Versailles, Ky., native Hanna Carr was inspired to join the military after seeing how much her grandparents and other family members benefited from the experience – from the lifelong connections they built and the discipline they developed to the value of serving a bigger purpose.

Carr enrolled in medical school for that exact reason. She will pursue a career combining both through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). She was commissioned into the Air Force before starting at the UK College of Medicine and will serve after she graduates this spring. 

Carr follows her family in her military career, but when she earns her Doctor of Medicine, she will be a first-generation physician.

“It definitely feels like uncharted territory,” she said. “A big part of learning medicine is knowing people who can tell you what to expect.”

Carr received mentorship by connecting with students through the UK Office of Medical Education’s organizations and interest groups. UK has one specifically created for those interested in military medicine. Carr networked with older students in the HPSP and gathered advice for the military’s unique residency matching process.

After getting help to navigate the process, she hopes to be a resource for those who follow her.

“Just having somebody that can tell you what to expect and when was so helpful and just invaluable,” Carr said. 

Carr is currently in Morehead, Ky., completing her fourth year of medical training through the UK College of Medicine Rural Physician Leadership Program, a specialized training program for physicians interested in rural medicine. 

Over the summer, she served on active duty orders and completed audition rotations at military bases in the specialty of her choice. Unlike her classmates, who find out their residency program on Match Day in March, Carr will learn her next step in December.  

Carr is interested in Critical Care Air Transport (CCAT), which is emergency care in airplanes. But her overall goal is to make a difference.

“I really just want to be a good doctor who can serve others, and see where this career takes me,” she said.

Fun fact: During undergrad at the University of Kentucky, Carr was a seven-time All-American on the rifle team. In 2016, she won the Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) Air Rifle Championships and was named USA Shooting Junior Olympic Champion in smallbore. In 2017, she was the three-position rifle national champion.