May 3, 2023
She serves as the residency program director at the Novant Health Family Medicine Residency in Wilmington, and she does work that many of her colleagues commend.
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When she attended the University of Minnesota as a medical student, Dr. Beste had originally planned to become an OB-GYN. But her first delivery there was with a family physician, Dr. Alison Lafrence. “I was hooked,” Dr. Beste says. When she began shadowing Dr. Lafrence, she knew that Family Medicine had to be her specialty: “She was able to do so many things, and her patients adored her. I’d go to the hospital and the clinic with her, and one time she called me in at 5:00 a.m. for a delivery. I looked at her and thought, this looks like the most fun job in the world.”
After Dr. Lafrence’s example, Dr. Beste followed Family Medicine to her residency at ECU Family Medicine. Her husband, an obstetrician/gynecologist, was also accepted there. Dr. Beste says: “We just fell in love with the program and that area of North Carolina.” Dr. Beste would stay on as faculty at ECU in Greenville, until she came to the Novant Health Family Medicine Residency in Wilmington in 2007. Her time there led to her current role as Resident Program Director. Several of her colleagues have only good things to say about Dr. Beste:
“She has always had an unwavering dedication to the underserved of NC, continually advocating for patients and working to come up with creative solutions to best serve others,” says Dr. Catherine Sotir. “In addition to her incredible leadership skills, Dr. Beste is also a phenomenal teacher and mentor.”
“Dr. Beste is an excellent teacher for students and a strong mentor for us as faculty members,” says Dr. Karen Isaacs. “She models full-spectrum family medicine care.”
“One of the reasons why I’ve been able to do a lot of things is that I surround myself with really good people,” Dr. Beste says. “I can’t take credit for these things. People come to me and say, ‘There's nobody who does this, I’m going to figure it out.’ They come up with the best ideas on what to do, and I help them go with it.”
One example is the 2022 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant that Beste and her colleagues received to fund rural health care positions in nearby Pender County. “I’ve been working on that for probably a decade,” Dr. Beste says. “Dr. Steven Crane came down from Hendersonville to consult with us, and I used his work from 2014 to help develop this program. It’s finally coming to fruition.”
This care for Pender County drew from Dr. Beste’s conversations with former residents who now practice there. One of them works at Pender Medical Center, and she and Dr. Beste stay in touch. “Over a decade ago, she said, ‘We could really use a rural training site that would help us get more physicians,’” Dr. Beste recalls. “She has patients driving an hour and a half to find doctors. It’s an underserved community.” The new rural health expansion will begin in 2024.
“It’s really unfair how proud I get to be of my former residents,” she says, “when they really did the work in growing to reach their great positions.”
Her appreciation of the residents she mentored is mutual: “I like to joke that at the dance at the annual NCAFP meeting, I never actually get to dance. I’m too busy catching up with students and former residents, seeing pictures of their children,” Dr. Beste says. “They tell me, ‘You know how I told you I’d never do this? Well, now I’m running it in my community.’”