SERVING THE UNDERSERVED
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Campbell’s school of medicine comes at a time when North Carolina and the nation face a drastic shortage in physicians
By Billy Liggett
Barely into her 20s, Kate Taylor has already seen the world.
The Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Romania, Mexico … Taylor has to think hard to recall everywhere she has been, most of these trips the result of missions she took part in while a student in high school and at Furman University in Greenville.
And it was during her world travels when she got to see first hand and hear stories about the impact qualified physicians and modern medicine can have on medically underserved populations. A neuroscience and Latin American studies major in college, Taylor was student president of Furman University Medical Missions, and her group helped set up clinics in the outskirts of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.
“Their medical system is such that people have to wait months for proper care,” she says. “So the people there were just so happy to see us and so happy to see that we cared enough to help. That trip showed me the need that exists out there, and it got me even more excited to get into medicine.”
Taylor’s experience — and her career goals — fit in well with the mission of Campbell University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine. The school aims to educate and prepare community-based osteopathic physicians who will one day fill the need for doctors in rural and underserved populations not only in North Carolina, but around the nation and the world.
“The idea behind this school is to reach people who really need us, and the fact that this is a faith-based school is really exciting to me,” Taylor says. “It’s rare to find that combination — a school with prestige and a great reputation that also has a great mission behind it.”
Taylor is no stranger to Campbell. Her grandfather was a Campbell supporter who often talked about the school when Taylor was younger. When she discovered the university would launch a school of osteopathic medicine in the fall of 2013, she learned more about it and followed the milestones like accreditation and the facility groundbreaking online.
And now, Taylor will be one of the first students to step foot inside that facility as part of the inaugural class of medical students — the Class of 2017.
“I’m excited to be a trailblazer,” she says. “I love the idea of coming in to a new program alongside the students and professors who’ll work to make it better as we go along. I wanted to come here because I want to help lead the way and pass what we’ve learned on down to future classes.”
She says osteopathic medicine and Campbell’s approach fits in well with the type of physician she wants to be — “My grandmother was a nurse, and she’s so caring and sweet,” Taylor says. “I associate her with the idea of how you should care for people. I want to be that kind of presence as a doctor.”
As for her plans after school, Taylor says she’ll go wherever God takes her. Her husband is studying missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, so it’s quite possible that her skills will be put to use one day serving people in countries like Costa Rica that need her most.
“If we could pair up and serve together, that’d be a dream,” she says.