Scholars in Rural Health Program Pairs To-Be Doctor
with Mercy Physician
Karleigh Arndt has dreamed of being a physician in rural Kansas since she was a student at Fort Scott High School (FSHS). Last week she received word that her dream is closer to becoming reality.
Arndt has been accepted into the University of Kansas Scholars in Rural Health program which is designed to identify and encourage undergraduate students from rural Kansas who are interested in building successful careers as physicians in rural areas.
A cornerstone to the scholar’s program is the mentorship with a rural Kansas primary care physician in the student’s home community. During Arndt’s junior and senior years as an undergraduate, she will learn at the side of a Mercy Clinic physician in Fort Scott to gain valuable clinical experience and complete three patient care reports. The program exposes students to the variety of health care services in rural areas, including hospital and office practice.
“I am thrilled to come back to Fort Scott and work with older adult patients,” Arndt said. “When I worked in a nursing facility, I saw the need for older adults to have an advocate in health care.”
“My long-term goal is to be a rural primary care physician who works in conjunction with home health and hospice and serve primarily in a community setting instead of the clinic. By doing so, I hope to be caring for aging patients in their home or other areas of the community where there are specific needs for the geriatric population.”
Arndt, a 2016 FSHS graduate, was one of 15 selected from 42 applicants to be granted early acceptance into KU School of Medicine. With acceptance into the University of Kansas Scholar in Rural Health program, Arndt received the news a year early instead of waiting until after her junior year as is typical for most students who apply to KU School of Medicine.
Arndt, a dual major in Biology and Gerontology at Kansas State University (KSU), will begin her junior year this month.
Growing up in rural Fort Scott, Arndt is in tune with the needs in rural health care and finds it her calling.
“I value everything that rural Kansas has to offer and I am 100 percent sure I want to come back home to practice medicine,” she added. “It’s about caring for people and serving my community.”
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2018, 2017 and 2016 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy’s IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.
supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.