Class of 2025

Kevin Amthor

Kevin Amthor

Hometown:  Goodland, KS
Undergraduate:  Benedictine College
Medical School:  Kansas City University

Bio: I grew up in a small town in western Kansas. Most of my childhood was spent in the bowling alley my parents owned, spending time with my three siblings. My wife and I met in high school, and we both attended Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. After college, we got married and moved to Kansas City, where we called home for almost eight years.

My road to becoming a doctor wasn’t as direct as many others. I worked for a few years as a medical assistant for a family medicine doctor. During that time, I really enjoyed the relationships we built with our patients. It inspired me to ultimately go into medicine.

My wife, Kendra, and I have two beautiful children, Nora and Charlie, and our 3rd is due in October 2022. So most of my free time is spent with my family!

Why Via Christi?
When initially looking at residency programs, I was immediately drawn to Via Christi. After completing my sub-internship, I knew this was a great fit for me. Wanting to practice full spectrum family medicine, Via Christi’s program stood out to me. I feel as though they will equip me for everything I will do in my future practice in full spectrum medicine. But it is truly the people that make this program stand out from the rest. Not only was I looking for a program with excellent training, but one that also values family and faith. I feel supported in all aspects of my life in this program, and feel lucky to work with such a wonderful group of people! Passions/Hobbies: Spending time with my family and friends, watching the Chiefs, Royals, and Jayhawks, hunting, card/board games, playing sports

Favorite Podcasts: Bible in a Year, An Oral History of the Office

Books: Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert, Winning Every Day by Lou Holtz

Quote: “Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” - Michael Scott

Plans after residency: I plan to go back to western Kansas and practice full spectrum family medicine.

Corbit Bayliff

Corbit Bayliff

Hometown:  Stillwater, Oklahoma / Gardner, Kansas
Undergraduate:  Oklahoma State University
Graduate: Oklahoma State University
Medical School:  Oklahoma State University - COM

Bio: I am originally from rural Oklahoma near a community called Nescatunga. My parents managed a cattle ranch and owned/operated an embroidery shop. I moved around some as a kid and ended up attending middle and high school in Gardner, Kansas. I worked many jobs growing up, including as a carpenter, landscaping, ranch, farm, and orchard. My love for agriculture took me back home to Stillwater, OK for undergrad and grad degrees in animal science. I consider Gardner and Stillwater my two hometowns for all the growing up those communities supported me through.

I am a husband to Kelsey who is a professor and researcher of animal science. Her specialty is livestock behavior and wellbeing. We met at OSU while she was getting her PhD. Proud brother of Conner and Christen (who outshine me in all they do) and son of Brent and Wendy. I could go on with my family, who I am very blessed to be a part of, but the list would never end.

Why Via Christi?
I chose Via Christi (in short) for their values, strong-knit family, and opportunity to learn family medicine and obstetrics to the fullest degree possible. I am truly grateful and humbled that they chose me, too.

Passions/Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, hunting, outdoors, working with horses/cattle, woodworking, working on my '61 Ford, gardening, cooking, history buff

Favorite Authors: Louis L'Amour, C.S. Lewis J.K. Rowling, John R. Erickson, Paul, Bob Goff, Tom Clancy, Suzanne Collins

Favorite Quotes:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” - 1Cor 13:13 (NIV)
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." - John Wayne
'Unlike a racehorse, you have to take your blinders off to see the opportunities around you.' - Dr. Daniel Stein

Plans after residency: Cradle to grave Family Medicine clinic and Obstetrics (+ c-sections) in rural Oklahoma.

Emma Beck

Emma Beck

Hometown:  Eudora, KS
Undergraduate:  Oklahoma Baptist University
Medical School:  KU - KC

Bio: I was raised in a small town outside of Lawrence by awesome parents who encouraged my three siblings and I to pursue the Lord and the passions He gave us. I watched my mom serve our community selflessly and lovingly through veterinary medicine and my dad serve our community humbly and sacrificially from behind the scenes. I had the opportunity to explore the world with them and fell in love with learning about other cultures and languages. Over time, the love of medicine and of travel and care for other people were married in my heart and I decided to pursue a career in family medicine in order to be able to provide holistic care to my patients, wherever in this world I may encounter them.

I got married in October 2021 to my incredible husband Curtis and became a bonus parent to his four amazing kids - Sam, Josie, Maddy, and Levi. We love all things sports (playing or watching!), hiking, kayaking, hammocking, you name it. Life with them is always an adventure - even if we just stay home!

Why Via Christi?
When I was looking for a residency program, I was looking for a place and a community to call home and family for not only 3 years, but for a lifetime. The residents, faculty, and families here make it obvious how much they care about people and are willing to show that in word and in action. I also knew that I wanted to be trained to be excellent at critical thinking, diagnostics, procedures, preventive medicine, obstetrics, and emergency care - and to know how to use these skills in low-resource settings.

Passions/Hobbies: Traveling, anything outside, camping, sports, fellowship.

Favorite Books: The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, Love Does by Bob Goff, Everybody Always by Bob Goff, and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Favorite Podcast: Espanolistos

Plans after residency: After residency I hope to practice full scope family medicine in rural Kansas for a few years while the kids finish up school. I’ll probably spend as many hours watching sports during that time as I spend in residency :). Then my husband and I hope to transition to full-time international medicine/life.

Holly Burt

Holly Burt

Hometown: Bennington, KS
Undergraduate:  University of Kansas
Medical School:  University of Kansas School of Medicine (2 yrs in KC/2 yrs in Wichita)

Bio: I grew up in the small town of Bennington, KS with my parents and older sister (who looks just like me it is almost scary!). They have been my inspiration and support throughout my journey of pursuing medicine. After graduating high school, I attended KU-Rock Chalk Jayhawk! This is where I met my awesome husband and best friend, Michael, who is a mechanical engineer. Lawrence is also where I gained the title of dog mom to our corgi, Oliver! During my undergraduate career, I was accepted to the Scholars in Rural Health program, where I spent two hundred hours shadowing an exceptional physician near my hometown. After my undergraduate career, I continued being a Jayhawk at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. It has been such a crazy, but fun and rewarding journey, and the best is yet to come!

Why Via Christi?
Throughout the interview trail, I compared other programs to Via Christi. I knew it was a solid well-known program with well-rounded training. I knew, without a doubt, that I would not be limited in my training. The attendings were incredibly kind and the residents always seemed happy at work. I wanted to surround myself with people that I knew would push me to become the greatest physician that I can be. I know physicians who trained at Via Christi who have a practice similar to what I envision for myself. These physicians told me to consider interviewing at Via Christi and I am so glad they did. Come join our family!!!

Passions/Hobbies: Spending time with my family, showing off pictures of my corgi, baking, reading, home improvement projects, wine tasting, and traveling.

Favorite Band: Paramore

Favorite Quotes: “Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live”

Plans after residency: Full spectrum family medicine with OB somewhere in Kansas

Kristina Chaffee

Kristina Chaffee

Hometown: Auburn, Washington
Undergraduate:  Northwest University, Washington
Medical School:  University of Washington School of Medicine

Bio: I was born in rural Washington where my father practiced family medicine. My larger family could be found on all corners of the world as international missionaries. During middle school and high school, I lived and worked part-time at an orphanage for children with special needs in Mexico. It was there that I decided I wanted to become a physician and ultimately pursue medical missions. Several years passed that were full of studying, computer programming for a research lab, conducting qualitative research on improving the outcomes of children growing up in institutional care, and taking every vacation during undergrad to return to the orphanage in Mexico. When I started medical school, I still felt called to continue pursuing medical missions.

During medical school, I was able to work on a quality improvement project at a hospital in Peru as well as volunteer for a couple months at a mission hospital which confirmed my desire to be able to practice full-spectrum family medicine with obstetrics and endoscopy. While I was in Peru, a visiting medical missionary told me about Via Christi Family Medicine, and I decided to look more into the residency. Prior to applying to residencies, I also asked several medical missions what residencies they recommend and from which ones they have had the best trained and motivated residents and multiple recommended Via Christi. I ended up doing a short rotation at Via Christi during my final year of medical school and I greatly enjoyed the breadth of training, the faculties’ international experience and their willingness to teach eager learners. The community forged by the residents, their families and the faculty at Via Christi is very strong and I knew that I would be able to thrive with the friendship I built in residency.

Passions/Hobbies: Anything that is physically active (running, dancing, sports, kayaking), taking any opportunity I get to travel internationally, playing guitar, and international student ministry.

Favorite Books: The Bible, The Adventures of Juan Domingo, and We Signed Away Our Lives

Favorite Quote: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” - unknown

Plans after residency: International medical missions

Mary Fischer

Mary Fischer

Hometown: Fort Scott, Kansas
Undergraduate:  Illinois State University
Medical School:  The University of Kansas School of Medicine

Bio: Hi! My journey began on Anna Maria Island in Florida where I spent countless hours at my mother’s family medicine clinic. Her dedication and compassion in serving her community was something I have always admired. Just before starting kindergarten one of her nurses asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I emphatically stated “I want to be a doctor.” That answer has never changed. My family moved from urban Florida to a small farm in rural Kansas when I was in middle school. This introduced me to a whole different side of life and medicine. As the years have passed, I have been privileged to see medicine in many different environments. Living in a rural community and spending periods of time abroad in Haiti and Mexico all exposed me to medically underserved communities. This instilled a passion to pursue medicine with the intent to one day serve a community in need. By the grace of God and thanks to the incredible support of my family and friends, I am pursuing my life long passion.

Why Via Christi?
I knew I wanted to eventually practice in a medically underserved community. This led me to pursue a strong full-scope family medicine program. VCFM fit this requirement. While in medical school, I had the pleasure of working with several of the program's graduates who were stellar physicians. When I did a sub-I at VCFM I was blown away by the people and the program. Not only was the training impressive, but every resident and faculty member I worked with was kind, compassionate, and an excellent physician. All these amazing aspects had me convinced that VCFM is where I wanted to be!

Passions/Hobbies: Anything outdoors (running, hiking, kayaking/paddle boarding, biking, fishing), volleyball, basketball, cooking/baking, and music.

Favorite Quotes:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” - 2 Timothy 1:7
“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life or the life of another.” - Hellen Keller
“Life is like a coin, You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once” - Lillian Dickson

Plans after residency: After residency I hope to practice full-scope family medicine in an underserved community.

Hannah Gillespie

Hannah Gillespie

Hometown:  Grainfield, Kansas
Undergraduate:  Kansas State University
Medical School:  University of Kansas School of Medicine - Kansas City/Wichita

Bio: My intro at every ice breaker or meet-and-greet is “My name is Hannah, and I’m from the most Kansas sounding town you can think of – Grainfield,” so consider yourself officially introduced! I got the 5 spot in a slew of 6 siblings, and I loved growing up with them on our family farm outside of town. They, along with my unconditionally supportive parents, have always cheered me on and had my back in whatever adventure I have up my sleeve. I, in turn, pay them back by providing them with laughter via my witty life commentary. I love family medicine for the required breadth of knowledge, expansive patient population, and the amount of good a physician can provide for rural communities.

Why Via Christi?
Via Christi checked all the boxes on my hypothetical spreadsheet – rigorous inpatient training, ER, moonlighting, surgical obstetrics without fellowship, POCUS curriculum. But in reality, what set this program apart for me was knowing that I was going to be challenged. I wanted to be a part of this family of faculty and residents that hold one another to a high standard not only in the practice of medicine, but also in who we are as people and as physicians.

Passions/Hobbies: I’m all about the Kansas State Wildcats, Kansas City Chiefs, and rural family medicine! In addition to being a sunflower state groupie, I tend to sign up for things that require miniscule talent and massive perseverance, i.e climbing 14ers, running half or full marathons, etc. I LOVE convincing people to join me so consider yourself warned! I’m also a big fan of musicals, Disney soundtracks, and music in general. If you hang out with me at VCFM, you will likely hear me humming/whistling/singing. I’m sorry in advance for getting that song stuck in your head, and no, I don’t know any of the other words to it.

Favorite Movies: Dead Poets Society, Goodwill Hunting, Fried Green Tomatoes, Little Women

Favorite Quotes:
“One does not ask of one who suffers: What is your country and what is your religion? One merely says: You suffer, that is enough for me.” – Louis Pasteur
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me’.” – Erma Bombeck
“I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” – Michael Scott

Plans after residency: It’s my desire to practice full-scope family medicine in a small Kansas town – outpatient, inpatient, ER, OB with c-sections, and whatever else I can do to serve my community.

Morgan Gillam

Morgan Gillam

Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Undergraduate: University of Kansas
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita

Bio: Hello! My story began here in Wichita, however, the majority of my story took place in Olathe, Kansas, a wonderful suburb of Kansas City. When I was a baby, I was adopted into a wonderful family of hard working educators. My mom has been a dedicated teacher for over 4 decades and my dad a hard working principal turned athletic director for similar length. I feel continuously blessed to be their daughter, as I reflect upon their dedication to faith, family and their work. I have a younger brother, Austin, who I love dearly. He keeps me on my toes and loves to watch my puppy Apollo any chance he gets. My favorite weekend is one where my family can drive down from Kansas City to come visit. There is nothing like a family bonfire with laughter, love and of course a good smore!

My recent life is one of travel, food, my dog Apollo and my wonderful husband Zachary. When I am staying in town, you can find me enjoying an espresso drink at a local coffee shop, walking or biking the beautiful Wichita trails with my husband, playing outside with my young pup Apollo or dining at a variety of restaurants in the area. If I am not in the Wichita area, you can find Zach and I hiking the mountains in Colorado, exploring the beautiful land up in the upper peninsula of Michigan, flying to a beach (literally anywhere with water, sand and fresh fruit), or driving a few hours to explore the beauty of the Midwest.

Why Via Christi?
The training, the people, the location and much more. When I leave Via Christi I plan to practice full scope medicine somewhere in Kansas. Via Christi has produced absolutely wonderful full scope rural Kansas doctors for years. I hope to continue the legacy of great teachers, intelligent and mindful clinicians and wonderful humans when I complete my training!

Hobbies: My first is a little more serious…I love being an advocate for patients. When I am not in clinic or on service, I spend lots of my time working with various organizations to help advocate for policy change to better our patients' experience in the healthcare system. I love working with a variety of health professionals and plan for a better tomorrow for everyone in our care. If this is something that interests you, please feel free to stop me and talk! I love discussing all the wonderful ways students, residents, and beyond can get involved locally and even nationally! I also love to knit, hike, walk my dog, complete small home projects, travel and my favorite hobby is to eat yummy unique food!!

Favorite Books: Anything romantic and sappy when I am on a beach and anything thought provoking and serious when I am in my home!

Favorite Quote:
“What constitutes success? She who has achieved success has lived well; laughed often and loved much; has gained the respect of little children; has filled her niche and accomplished her task; has left the world better than she found it; has always looked for the best in others and given the best she had.”- Bessie Anderson Stanley

Plans after residency: Somewhere in Kansas and somewhere underserved! Zach and I love the idea of building our dream home with a yard big enough for Apollo to get all the fetch in!

Max Hagan

Max Hagan

Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Undergraduate: University of Kansas
Medical School: University of Kansas (Wichita, KS)
Bio: Coming Soon!
Olivia Hillier

Olivia Hillier

Hometown: Moline, Illinois
Undergraduate: University of Iowa
Medical School: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Bio: Hello! I grew up in the Quad Cities, home of John Deere- I always say I am from both Illinois and Iowa because of this. I grew up around a medically oriented family. My father practiced outpatient internal medicine in the same office for his entire career, and I grew up unable to go many places in public without his patients stopping me and telling me wonderful things about him and his care. Many dinner conversations were focused around medicine, as my mom was a pharmacist. As a young kindergartner, I would practice writing fake prescriptions on paper (that doesn’t help me today with Cerner much). I learned a great work ethic and drive from watching my parents work very hard, which motivated me to go into the best profession, family medicine.

I went to medical school in metro Detroit, and I had such a great time creating new friendships and seeing a new area of the country. I got married to my high school sweetheart, Jared, while we were in Michigan for medical school, and we love our two German shorthaired pointers, Eve and Winston. I started an online clothing resale business in medical school that I am so proud of and continue to do today. I believe being well-rounded in life is super important!

Why Via Christi?
I realized in medical school that I loved all aspects of medicine, and I also realized I wanted to practice full-spectrum family medicine. I went searching through the country for the “perfect” match- and Via Christi was just that. The people are the smartest, kindest people I’ve ever met, and very welcoming. When I mentioned doing a certain procedure in my future practice, it was never outside the scope of what we get to learn at Via Christi. It’s by far one of the strongest full-spectrum family medicine residencies in the country, and I am beyond blessed to be part of this community.

Passions/Hobbies: Thrifting, running, hanging out with my dogs, hunting with my husband, fishing

Plans after residency: I plan to practice rural full-scope family medicine somewhere in the Midwest with surgical obstetrics and own a lot of land so my husband can fulfill his dream of farming. I want to form a special connection to the community I serve and support my patients through their best and worst days.

Khanh Hoang

Khanh Hoang

Hometown: Saigon, Vietnam
Undergraduate: Wichita State University
Medical School: KU School of Medicine - Wichita

Bio: Hi there! Thank you for checking out our website! I was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and spent the majority of my childhood eating street foods and playing outside with the neighborhood kids. I had a ton of fun playing, especially in the rain, because it was always blistering hot there. My mom, though, was not impressed. I am now more of a glamping-with-hot-water-and-fuzzy-socks, at home, kind of person. Funny how things have changed. Since immigrating with my family to Wichita in 2005, I have grown to love the little pockets of arts, cultures, and foods that this second home has to offer. Wichita holds a dear place in my heart since this is also where I met my fiancé, Dominic. We enjoy spending time with family and traveling with our goofy pup, Miso, who is just a big ball of adorableness.

I am incredibly blessed for the amazing support from my fiancé, family, my dog, friends, mentors, and colleagues along this fulfilling but exhausting journey. Also, I could not ask for more capable, caring, and bright residents to train with!

Why Via Christi?
Via Christi offers everything that I was looking for in a residency program. The faculty are passionate about teaching. The residents genuinely seem happy to work with each other and people enjoy spending time together outside of work. The training is impeccable with many opportunities for procedures, scopes, C-sections, OMT (offered for both DOs and MDs), moonlighting, international medicine, and many more. I have encountered time and time again how impressed people are about the quality of training at Via Christi. Past graduates of the program are out in the community all over the states providing excellent care. It was a no-brainer to choose Via Christi and I am blessed to be part of this huge family.

Passions/Hobbies: Biking, powerlifting, dancing, hiking, board games, overcooked, traveling, and volunteering as a foster parent for the local animal shelter.

Favorite Books: Harry Potter series and The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg

Favorite Podcast: Rotten Mango. No better way to start the day than listening to a true crime story. Honorable mention: Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu and The Curbsiders.

Plans after residency: Full spectrum with OB (and C-sections preferably) most likely in Kansas. I would also love to dip my toes into medical mission trips and make them a part of my practice.

Heidi Miller

Heidi Miller

Hometown: Lyons, Nebraska
Undergraduate: University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Medical School: Kansas City University

Bio: I’m originally from a small town in northeast Nebraska with a population just under 800. Growing up, I was involved in agriculture and all that small-towns have to offer (extracurriculars, 4-H, FFA, sports, etc.). My favorite sport to play was/is easily softball, and the countless skills I learned in 4-H continue to be the hobbies I enjoy in my free time. I knew in high school that I wanted to be a doctor but decided to keep my agriculture roots for as long as possible - I ended up going to college at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and majored in Animal Science. Medical school took me to Kansas City University in Joplin, Missouri. I am forever thankful for my time there and the people I have met along the way.

I have three brothers who have always pushed me to be better and some awesome parents who have always supported my dreams - it wasn’t easy being the first one in medicine in my family!

Why Via Christi?
Easily the people! I was lucky enough to do my third year medical school rotations here in Wichita with VCFM and from day one, I felt welcome and valued. The residents all seemed happy and genuinely enjoyed working together. There was a strong sense of community and support amongst the residents and with the faculty - everyone wants each other to succeed and become the best physician possible. This collegial working/learning environment coupled with the extensive training in obstetrics made VCFM an easy choice. After doing a few away rotations, it was evident to me that Via Christi was where I wanted to train.

Passions/Hobbies:I enjoy exercising, playing sports, and watching Husker football (GO BIG RED). I also love doing arts and crafts, baking, sewing, and have an ever-growing houseplant collection!

Favorite Books: See Me and The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Plans after residency: My plan is to return to a rural area in Nebraska (or the Midwest) and practice full-spectrum Family Medicine with obstetrics. Outside of medicine, I plan to volunteer my time as a softball coach for summer athletics and become involved in the community I serve.

Bailee Norton

Bailee Norton

Hometown: Burlington, KS
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine

Bio: I grew up in a small town in southeast Kansas in a close knit family including my sister and both my parents. We were always on the go - whether it was traveling for sports, going to the lake, or traveling to Manhattan to support the K-State Wildcats. I was incredibly lucky to grow up in a community that had a hospital/clinic network consisting of several family medicine doctors and was even luckier to have had the opportunity to have a summer job there during high school. Through my job in medical records, I was able to build relationships with the physicians and get a small glimpse of what life could be like as a rural family doctor. From that experience, I knew that rural family medicine was the path for me. I followed that dream to a biology degree in the great city of Manhattan, KS and then to Kansas City where I spent my first two years of medical school. I spent my clinical years in Wichita where I fell in love with the city and the people and decided I couldn’t imagine spending my residency anywhere else!

Why Via Christi?
Throughout interview season and the match process, I found myself comparing every other program to Via Christi. It checked all the boxes - strong OB, inpatient medicine and faculty that are knowledgeable and approachable. I knew that I would be pushed outside my comfort zone during my three years here and that is something you will find in most residency programs, however; I felt as though the people here would truly be there to support me through the highs and lows of residency.

Passions/Hobbies: I am an avid sports fan and can always be found following the K-State Wildcats, Chiefs, Royals and Wichita Windsurge. I also love being outside - the lake is my happy place but I’ll take anything that gets me outside and fulfills my daily vitamin D requirement.

Favorite Books: The Harry Potter Series; The Alice Network; Underneath the Scarlet Sky

Favorite Quote: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Plans after residency: I plan to stay in Kansas and take advantage of all that rural family medicine has to offer - OB, ER, inpatient and outpatient!

Bethany Peach

Bethany Peach

Hometown: Onaga, Kansas
Undergraduate: Kansas State University
Medical School: KU School of Medicine - Wichita

Bio: Hi all! Just another small town Kansas kid here. Although I was born in Wichita, my family moved to Onaga (a small town in NE KS) when I was only a few months old. The community that I grew up in was very tight-knit and fostered my love of small town living. I was fortunate enough to graduate high school with many of the same classmates that I started kindergarten with. Needless to say, we knew each other's parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins.

I guess you could say that medicine runs in my family as both my grandfather and mother have served rural Kansas as family physicians. My passion for family medicine started by watching my mom care for our community as I grew up. Thinking back, I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t want to be a doctor. Although my grandfather passed away when I was young, I have had the honor of watching my mom as she cares for her community. Both her and my father have been the most supportive, loving parents a kid could ask for and they have both pushed me to be the woman I am today.

After graduating high school, I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps and attend K-State. My mom raised me as a KU Jayhawk fan so I think I may have broken her heart a little by deciding on going to K-State instead of KU (don’t worry, I made it up to her by going to KU for medical school). I think my red and blue blood mixed during college because I now call myself a K-State fan (sorry Mom). I met my husband while I was working my college job. After a little nudging from a friend, he finally asked me on a date and the rest is history. He was thankfully willing to follow me to Wichita for medical school and we got married between my first and second year. He has been so supportive of my dreams of becoming a physician. He has never left my side through every up and down of my schooling and makes sure that I laugh and have fun along this adventure called life.

Why Via Christi?
I could go on and on about all the great parts of Via Christi but I’ll try to summarize for you. The biggest strength of Via is the people. The residents, the attendings, the past graduates, and the staff. The residents are some of the most approachable, intelligent and supportive people I’ve met. And the attendings are no different. Residency is hard but having a support system like the one that Via Christi creates is key. Everyone wants to know you and your family and it is obvious that everyone takes care of eachother (families included). And lastly, one of my favorite things about Via Christi is that the attendings and residents are not afraid to share their love of God. I know that I will find love and support as I continue to grow as both a Christian and a physician.

Passions/Hobbies: I love spending time with family, playing card/board games, checking out new coffee shops/breweries/restaurants, and trying out new recipes (especially if it involves baking). If I am back in Onaga, I love taking the four-wheeler out for long drives or taking my dogs exploring on my parent’s land.

Favorite Movie: Anything Disney! I’m a huge Disney fan! I’m also a sucker for a good Rom-Com!

Favorite Music: Maybe a little unpopular but I love country music (Cody Johnson is a favorite). I also love anything by Hillsong or Elevation Worship!

Favorite Quotes: “Hitch your wagon to a star, keep your seat and there you are” (a favorite of my grandfather)

Plans after residency: My husband and I are planning on moving to a rural town in Kansas after graduating residency, although we haven’t decided where yet. My goal is to practice full scope family practice with surgical OB.

Eric Schnieders

Eric Schnieders

Undergraduate: Iowa State University
Medical School: University of Iowa

Bio: I grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa, with a population of 5500. My grandparents all lived close by and were very involved in my childhood. My mom is a 3rd generation small animal veterinarian preceded by my grandpa and great-grandpa. Watching my mom do surgery growing up got me interested in medicine. Another experience that led me to medicine was working at Camp Courageous of Iowa, a camp for youth and adults with a wide range of disabilities. It was a great experience working 80 hours a week caring for individuals and providing the camp experience for everyone, including climbing trees and canoeing even if the camper was in a wheelchair. This is also where I met my wife, Shelby. We got married in May of 2020 and had the perfect 11-person “COVID wedding”. I have two siblings; an older sister with special needs, and a younger brother who is a middle school music teacher.

Why Via Christi?
In medical school I completed a rural sub-internship in Algona, Iowa. Four of the doctors working there are Via Christi trained and spoke highly of the program. When I investigated the program more, I appreciated the amount of OB training and the support the program provides to its residents. When Shelby and I came down to visit before we were matched here, we were both impressed by how welcoming, friendly, and helpful all the residents were with us and their comradery with each other. The Via Christi residents are like their own family, and we wanted to be a part of it.

Passions/Hobbies: Playing guitar and piano, reading science fiction novels, collecting vinyl records (and really anything)

Favorite Books: Deep Work by Cal Newport, anything by David Brooks, Harry Potter, Science fiction (such as C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet, or any of the Hugo award-winning books)

Plans after residency: Shelby and I are not sure where we will end up, but we are looking for a community of 10,000 people or fewer, a hospital where I can practice full-spectrum family medicine, and an acreage for our future children, chickens, horses, and cats.

Lizzy Sillcocks Smith

Lizzy Sillcocks Smith

Hometown: Cortlandt Manor, New York
Undergraduate: Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee
Medical School: New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York

Bio: Hey there! I was born and raised in Westchester, New York just 40 minutes north of NYC. After an awesome 4 years living in Tennessee for college and a year living abroad in rural Honduras, I had the opportunity to return to NY for medical school at New York Medical College. Even though I’ve spent a good portion of my life in the Northeast, I’ve always loved traveling/exploring new places and I’m loving every minute of living in Wichita!

I grew up in a family of four with my dad being a firefighter in the FDNY and my mom an aid to special needs kids in our community. To this day my parents are still my heroes and I attribute my desire to become a doctor to the example of selfless love and service they set for me and my brother (who is a pilot in the military). I am very thankful to be on the road to becoming a Family Physician. Family medicine embodies everything that drew me to medicine: relationships, full scope skills and the opportunity to integrate into the community we serve.

During my second year of medical school I married my amazing husband LJ. He’s an incredibly talented drummer and guitarist! We now have two dogs (Sadie and Clifford) and a bunny (Ellie) who all take turns keeping us on our toes. We usually spend our Saturday mornings at local coffee shops and love to travel to scuba dive with the rest of my family any chance we get!

Why Via Christi?
Via Christi is everything I wanted in a residency program…. and more!! Faith is a huge part of mine and LJ’s life and we believe that God is leading us to pursue full-time missions. To practice medicine in a resource limited environment I feel it is so important to have competence in a wide range of skills including OB, POCUS, surgical skills and a solid foundation in medicine and pediatrics. I knew immediately on my interview day that Via Christi would give me the training I need to be able to serve any community anywhere in the world. Aside from the excellent training, I could sense the joy and genuine family-like community at Via Christi during our visit before match day. I am truly so grateful to have matched here!!

Passions/Hobbies: I ran cross country and track in college, I am not nearly in as good of shape as I used to be but I still love a good long run! Crafting – especially making dried floral arrangements and macramé decorations. Buying a ridiculous amount of house plants.

Favorite Books: The Bible, Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Hobbit C.S Lewis

Plans after residency: Full-scope FM in an international setting. I also hope to incorporate public health research into my practice.

Gracie Swanberg

Gracie Swanberg

Hometown: Arvada, Colorado
Undergraduate: Colorado State University
Medical School: Rocky Vista University - Colorado

Bio: I grew up in a close knit family of five, as the youngest of three daughters. Despite not having anyone in the medical field in the family, I knew at a young age that medicine was the path for me. I grew up playing competitive softball and being around sports my whole childhood, so health and exercise science became a large area of interest, and my future area of study in undergraduate. Following college, I took four gap years to work in healthcare, while also keeping my favorite job (serving and bartending) at a brewery in Fort Collins. In the hospital, I worked as a Cardiac, Perioperative, and then finally as an Anesthesia Technician before medical school which were all amazing learning experiences and solidified my path to becoming a physician.

I was fortunate to meet my boyfriend Chris at the beginning of medical school, and I am so thankful he’s been by my side for this wild ride. We have a female black lab/pit/boxer mix puppy named Stevie, who loves meeting all other dogs!

Family Medicine was the obvious choice for me as I have way too many medical interests, I love the patient relationships, the preventative health focus, the numerous options for my future practice type, and being able to take care of patients throughout all ages and stages of life.

Why Via Christi?
After rotating with a Via Christi graduate, I knew I had to check out the program. I had a short sub-I near the end of interview season, and man, was I impressed by the people and the program. Everyone was so incredibly kind, hard working, and seemed like the kind of people who would push me and help shape me into the physician I want to become. I’ve told Dr. Dooley this, but I had always thought if I left Colorado I would at least be gaining an ocean or something - but this program and the full-scope training and OB experience that I will get here is unmatched and was enough to actually make me want to leave my favorite state.

Passions/Hobbies: Snowboarding - which is a little challenging in Kansas, taking our dog Stevie to the dog park, going to concerts or comedy shows, golfing, camping, gardening, traveling, garage saling, trying new foods, game nights, spending time with family and friends, and cheering on any Colorado sports team.

Favorite Vacations/Places I have visited: Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, Sevilla Spain which was where I was fortunate to study abroad in college, and Florence Italy for the sights and of course the food!

Plans after residency: My boyfriend and I intend to make our way back to Colorado to be closer to our families. At this point in training, I am still considering Sports Medicine, OB, or adolescent medicine. Again, way too many interests, so this is still yet to be determined.

Laura Vanderheiden-Zahner

Laura Vanderheiden-Zahner

Hometown: Stilwell, KS
Undergraduate: Kansas City Kansas Community College, University of Kansas
Medical School: University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita

Bio: I grew up in Stilwell, KS which is on the south side of the KC metro area. Growing up I enjoyed science and sports and spent a lot of time enjoying these passions. I have never been one to sit around, I love staying busy and active or I get bored. I played softball for KCKCC for two years which was an amazing experience to be part of a team that worked so hard together. After that I spent 2 years at KU for undergrad before getting into KU medical school. Rock Chalk!

My husband Luke and I got married in April, 2022. He is an electrical engineer and unfortunately a K-State Wildcat. We love to travel together and explore new places. I have always been tremendously supported by my amazing parents Larry and Charlotte and younger brother Drew. My parents are living in Alexandria, MN on the lake and we love to visit the beautiful lakes of Minnesota. Luke’s parents, David and Holly have a lake house on Table Rock and we enjoy wake surfing, and wakeboarding behind their Mastercraft. Needless to say, family and lake life are heaven on earth for us. I also enjoy fishing, gardening, hunting, sewing, scrapbooking and making things on my Cricut.

I love the opportunities that Family Medicine has to provide and the relationships that you get to make with patients. I love the diversity this specialty provides. It constantly challenges me to be better which is what I strive for everyday.

Why Via Christi?
At Via Christi I got a different feeling than I got anywhere else. From early on in my first year of medical school when I spent a week shadowing the residents the people here made me feel welcome and like an essential part of the team. From then on I have felt included, important and cared for. I love that many of the people here are people of faith that share similar values and beliefs that I have. The entire group is a big family which you need as a support throughout residency and I know I can always count on the people at VCFM. To add topping to the cake the training and opportunities here are amazing. The OB opportunities for family medicine residents are so robust.

Favorite Movie: Frozen, The Sandlot

Quotes: “Get a job doing something you love, because if you can achieve this, every day will not be work, but instead pleasure.” - Larry Vanderheiden

Favorite Food: Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Brown Gravy with Mushrooms

Favorite Songs: Anything Country! “With you I am” - Cody Johnson; “My Wish” - Rascal Flatts

Plans after residency: To practice full scope family medicine in a place to live that Luke and I will both be happy and have jobs we love!