Note: At its Dec. 6 Women in Business Breakfast, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce named twelve Women of Distinction for 2020. In recognition of their achievements, the Morning Sun will be publishing profiles of each Woman of Distinction.

PITTSBURG — Bethany Enoch lived in Ohio for the first few years of her childhood. Then she moved to Africa.

“My parents became missionaries when I was a kid and we moved to Kenya when I was 10,” Enoch said in a recent interview, “and then I lived there pretty much until I graduated from high school.”

Her experience living in Kenya probably had an impact on Enoch’s decision to later pursue a career in medicine, she said.

“I think it’s sometimes a little hard to separate because I think it had such an influence on everything in my life, but I think it was pretty foundational in going into a service-oriented career,” Enoch said.

When she returned to the U.S., Enoch enrolled at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, where she double majored in music performance and biology pre-med, before attending the University of Kansas School of Medicine. In 2013, she moved to Pittsburg and began practicing family medicine at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. Enoch and her husband had two children when they moved to Pittsburg. Now they have three.

“We really loved Pittsburg and just felt really at home here, loved the people, and I like being able to do kind of a broad spectrum of medicine and also get to know people well,” Enoch said. Living in a smaller town gives her the opportunity to get to know her patients in both a medical and a social setting, which is “a neat experience,” she added.

Enoch recently became a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She was also recently appointed site director for a new KU School of Medicine family medicine residency rural training track program. The program is still in its planning stages, but the first class is expected to start the program in 2022.

“So what that is is a program for doctors who have just graduated from medical school who are specializing in family medicine,” Enoch said. “They will spend the first year in Kansas City getting some of the critical care [training] and things like that, and then hop to Pittsburg for the last two years of their family medicine training and do all of that here. Statistically speaking, the majority of physicians practice near where they do their residency. So the goal is to get people in Southeast Kansas so that hopefully they’ll stay to help with our physician shortage.”

Despite her achievements so far in her career and those she can expect once the family medicine rural residency program is up and running, Enoch said she was not expecting to be named a 2020 Woman of Distinction by the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I would say I was surprised,” she said, “and very humbled and flattered that I would be considered for it.”