Scholars in Rural Health program participants begin medical education

August 05, 2014

Fifteen students from rural Kansas who completed an assured admission program to the University of Kansas School of Medicine began their medical education on July 28.

The students participated in the Scholars in Rural Health program. The program is designed to identify and encourage students from rural Kansas who are interested in building successful careers as physicians in rural areas.

Students apply for the program during their sophomore year in college. Once accepted, scholars participate in activities designed to expose them to the variety of health care services in rural areas, including hospital and office practice, during their junior and senior undergraduate years. Scholars are matched with a physician-mentor in or near their hometown or undergraduate institution. They meet periodically as a group at the School of Medicine campuses in Wichita and Salina.

“The Scholars in Rural Health program is an important part of the effort to address the state’s physician workforce needs,” said K. James Kallail, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the KU School of Medicine–Wichita and director of the Scholars in Rural Health program. “It’s easier for students from small towns and farming communities to see themselves one day practicing medicine in rural and underserved areas. This program gives those students a head start in meeting the challenges of medical school.”

Students who complete the program’s requirements are assured admission to the four-year M.D. program at the KU School of Medicine. Participants also receive priority consideration for the Kansas Medical Student Loan program, which provides tuition and living expenses for select medical students who agree to train in primary care and practice in a medically underserved area of Kansas.

First-year medical students who participated in the Scholars in Rural Health program are as follows:

Kansas City campus
Eric Anderson, Clay Center. Mentored by Alana Longwell, D.O., Emporia.
Haley Bowers, Concordia. Craig Concannon, M.D., Beloit, and Debra Doubek, M.D., Manhattan.
Emily Frese, Council Grove. Melissa Herrman, M.D., Council Grove.
Kalee Kirmer, Hays. Richard Rajewski, M.D., Hays.
Stephen Moll, Stockton. Beth Loney, M.D., Stockton.
Logan Strunk, Colwich. Terry Lee Mills, M.D., Newton.
Elizabeth Studer, Frankfort. John Haefele, M.D., Marysville.
Sarah Taliaferro, Severy. F. Ronald Seglie, M.D., Pittsburg.

Wichita campus
Eastin Casey, Natoma. Mentored by Jen Brull, M.D., Plainville.
Codi Ehrlich, Dodge City. R.C. Trotter, M.D., Dodge City.
Autumn Smith, Lewis. Walter Linder, M.D., Kinsley.
Riley Stair, Emporia. J. Samuel Tovar, M.D., Emporia.
Ryan Weir, Iola. Brian Wolfe, M.D., Iola.

Salina campus
Erik Bowell, Salina. Mentored by Charles Allred, M.D., Salina.
Sean Webb, Wamego. Roland Darey Jr., M.D., Wamego.

More information about the Scholars in Rural Health program is available at

Last modified: Oct 20, 2016