“I was a sick kid. I was always in the hospital,” is how the newest doctor on the staff of Freeman Neosho Hospital begins the discussion about what attracted her to a career in medicine.
Dr. Rebecca Aleck continued, “There was actually a doctor when I was seven years old that made me feel like I actually could be OK, that someday that everything would be fine. I still remember the day, the moment that it happened that I knew who I was, and from that point forward I wanted to be just like him, that’s what I immediately thought, ‘Gosh, one day I’d like to grow up to be just like him, and that has to be a doctor,’ so that I could help other people feel as though everything is going to be OK.”
Now, Aleck is a doctor, and she has begun her medical career at Freeman Neosho, her first choice as a place of employment. Aleck said she completed her third and fourth year medical school clinicals in Joplin, which gave her an opportunity to do a rotation in family medicine during her third year in Neosho.
“I found that I loved the people there, I loved the clinic, I loved everybody I worked with in the clinic, the culture of the place,” she said. “Everything was just so comfortable and welcoming to me and, the people were just so lovely and welcoming, I knew I loved it there. So when I did my fourth year family medicine clinical I begged for them to let me go back to Neosho again, and they did and I loved it just as much.
“When I was getting to a point in my residency where I could look for a job I called Freeman and I said, ‘Are you all hiring in Neosho?’ and they said, ‘yes,’ and I said, ‘Oh, please consider me.’ I feel like I’m blessed that I’m going back to where initially I fell in love with the place and now I get to go work there.”
Aleck revealed that she quickly fell as much in love with the Neosho community as she had with the hospital and clinic.
“I love that it’s a small community, that people are very close to each other,” she said. “Everybody there is just so welcoming, everybody is so pleasant! No matter where you go you’ll run into people that you know from the community who you see in the office, and they’re always pleasant. It’s not just when they come to the hospital or when they see me in the office that they’re pleasant, everywhere you go people are pleasant. And it’s a nice small community and I love small communities.”
Aleck said she is honored to be the first female physician to work in Neosho, and wants to serve the community in any way they need.
“Anybody who wants to come and see me, I’m going to treat them like they’re part of my family,” she said.
Aleck feels her experience with being so sick and seeing so many doctors as a child has helped forge one of her greatest assets.
“I’m very, very good with patients,” she said. “I spend a lot of time to present what’s going on and what we are doing. I have an open communication with them at all times.
“I’m really passionate about helping people that are not well with diseases that are very controllable, such as heart failure and diabetes, to actually understand their disease and how to control it, to live a full a life as possible with those diseases. That goes with being available for communication, they can call me and I’ll call them back.”
Aleck said she does not speak to patients in ‘doctor-speak’, but rather talks to them as a person.
“When we talk about diseases I don’t use doctor words, I use words that normal people would understand,” she said.
Aleck indicated that she does not work fast in order to get out of the room and to the next patient.
“I spend as much time as necessary with my patients, and then I do have that open communication,” she said. “My nurses will answer the phones and give me messages, and I will call them back. I want to have that open communication with my patients, so that they do know what they need to do everyday. If they are confused, they’re not sure of something, I don’t want them to stay home, I want them to call me. I’d rather keep them out of the hospital than find out later they ended up in the hospital because they didn’t understand something.”
Aleck will open her internal medicine practice Aug. 11 at Freeman Neosho Physician Group, 335 South Jefferson Street, Neosho. She is currently accepting patients.
In announcing the addition of Aleck to Freeman Neosho, Paula Baker, Freeman Health System president and chief executive officer, said, “Freeman Neosho is a thriving example of rural medicine at its best, and Dr. Aleck will be a welcome addition. She has a passion for medicine – one that will not go unnoticed by her patients.”
Renee Denton, administrator, Freeman Neosho, added, “One of the many reasons Freeman Neosho welcomed back Dr. Aleck is her focus on preventive medicine.” Denton stated, “This proactive approach to medicine truly establishes a partnership between her and the patient. Such a connection will prove key in disease prevention and management among Dr. Aleck’s patients.”
Aleck completed her medical education at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Mo. She completed her internal medicine residency at Saint Barnabas Hospital in Bronx, N.Y., where she served as chief resident.
To schedule an appointment with Aleck, please call 455-4200.