Southwest Medical Center is proud to announce the arrival of general surgeon, Nchang Azefor, M.D., to the Liberal community. Dr. Azefor joined Southwest Medical Center’s surgical team this December as part of the General Surgery Care Center.
Dr. Azefor spent her early life in Cameroon and Ethiopia, where her father worked for the United Nations. She moved to the Washington, D.C. area when she was eight years old to attend school after her father took a position working for The World Bank. Azefor explains that exploring careers and participating in academic competitions throughout her education helped lead her towards medicine.
“After my sophomore year of high school I started volunteering at a place called Hospital for Sick Children. It’s a hospital in D.C. where all their patients are pediatric patients who have a chronic disease,” Dr. Azefor explained. “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.”
During her senior year of high school, Dr. Azefor went on to work with patients at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, which further confirmed her interest in medicine. After high school, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Spelman College in Atlanta before pursuing a Master of Science in Anatomy from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
While she was initially interested in Orthopedic Surgery, Azefor explained the challenge and variety involved in General Surgery is what led her to choose her specialty.
“When I did my general surgery rotation I had a blast. I love the variety, there’s such a range of what you can do to help patients,” Azefor said. “I enjoy anatomy and working with instruments and the technical challenge of surgery – it’s the part of medicine that I love the most in addition to getting to know my patients and learning about their life and health.”
Dr. Azefor attained her Doctor of Medicine at Howard University, then went on to complete her general surgery residency and a fellowship in surgical critical care at Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. During her residency, she met and married her husband, Daniel Innocent, in 2014. They welcomed their son, Julien, into their lives in June 2016 as Dr. Azefor was finishing her residency training.
When looking for a place to practice medicine, Dr. Azefor said her visit to Liberal and the individuals she met impacted her decision to choose 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. “Here everyone listened to my needs and what I was looking for. When we came for a visit, it seemed like a great place to raise our son. Everyone seemed friendly. It isn’t a huge town, but I can see that there’s a great need for another general surgeon and that patients here are very appreciative of the care they receive.”
Dr. Azefor will be performing general surgery procedures, in addition to her work in Southwest Medical Center’s Wound Care Center.
“I look forward to performing in all areas of general surgery and performing a variety of cases,” Azefor said. “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. 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.”
When it comes to caring for patients in our community, Dr. Azefor feels they’ll find she works to listen carefully to their needs.
“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,” Azefor said. “As their physician, I hope to be a support for them as they’re going through a difficult 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.”
Dr. Nchang Azefor is now seeing patients at the General Surgery Care Center, alongside general surgeons Dr. Jose Maeda and Dr. Imudia Ehanire. The practice is located at 305 W. 15th Street, Suite 204 inside the Medical Office Building at Southwest Medical Center.
Dr. Azefor is accepting new patients and most major insurances, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicare, and Kansas and Oklahoma Medicaid. For questions about services performed by Dr. Azefor, please call (620) 624-4946 or visit www.swmccare.com.