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A Frankfort, Ky., native, Josh Karsner originally planned to attend the UK College of Medicine’s main campus in Lexington. Near the start of medical school, he learned about the college’s new regional campus in Bowling Green that would offer the same curriculum but smaller class sizes, as well as a chance to pave the way for future physicians-in-training in western Kentucky.

His first thought: “Why not?”

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When Emmanuel Dike-Udensi was a first-year student, his peers in third and fourth year would always give him the same warning – that medical school goes by quickly. But Emmanuel was skeptical.

“I didn’t believe them,” he said with a laugh. “Back then, I had so much to study, I couldn’t imagine that.”

Now, as Emmanuel approaches the end of medical school, he said reflecting on the past four years – and how fast they have gone by – is surreal.

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Kent Lewis, MDiv, plays a vital role at the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus as the student affairs officer, helping ensure holistic student success from matriculation to graduation. As a staff member who has been with the Bowling Green Campus since its beginning, he shares how the campus and its students have made an impact.

Q: How has the Bowling Green Campus changed since it started four years ago?

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Bowling Green native Caitlyn Galloway always felt right at home in a small town, but that posed a challenge when she made plans to apply for medical school. She wanted to stay close to home, but in her third year of undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University, there were no four-year medical schools where she grew up that would allow her to stay near her small, close-knit community.

She soon found out that was about to change.

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Graduates say the online certificate program is “1,000-percent worth doing.”

Cathryn Benson, APRN, has worked 13 years in health care, most recently in hospital medicine and anesthesia. She wanted to learn how she could further help her patients with nutrition, but as a mom who worked 14-hour days, she never thought additional schooling would be an option.

Then she heard about an online program offering flexible scheduling and a well-rounded nutrition-related curriculum – that was also, conveniently, run on the University of Kentucky’s campus.

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Bowling Green, Ky., native Caitlyn Galloway always felt right at home in a small town, but that posed a challenge when she made plans to apply for medical school. She wanted to stay close to home, but in her third year of undergraduate studies at Western Kentucky University, there were no four-year medical schools where she grew up that would allow her to stay near her small, close-knit community.

She soon found out that was about to change.

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Match Day is always a special event for the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. This year, the college added to the excitement by celebrating an incredible milestone in its mission of training more physicians in Kentucky, for Kentucky.

The college’s first regional campus in Bowling Green, Ky., which opened in 2018, celebrated its first Match Day on Friday, March 18. Because of the regional campus celebration, the Class of 2022 was the College of Medicine’s largest group of students recognized at this annual event.

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As a former college basketball player, March has always been exciting for Rachel Potter. This year, as she prepares to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, the month holds even more significance.

Instead of March Madness, Potter’s focus is on Match Day, an annual celebration recognizing medical students across the country as they simultaneously learn which residency program they “matched into” and will pursue.

Potter is excited to reach this pivotal career milestone, which she compares to college basketball’s Selection Sunday.

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Scott Mair, MD, is a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the UK College of Medicine. He is also one of the physicians who cares for players on the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. In the spirit of March Madness, Dr. Mair answered questions about what a typical day as a team physician looks like, memories he has gathered over the years, and how this role impacts how he teaches residents and fellows.

Q: As team physician, what are your roles with the basketball team?

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Sylvia Ofei, MD, MPH, is an assistant professor of pediatrics and a gastroenterologist in the division of gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition. She also serves as the medical director for patient experience at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. For National Nutrition Month in March, Dr. Ofei shares more about the important role nutrition plays in her practice, as well as some helpful tips for incorporating nutrition into your daily routine.

Q: How does nutrition play a part in your job as a physician?

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Shulin Zhang, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, began his career as a clinical molecular geneticist when the famous Human Genome Project was in its final stages. A 23-year international research effort, the project was revolutionary as it determined the full DNA sequence of the human genome.

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Stephanie Leung, MD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. If you are a medical student and would like to connect with Dr. Leung, you can reach her by email here. 

You can also learn more about other ADDs and see a full listing of them here. 

Q: What do you do clinically?

meet the ADDs spotlight on Dr. James Hawthorne, who specializes in psychiatry

James Hawthorne, MD, is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry. If you are a medical student and would like to connect with Dr. Hawthorne, you can reach him by email here. 

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Jordon Burdette, a senior neuroscience and psychology major, was minutes away from presenting to a crowd of University of Kentucky scientists when the nerves set in. Her presentation, focused on cellular regeneration and spinal cord injury, was a culmination of a year of research she had worked on with her mentor, Warren Alilain, PhD, associate professor of neuroscience.

Burdette pushed through those nerves, and Dr. Alilain said she “crushed” it. She left feeling proud of her accomplishment and thankful for the opportunity to study a topic she didn’t expect to ever pursue.

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On crisp fall or spring mornings, Bradley Bale, MD ’74, wakes up early enough for his daily five-mile run so he can witness one of his favorite scenes in nature. When there’s a certain amount of moisture in the ground, and the temperature is just right, water comes up through the weeds, weaves into the branches and freezes. It’s called a “frost flower.”

This moment of tranquility motivates Dr. Bale to get out and exercise at 73 years old. And he knows that that’s important because as a cardiovascular specialist, he needs to embody his advice to earn the trust of his patients.

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Acting Dean Charles Griffith, MD, MSPH, presented this year's AOA Humanities Lecture. During his speech, he shared 13 reasons why he loves medicine and why being a doctor remains a blessing.

I have always cherished the privilege of being a doctor. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges associated with the profession. These past two-plus years have certainly proven that. Despite the hard times, I still find it to be a privilege to serve my community, my learners, and my colleagues.

meet the ADDs spotlight on Dr. Cambpell Grant, who specializes in urology

Campbell Grant, MD, is an assistant professor in the department of urology. If you are a medical student and would like to connect with Dr. Grant, you can reach him by email here. 

meet the adds spotlight or Dr. lauren branch, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology

Lauren Baldwin Branch, MD, is a gynecologic oncologist in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. If you are a medical student and would like to connect with Dr. Baldwin Branch, you can reach her by email here. 

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When Elizabeth Rhodus, PhD, was 16 years old, she suffered a near-fatal car accident, which left her with significant injuries that included fractures around her eye socket. Dr. Rhodus had already struggled with eye muscle problems that this accident only exacerbated.

The rural Kentucky native was admitted to UK HealthCare and along her journey, was treated by an ophthalmologist who not only provided her with exceptional care, but who also became an influential figure in her own path to a career in academic medicine.

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Anna Cox was a couple of years out of college in 2018, a mathematical economics graduate from the University of Kentucky who had just landed a job as a logistics broker, when a moment of tear-inducing pain sent her to the emergency room.

UK HealthCare physicians and staff delivered her with some alarming news – her pain might be caused by cancer.

“Wait, I’m never sick,” Cox thought in disbelief. She was 23 years old without any known health issues and the whole world ahead of her. She didn’t even have a primary care physician. Quite frankly, she didn’t know what to do next.