DR. NCHANG AZEFOR, CLASS OF 2009, JOINS SOUTHWEST MEDICAL CENTER IN LIBERAL, KANSAS

Dr. Nchang Azefor, Class of 2009, has recently joined Southwest Medical Center's surgical team as part of the General Surgery Care Center.

Dr. Azefor spent her early childhood in Ethiopia and Cameroon, where her father worked for the United Nations. When she was eight years old, Dr. Azefor moved to Washington, DC to attend school after her father took a job working for The World Bank. Throughout her education, Dr. Azefor began participating in academic competitions and exploring career options, ultimately culminating in an interest in medicine. 

After her sophomore year of High School, she began volunteering for the Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. On her time there, Dr. Azefor said "It really filled me up to work there. The kids were so wonderful and I felt that medicine was what I was being led toward."

Later on in high school, Dr. Azefor went on to work with patients in the National Rehabilitation Hospital, which further confirmed her interest in medicine. After high school, she attended Spelman College in Atlanta and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Soon after, she began pursuing a Master of Science in Anatomy from Howard University. Dr. Azefor was initially interested in Orthopedic Surgery, but ended up choosing General Surgery as her specialty due to the challenge and variety associated with it.

After receiving her Doctor in Medicine at Howard in 2009, Dr. Azefor went on to complete her general surgery residency and fellowship in surgical critical care at Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. While in residency, Dr. Azefor met and married her husband, Daniel Innocent, and in June 2016, the couple welcomed their son Julien into their lives.

Dr. Azefor cites her visit to Liberal, KS and the people she met there as one of the reasons she chose to practice medicine at Southwest Medical Center. "Everyone wanted to make sure that our transition would be good and that this would be a nice fit for my family," she explained. Dr. Azefor will perform general surgery procedures as well as work in Southwest Medical Center's Wound Care Center. 

Dr. Azefor looks forward to "performing in all areas of general surgery and performing a variety of cases." "I really like to do laparoscopic surgery, such as repairing hiatal hernias. It's a challenge and it's a complicated surgery I like to perform," said Dr. Azefor. "A lot of times those patients are having issues that really inhibit their lifestyle. Once you get that problem solved for them, their life completely changes for the better."

On how she interacts with her patients, Dr. Azefor said "I look to really understand what my patients are looking for and I will ask a lot of questions. I want to know what type of support they have, who is at home to help them, and I'll make sure they understand everything ahead of time, because surgery really is a big deal for a lot of people." "As their physician, I hope to be a support for them as they're going through a tough time in their life. I always focus on keeping that in mind. Many times, patients lean on you for support and I want them to know I'm here to help."

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