Centre grad now practicing at St. Luke

Family physician Amanda Baxa joined St. Luke Medical Clinic in April. “I love taking care of people I know and being able to do better medicine by forming connections with patients,” she said about choosing to build a practice in Marion.With two months under her belt, St. Luke Medical Clinic’s most recent family physician to come on board finds it to be a good fit.

“I love taking care of people I know and being able to do better medicine by forming connections with patients,” said Amanda Baxa, who joined the clinic in April after practicing for a short time in Abilene.

A 2004 graduate of Centre High School, Baxa (pronounced Box-a) has returned to Marion County with husband Tim and their three daughters, Sophia, 5, Antonia, 3, and Evelyn, who just turned 1.

“Marion is a great environment to raise our family,” she said about relocating here.

No matter what career one chooses, Baxa said it’s important to balance work and life. For their family, that means her husband’s priority is to be at home with the girls while she focuses on her work at the clinic and hospital.

“He’s the reason we got through med school and residency,” Baxa said with a smile.

She said she was drawn to medicine by the example of her mother, who worked as an emergency medical technician and nurse, and a brother having several surgeries because of an eye condition.

Medicine always fascinated her. Baxa said she enjoyed science and math classes in middle and high school and credits having had several exceptional teachers.

As a student at Kansas State University, she initially focused on a degree in engineering.

“I thought about medicine, but the length of time required to go to school seemed overwhelming,” she said.

But after two years at K-State, she said engineering just wasn’t the fit for which she was looking. So she started to explore other options, including job shadowing the ophthalmologist in Salina who had treated her brother.

Baxa also applied to Scholars in Rural Health, a program for undergraduate students who have an interest in being physicians in rural settings. She was accepted and then paired with a mentor.

Baxa completed her medical degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2012.

The variety in family medicine appeals to her.

“You get to do a broader spectrum (of medical care) by using your skills and not having to send everything to a specialist,” Baxa said, adding that if needed she makes referrals.

Baxa said she believes family medicine can lead to better care of patients by providing health care continuity for all ages.

“That’s what drew me (to family medicine),” she said. “It’s treating the whole spectrum from birth to grave.”

Among her goals, Baxa said she wants to establish a strong practice and build relationships with her patients. She also hopes she can treat more children at the clinic. Because deliveries are made at other hospitals, she said, pediatricians there are often assigned to newborns and young children.

“I’d love to see more kiddos at our clinic,” she said.

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