Couple combines medicine and matrimony

Fourth-year medical students Cy and Kandis Fogleman share a love for rural medicine, service and each other.

Cy and Kandis Fogleman wearing lab coats and black shirts in front of bare trees.
Fourth-year medical students Cy and Kandis Fogleman share a love for rural medicine, service and each other. (Submitted photo)

Their romance began when they were lab partners at Wake Forest University. Now Cy and Kandis Fogleman are married fourth-year students at the UNC School of Medicine, with a shared love for rural medicine and each other. The couple welcomed their son, Rush, on July 20, 2023. 

Cy Fogleman narrowed his career choices early in life.

“When I was in elementary school, I told my parents I either wanted to be a doctor or play baseball for the Yankees,” he said.

Medicine won out after the personal trauma of his mother’s difficult labor and delivery and his brother’s premature birth and time in a neonatal intensive care unit.

“Spending over 60 days in the NICU with my brother while he was fighting for his life was challenging,” he said. “While sitting in the NICU, I came up with the idea for a nonprofit called Project Brotherly Love.” The project provides care packages for families who weren’t prepared for a premature baby.

He did his pre-med studies at Wake Forest University. He worked three years on the campus rescue squad as an EMT and one year with Forsyth County EMS. He also met his future wife at Wake Forest.

Kandis Fogleman never thought that she could become a doctor. “No one in my family had even gone to college,” she said. But in high school, she began to explore medicine as a career, thanks to a love of science and “wonderful teachers who allowed me to realize that I was very motivated and gifted academically.”

She knew she wanted to help people like those she knew in her native Wilkes County, North Carolina, determined to “provide much-needed, excellent care to people in rural communities as a trusted physician.”

She was a sophomore and he was a junior when they became partners in the general chemistry lab. Spending four hours a week together, the two soon realized that they had a similar love for family, rural medicine and service.

Married in medicine

In 2018, they studied for the MCAT together and took it at the same time. He took a gap year and worked as an EMT while she finished her last year at Wake Forest. Two weeks after she graduated, the couple got married. She enrolled in the UNC School of Medicine in 2019, while he started the next year.

“I will be forever grateful that UNC took a chance on me,” he said. “I also appreciate the Kenan Rural Scholars program,” which encourages mentorship opportunities with rural physicians.

She is also thankful for her time at Carolina, where she earned a Master of Public Health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in addition to her medical training. “The faculty have become mentors and friends, and my classmates will soon turn into trusted colleagues.”

The couple is now preparing for Match Day, when they will participate in the “couples match” – a process where the two applicants link their rank order lists to get positions in the same geographic location. After family medicine residencies, preferably in the southeastern U.S., they hope to open their own practice in rural North Carolina with a focus on full-scope family medicine.

“From studying for long hours to time commitment at the hospital, it’s important to have support from your spouse,” she said. “I’m happy that Cy and I have the shared goal of being the best doctors for our patients. We always push each other to continue to grow our knowledge.”

Read more about Cy and Kandis Fogleman.