antonio
Bio: I always like to say that I was born in, raised in, and originally from three different places. Because there is some weird poetic symmetry in that and also because it is just true. My family is originally from Iraq, but I was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Egypt for 15 years before moving to Austin, TX. While I do not particularly relish the opportunity to answer the dreaded question, "Where are you from?", I realize that there is tremendous value in my life trajectory. I would not be the person I am today were it not for those experiences. And I likely would not have ended up at Via Christi if my trajectory were any different. I am fortunate to have friends across the globe, and my open-mindedness regarding other cultures has motivated me to embrace new people and welcome differences among us. This is perhaps one of biggest reasons that led me to study medicine and then get involved in teaching and then choosing Family Medicine and ultimately picking VC to complete my training. After I matched to Wichita, I wondered "Who would've thought I would end up in Kansas?!" But as I reflect now on my life story, it seems rather fitting that yet another chapter of my life is unfolding in a completely unfamiliar place.
Why Via Christi? I will probably echo much of what my fellow colleagues will say. When it came to making decisions about where I wanted to train, I knew it was going to come down to gut feeling. No amount of cost-benefit analysis and excel spreadsheets would have helped me decide. In the end, I knew I mainly wanted four things in a program: comprehensive training, exposure to unopposed and academic settings, enthusiastic faculty teaching, and strong resident support/culture. While I visited a few places that fulfilled that criteria, I found VC to harbor the most passionate and confident group of people I could ever hope for. My interview day was memorable as everyone showed genuine interest in people and their wellbeing; they were unbelievably caring and energetic, invested in my goals and supportive of them. While it is tough to be away from my family, I know I will easily have a second family here in Wichita.
Hobbies: Soccer, basketball, cooking, reading, drawing
Favorite Books: The Count of Monte Cristo, A People's History of the United States, and many more.
Favorite Quotes: "Be scared... then do it anyway."
"We are not who we think we are. We are not who others think we are. We are who we think others think we are."
Post-residency plan: Given my passion for both the full breadth of medicine and teaching, I know that full-scope practice is probably in my future (though the setting is unclear to me at this point) along with opportunities to be involved heavily with medical student and resident education. I hope I can help shape the education of future medical students and aspiring family docs.
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Undergraduate: Seattle Pacific University
Medical School: Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bio: I was born and raised in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado and grew up hiking, camping and skiing. I went even further west for college and obtained my Bachelor of Science in Physiology in the magic of the Pacific Northwest. I was lucky enough to fall in love with a local, Justin Borcherding, and we got married on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia in 2016. Having gone through a significant childhood illness, I know firsthand the trials of being a patient, the exhaustion of never feeling well and the fear that comes with having little control over your own body. At the hands of a physician trained in Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), I also experienced how healing can transform your entire life. I believe that humans are composed of mind, body and soul, and each of those aspects need to be addressed for the body to be able to heal itself. Wanting to offer those healing services to my patients, I completed a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Osteopathic Principles and Practices, adding an extra year to medical school. I am thrilled to be in Wichita with Justin and Copper, (my 2-year-old Goldendoodle) to complete my training at Via Christi.
Why Via Christi? Ultimately, it was the people. Out of all the programs that offered full-spectrum training, Via had the most genuinely kind people that created the most incredible community. The residents at Via don't want to just learn how to be excellent physicians, they also want to learn how to be excellent spouses/parents/leaders/friends and servants of the community.
Hobbies: Hiking, skiing, camping with Justin, reading historical fiction, taking long walks with Copper.
Favorite Book: Touch of Life by Robert Fulford, D.O.
Favorite Quote: "God manifests Himself in matter, mind and motion. Study well His manifestations." – A.T. Still, D.O.
Post Residency Plan? I hope to practice full-spectrum Family Medicine in a rural mountain community one day. We want to raise kids who also love playing in the outdoors, likely always with a Goldendoodle or two.
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Undergraduate: University of Texas – Austin (Hook ‘em!)
Medical School: University of Texas San Antonio
Why Via Christi? The Via Christi family is special. After I narrowed down my program list to those that would best prepare me to practice full-scope medicine with high volume OB, it really came down to where I thought I would be happiest. It was easy to see that the Via Christi residents and faculty take care of each other. They push each other to be not only great physicians, but also great people. I now work with very passionate people who share my interests and encourage me daily.
Hobbies: Anything outside (hiking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, reading by the pool), traveling, exercising, jigsaw puzzles, Hallmark Christmas movies
Favorite Books: Mark of the Lion series, Redeeming Love (really any book by Francine Rivers), The Hobbit, The Count of Monte Christo
Favorite Quote: “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Favorite Show: Friends
Post Residency Plan? I would love to serve overseas long-term. However, I am open to wherever the Lord leads me.
Advice for Medical Students: When considering programs, think about where you want to be on your worst day. It’s easy to think about each program’s best attributes and all the exciting things to come. But you will have incredibly difficult days in residency both personally and professionally. Ask yourself where you want to spend those days and who you want to have around you. Also, if there is a program that you like but are not doing a Sub-I there, ask in advance to shadow the day before or after your interview. It’s a great way to see more of a program.
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go Steelers!)
Undergraduate: Cedarville University - Cedarville, Ohio
Medical School: Wright State University - Dayton, Ohio
Bio: I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where I became a Steelers fan, a Christian, and first felt called to medical missions. I completed a year of nursing school at Cedarville University and then went to Africa for the first time. While I was working in mobile clinics in Liberia (before Ebola), I saw the difference between what a nurse and doctor could do for patients, and I felt that maybe my gifts and desire to heal would be better used as a physician. Through a lot of prayer I changed my major to biology to pursue medical school. My second trip to Africa was to The Republic of Congo after my sophomore year of college. I was there for 7 weeks and got a glimpse into what long term medical missions was really like, and it confirmed that calling on my life. In Congo I met Dr. Harvey, a family doctor, who has now become a great mentor in my life. When I came back for my junior year of college I met my husband, Paul, still with my African weave in. I went to Wright State University for medical school because of their awesome culture and International Health Education track. In the middle of my first year Paul and I got married which was a crazy but perfect time. I considered many different specialties during medical school but eventually landed on Family Medicine. I traveled to Congo two more times during medical school. These experiences continued to deepen and confirm God's calling on my life to long term medical missions. Paul and I have now been married for 3.5 years and have no kids. We love being in Wichita in this community.
Why Via Christi? I wanted a program where I could have intense training in all aspects of medicine, especially OB. I Googled "best Family Medicine residency OB programs" and came across Dr. Stringfield's list of top 10 Family Medicine residency programs for OB. Paul and I looked through them, and he did not want to live in 90% of those locations. But then we saw one in Wichita, KS where his sister and her family lived. At the AAFP National conference in August 2018 I met and talked to the residents and faculty and was impressed. They were happy, cared for patients’ spiritual needs, and described what sounded like excellent training. I was even more intrigued when I heard from Dr. Stephens about the International Fellowship, which was exactly what I would want in a fellowship. I remember calling Paul that night, telling him how amazing it was, and that we DEFINITELY had to apply there. Everything I saw at the AAFP national conference was confirmed during my interview. What really sealed the deal for us to rank it first and leave Paul's job and our community in Dayton was two months in Congo during 4th year of medical school. To practice there long-term, I saw that I needed the level of training Via Christi offered.
Passions and Hobbies: Two of my greatest passions are my faith and global health – they have driven and guided my career choices and my marriage. My hobbies include running, baking, playing board games, and spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy crafts and small home improvement projects whenever I have the time.
Favorite Quote? "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal... Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses." – C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Post Residency Plan? First I hope to complete an International Fellowship and/or get a Diploma in Tropical Medicine. After that Paul and I will be moving overseas. We don't know where we will end up yet but are exploring all of our options and will likely end up in Africa or the Middle East.
Hometown: Groton, South Dakota
Undergraduate: South Dakota State University (Go Jacks!)
Medical School: Des Moines University
Bio: I grew up in a small town (~1500 people) in South Dakota. My dad is a veterinarian and my mom a pharmacist so the background in healthcare definitely influenced my desire to enter medicine. I went to South Dakota State for undergrad where I majored in biology as a pre-med. As a freshman, I joined a Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) Bible study that changed my life. I debated /worried/thought for way too long about becoming a priest, but discerned that marriage and medicine were my calling. In 2016, I married my beautiful wife, McKinsey, and we currently have two children, Gemma and Fulton.
Why Via Christi? Several things brought me to Via Christi for residency. First, the people here were fantastic to spend time with. Out of all the places that I interviewed and rotated, the competence of the residents extremely impressed me and stimulated a desire for that same level of competence and confidence. What put it over the top was when one of the faculty thanked a resident for praying with one of his patients on the inpatient medicine service. It became obvious that the culture here was different. I also really liked that on the core blocks (OB/medicine/peds), there is an upper-level resident supervisor helping with any questions/concerns that the interns might have and to ensure the intern learns what he or she needs to be successful. Also, being a university-affiliated program, it offers abundant teaching opportunities from faculty and senior residents. Lastly and most importantly, I wanted a program that would respect my Catholic beliefs in important areas such as end-of life care and offering fertility-awareness methods of family planning.
Passions and Hobbies: The main things I do every day are pray, spend time with wife/kids, and follow Minnesota professional sports teams. I also can get super intense about strategic board games and reading. One of my goals is to exercise/stay active with walking, soccer, and basketball, but a lot of the time it tends to be more of a theory.
Favorite Books: The Soul of the Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard. Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert. I also love the Avengers series.
Favorite Quotes? "We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love." – St. Mother Teresa
"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." – St. Mother Teresa
"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you." – St. John Paul II
Post Residency Plan? I am not entirely sure. I am hoping residency helps clarify that as it goes along. Right now I love inpatient and outpatient medicine, so perhaps a combination of the two. I also enjoy geriatrics, hospice & palliative care, so I am considering a palliative care fellowship. The plan is to stay in the Midwest and hopefully work in a smallish town, but I am also open to larger suburban areas. Really, I have no idea.
Hometown: Rockledge, Florida (a small town on the East Coast near Kennedy Space Center!)
Undergraduate: University of Central Florida - Orlando, Florida (Go Knights!!)
Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill - Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Bio: Hey Everyone! My name is Hannah, and I am a Florida girl, born and raised. I spent the first 23 years of my life close to home and then moved to PA for medical school. Although it was at first hard to move so far from home, I know that it is exactly where God wanted me, and my time in PA was one of the sweetest seasons of my life. My four most favorite things in this world are Jesus, my family, my boyfriend Ben, and my friends. My family means the world to me. I have the sweetest parents and am the proud big sister of an incredible brother (Firefighter/Beach Lifeguard extraordinaire) and sister (World Traveler and Senior in High School Superstar). Growing up in the same hometown, Ben and I reconnected last November while I was home for a Family Medicine rotation. He had moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to work at Collins Aerospace, and I knew I had to ask him how he liked the Mid-West (because I had fallen in love with Kansas after my Sub-I). A few minutes into our conversation, and hearing him talk about the Mid-West and his love for Jesus, I realized it wasn't just the Mid-West that I was falling in love with! (One of my most favorite stories to tell!) I have wanted to become a doctor since I was in 3rd grade. Looking back, I am still in awe of how God has worked out every step along the way to bring me where I am today. I absolutely love traveling and have been to 5/7 continents on various trips through my church and an organization called Teen Missions International. My last trip was to Kenya in 2015 where I was able to see full-spectrum Family Medicine first hand, and it was during that trip that the seeds were planted in my heart for wanting to do Family Medicine. Needless to say, those seeds grew greatly over the course of medical school, and here I am!
Why Via Christi? I first heard about VC the spring before I started medical school. My first rotation of 4th year I came out to do a Sub-I, and I absolutely fell in love with VC. It was during that month that it became my dream program. The faculty were some of the most encouraging physicians and the best teachers I had ever worked with. There was not a resident I worked with that wasn't willing to teach me and help me to become better at managing patients. They were all so passionate about teaching and about their patients. The environment was encouraging and uplifting. It felt like a family, and I so badly wanted it to become my family. I knew that in coming to VC I would be challenged more than I would be in most of the other programs I interviewed at, but I also knew that at the end of my three years I would be ready to work in even the most rural settings, prepared to take care of my patients and manage them well. Two of the biggest draws to VC were the strong OB component and the focus on global health. (I initially wanted to be an OB/GYN, but God really changed my heart, and I'd love to tell you that story sometime). On Match Day, I opened that email, surrounded by my family, and cried all the happy tears. I knew I was going home, and I am so excited to see all that God has in store for the next 3 years. It’s going to be the most amazing journey!
Passions and Hobbies: My favorite place to be is at church with my sweet second family. I love leading worship, and my happiest place is at the feet of my Jesus playing my guitar and singing. Running. Gym classes with friends. Catching up with friends over coffee, ice cream, or both! Writing letters. Figure Skating (weird for a FL girl, right!?). Laughing. FaceTiming my family and friends. Hiking, camping, and being outside. Event planning. Road tripping. Playing games.
Favorite Book? The Bible! Besides reading medical literature, the Bible is really the only book I have time to read, and that's okay with me! The thing I absolutely love about reading the Bible is that you can read the same passage 100 times and learn something new and exciting each time you read it. The Lord daily speaks to my heart through His word, and the gems I have committed to memory I find myself quoting throughout the long days of residency. The JOY of the Lord is my strength!
Favorite Quote? “I have one desire now - to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” – Elisabeth Elliot
This has been my favorite quote for over 6 years now. The Lord spoke this to my heart during a difficult season. He is daily showing me what “reckless abandon” means, and how I can be serving Him more. What a blessing it is to be daily stretched and challenged in my relationship with Him, and to fall more in love with Him and with the people He has called me to serve through medicine.
Post Residency Plan? As of now I would love to work in a rural Family Medicine practice where I get to do OB and C-sections! The hope for Ben and I is to one day move back to Florida to be close to our family, but we are definitely praying for God to lead and direct to wherever He has us to go!