SALINA, Kan. (AP) — The first students to enroll in a Salina medical school program that is billed as the smallest of its kind have learned where they will serve their residencies.
The four-year program, which started in 2011, has just eight students in each class. On Friday, the first group received envelopes containing the names of the programs that had accepted them, The Salina Journal reports.
Dr. William Cathcart-Rake, director of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Salina, told the students that he felt that they had become like children to him.
“I feel that I’ve raised you for the four years, and now you’re leaving,” he said. “I love you. Come back and visit us,” he concluded, with tears in his eyes.
Tyson Wisinger said that while interviewing for residencies, he got lots of questions about his experience with the program, whose focus is preparing students to treat patients in underserved rural areas. Students train over video conferencing, in the offices of rural physicians and at the Salina Regional Health Center.
“I wouldn’t change where I went for the world,” he said.
Claire Hinrichsen said the first year was “probably the toughest.” She said with long-standing schools, students can rely on students a year or more ahead to tell them what’s coming; when you’re in the first class, it’s all new, she said.
“The second year was much easier than the first year,” Hinrichsen said. “Each week seemed really long sometimes, but four years went really fast.”
The students found out Monday that they’d all been accepted into residency programs, Hinrichsen said, but not where those programs were located. She started to cry when she opened her envelope and found that she’d gotten her first choice, which was an obstetrics residency in Wichita.
“We’ve all been nervous all week,” she said.
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