Scholars in Rural Health Program Pairs To-Be Doctor with Mercy Physician

August 6, 2018

Karleigh Arndt has dreamed of being a physician in rural Kansas since she was a student at Fort Scott High School (FSHS). She recently received word that her dream is closer to becoming reality.

Arndt has been accepted into the University of Kansas Scholars in Rural Health program which is designed to identify and encourage undergraduate students from rural Kansas who are interested in building successful careers as physicians in rural areas.

A cornerstone to the scholars program is the mentorship with a rural Kansas primary care physician in the student’s home community. During Arndt’s junior and senior years as an undergraduate, she will learn at the side of a Mercy Clinic physician in Fort Scott to gain valuable clinical experience and complete three patient care reports. The program exposes students to the variety of health care services in rural areas, including hospital and office practice.

“I am thrilled to come back to Fort Scott and work with older adult patients,” Arndt said. “When I worked in a nursing facility, I saw the need for older adults to have an advocate in health care.”

“My long-term goal is to be a rural primary care physician who works in conjunction with home health and hospice and serve primarily in a community setting instead of the clinic. By doing so, I hope to be caring for aging patients in their home or other areas of the community where there are specific needs for the geriatric population.”

Arndt, a 2016 FSHS graduate, was one of 15 selected from 42 applicants to be granted early acceptance into KU School of Medicine. With acceptance into the University of Kansas Scholar in Rural Health program Arndt received the news a year early instead of waiting until after her junior year as is typical for most students who apply to KU School of Medicine.

Arndt, a dual major in Biology and Gerontology at Kansas State University (KSU), will begin her junior year this month.

Growing up in rural Fort Scott, Arndt is in tune with the needs in rural health care and finds it her calling.

“I value everything that rural Kansas has to offer and I am 100 percent sure I want to come back home to practice medicine,” she added. “It’s about caring for people and serving my community.”


Karleigh Arndt, 2016 graduate of Fort Scott High School, has been accepted into the University of Kansas Scholars in Rural Health program which identifies undergraduate students from rural Kansas communities who want to become physicians.

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