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?”

Four years later, Josh is a graduating member of the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green Campus inaugural class, and if he had to do it all over, he would do it the same way. Faculty, staff, and learners at the regional campus were there for him through the some of the best, and most challenging, times of his life.

The Class of 2022 built a strong bond as trailblazers for the classes that followed. Josh and his wife, Lynzie, cooked meals for the class when they came together to study for big exams. He and his classmates played intramural sports together, helping Josh relive the enjoyment he got out of playing collegiate basketball.

The campus was also there for Josh through tragedy two years ago when his daughter, Katie Lynne, had a brain tumor. Treatment was in Cincinnati, more than a three-hour drive away from Bowling Green. Josh said the College of Medicine administration went above and beyond to accommodate his needs, and he was able to complete clinical rotations in Lexington, cutting the travel significantly. Sadly, Josh’s daughter passed away, but he remains undoubtedly grateful for the physicians, faculty and staff who helped his family along the way.

For him, there is no better way for him to channel his gratitude than returning the favor as an emergency medicine doctor, helping families with urgent health care needs.

Josh didn’t know that when he opened that coveted letter on Match Day, and he learned what residency program he would attend, that the paper would have “University of Kentucky” written at the top. But he was hopeful – and brought a blue tie with the UK logo splashed across it, just in case.

During the Bowling Green Campus’s first-ever Match Day celebration, Josh and his fellow classmates paraded to Fountain Square to learn where the next step in medical training would take them. Joined by Lynzie, their son, and their families, Josh ripped open the letter.

It was official. He could proudly put on that UK tie because this summer, he will begin an emergency medicine residency at UK HealthCare.

“This is exactly what I wanted. UK was my top choice,” Josh said, beaming with excitement. “I’ve always bled blue, and now I get to continue my training at the University I love.”

Josh already has experience in a fast-paced medical environment. Before medical school he was a medical scribe at the University of Kentucky and an emergency medical technician in Boyle County, Ky.

While he enjoys the thrill of working in the emergency room, he will never forget what he learned from his Bowling Green community and the physicians in Cincinnati who provided care for his daughter.

“Health care is getting fast-paced,” he said. “Sometimes, all you have to do is slow down and really listen to your patients to figure out what their needs are.”

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