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Woman following family tradition — Grandmothers, mom chose medical careers

A Bogue Chitto woman with plans to be a small-town doctor is getting a free ride to medical school.

Taylor Cupit, a junior at Mississippi College, was recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program. Created by the state Legislature in 2007, the scholarships attract Mississippians into healthcare fields to ease physician shortages. Program leaders discover high academic achievers showing a commitment to serve as physicians in rural areas.

After completing medical school, the professionals enter a residency program in primary care specialties such as family medicine, general internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics.

Other benefits: the medical students receive personalized mentoring from rural physicians and academic support. Scholarships total $120,000 over four years of medical school.

She has an early admission to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

“It is very much a relief,” she said. “I won’t have to worry about being in debt for the rest of my life.”

The program accepts about 25 applicants per year. She’ll go through two years of specialized training to prepare her for medical school.

“They want to make sure that primary care is what you want to do before you commit,” she said.

Cupit is leaning toward family medicine so she can work with grandparents, parents and their children. In exchange for the scholarship, she agrees to work in a clinic-based practice in a Mississippi community of 15,000 or fewer located more than 20 miles from a medically-served area.

She’s open to anywhere in the state, but she’d prefer to stay in Southwest Mississippi.

“We’ll see where the Lord takes me,” she said.

Cupit is the daughter of Jeff and Kathy Cupit of Bogue Chitto. Her father has been pastor at New Sight Baptist Church for four years. Cupit graduated from North Pike High School, but her four younger siblings attend Bogue Chitto Attendance Center.

Abby is entering her senior year at Bogue Chitto, Eli is a freshman and twins Sadie and Lillie are going into the seventh grade.

Rev. Cupit believes his daughter’s desire to go into medicine could come from her family. Both his and his wife’s mothers are nurses, and now Cupit’s mom has followed in their footsteps as well.

Kathy Cupit graduated from nursing school in May and is working as a labor and delivery nurse in Natchez.