Indiana State University Newsroom

Rural Health Program enables student to follow her dreams

November 9, 2009

Kelly Loman, a sophomore physics major from Shelbyville, grew up knowing what it means to help people, thanks mostly to her father, a small-town doctor.

Loman often accompanied her father on "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day."

Her father Chris, a doctor at Major Family Medicine, still remembers those days.

"She would always make rounds with me. We'd go to the hospital and we'd make rounds. She knew on every floor where the ice cream was and where the soft drink machine was, and nurses were always ready with crayons and paper for her to draw," he said.

Loman may not use crayons anymore, but her childhood dream of becoming a doctor remains alive as she prepares for medical school through the Rural Health Program at Indiana State University.

As she was growing up, Loman knew she wanted to continue living in a rural area much like her father did. When she received a rural health scholarship from Indiana State, her dream began to take shape.

Students in the Rural Health Program are put on a medical track. Everything they do as undergraduates prepares them for medical school.

"I think the Rural Health Program really inundates them from day one. I wish every program did that. I wish everybody knew what the commitment was and everybody signed on to it from day one," Dr. Loman said.

The Rural Health Program, offered jointly by ISU and the Indiana University School of Medicine, provides increased opportunities for students from rural communities.

Loman still relies on her father for advice, and occasionally spends her weekends back home in Shelby County, watching him practice medicine. One day she knows she will have the opportunity to provide the same sort of care he does in a similar small-town atmosphere.

"I don't think people should have to drive 50 minutes for quality health care," she said.

From a father's perspective, Dr. Loman knows his daughter is following her dream. From a doctor's perspective, he knows she's getting the training and mentoring she needs to make her dream a reality.

"If only every medical student, or any pre-med, could have what they're giving to Kelly and the other Rural Health students, I think we'd make better doctors," he said.

The deadline to apply for a Rural Health Scholarship for the 2010-11 academic year is Nov. 15. To be considered any of Indiana State University's top scholarships, students must be admitted by Dec. 1. More information about the program and an application are available online at A separate application is not required for other ISU scholarships.

Watch video:

Photo: - Kelly Loman accompanies her dad, Dr. Chris Loman, as he makes his rounds at Major Hospital in Shelbyville.

Media contact: Rachel Wedding McClelland, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or