Mallory Vaughn, MD, has wanted to be a doctor most of her life. When she was just 8 years old, her grandmother experienced a cardiac event and needed treatment. 

“Her cardiologist noticed little me tilting my head to look at the screens and pictures of what he had done, so he got down on my level and explained it to me in words that I could understand,” Dr. Vaughn said. “And from that day forward, I’ve always said that’s what I want to do— I want to fix hearts.” 

Dr. Vaughn is an alumna of the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus and a first-year resident in internal medicine at Med Center Health. The College of Medicine remains committed to training physicians like Dr. Vaughn to meet the rising health needs of the Commonwealth. This commitment is shared by the six other first-year internal medicine residents at Med Center Health as well, all of whom are alumni of the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus. 

“I remember watching physicians talk to their patients when I was in med school. The way they explained health care to them, and how knowledgeable they were, not only of evidence-based medicine, but also how to make that palatable to patients so they can understand it—that made me want to train here,” she shared, reflecting on why she chose to continue her training in Bowling Green. 

In the fall of 2018, the Bowling Green Campus welcomed its first class of medical students. Less than two years later, those students were preparing to enter their third year of medical school during a global pandemic. Unlike the first two years of training, students in their third year spend time rotating between different clinical specialties to receive in-depth training and patient care experience. 

 Dr. Vaughn shared that training during the COVID-19 pandemic brought her class closer together, building a strong sense of community not only amongst each other but within the larger campus community as well. 

“I think the pandemic made us really understand that health care is a team sport—it's a collaborative effort in every way, and training during that time made us hyper-aware that you are never alone in this profession,” Dr. Vaughn said. “You always have your colleagues around you, and when you work so closely together, they truly do become another family to you.” 

Dr. Patrick Stalcup, MD, DPT, also values the close relationships he has made during his training thus far. He shared how having the satellite campus in the western part of the state allowed him to go to medical school without uprooting his entire life. He was especially drawn to the campus for its focus on rural medicine. Growing up in Burkesville, Ky, Dr. Stalcup and his family often would have to travel to a larger city like Lexington or Louisville to receive complex medical care. With the College of Medicine’s multi-campus expansion, and growing partnerships with providers like Med Center Health, that kind of care is now within reach for families like his. 

Dr. Stalcup also admired the dedication to patient care he saw from physicians at Med Center Health, noting “there was no doubt, even during medical school, of where I wanted to do my residency.” He went on to explain, “the proximity to my family was one reason to stay, of course, but every resident, fellow, and attending I worked with during my time here made me want to stay here.”