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Bethel pre-med students have gone on to success in medical schools across the country and to a range of medical professions.

Post-graduate careers include:

  • Emergency medicine
  • Family practice
  • Internal medicine
  • Medical mission work
  • Neurology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics and sport medicine
  • Osteopathic medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

Those careers have taken alumni to hospitals and clinics, urban and rural areas, and under­served areas around the world as well as to nationally and internationally respected educational, health-care and research institutions.

Notable Alumni

Erica Coulter – ’00

As a biology major at Bethel, Erica knew she wanted to enter the medical field, yet she wasn’t ready for med school immediately after graduation. So she spent a year in Mennonite Voluntary Service (MVS) in Boulder, Colo., as a medical assistant in a clinic for low-income clients.

“I think that the environment at Bethel encouraged me as much toward voluntary service as toward medical school,” Erica says. “I had a desire to pick a career that was service-oriented, specifically toward international service. MVS cemented my desire to go into medicine and specifically family medicine, which emphasizes forming relationships and seems more applicable to doing service overseas.”

Following a year of voluntary service, Erica was accepted into the University of Kansas School of Medicine and, after earning her M.D. degree, into the Family Practice Residency Program at Lancaster (Pa.) General Hospital. Her medical interests include the full spectrum of family care, preventive care and international medicine.

She recalls her decision to attend Bethel: “I needed the individual attention and I wanted teachers who knew me and my strengths and weaknesses. I knew that was the kind of environment I needed, and where I would thrive.”

Jennifer Scott Koontz – ’98

Following graduation from Bethel, Jenny and Matt Koontz spent two years in Mennonite Voluntary Service in Hamilton, Ontario. Jenny was a community development worker with North Hamilton Health Centre. After MVS, she earned masters of public health (MPH) and M.D. degrees from the University of Kansas. She then entered the Via Christi Family Medicine Residency Program in Wichita, serving as chief resident 2007–08. She was board-certified in family medicine in 2008 and is currently practicing with Pinnacle Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics in Newton. She also serves as team physician for Bethel College athletics.

Jenny has stayed involved in service activity well past her MVS days. She was a founder, and has served as executive chairperson, of JayDoc Free Clinic in Kansas City, Kan., in 2003, and helped found JayDoc Community Clinic in Wichita in 2005, both student-run clinics for uninsured clients. While she was studying and working in Wichita, she was a facilitator for “Ready, Set, Fit,” a program of the American Academy of Family Physicians that presents fitness and nutrition ideas to third- and fourth-grade students in the Wichita public schools. In January 2010, shortly after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Jenny traveled there with the medical aid group Heart to Heart International and spent eight days treating earthquake victims.

Jenny’s interest in sports medicine stems from her Bethel student days, when she was a member of the varsity volleyball, women’s basketball and track teams, and when she began gaining sports medicine experience as a student athletic trainer for track, volleyball and women’s basketball during her junior year.

Suzanne Wedel – ’76
Suzanne is a founder of and chief executive officer for Boston MedFlight critical care transport system in Bedford, Mass.
Laurel Preheim – ’69
Laurel, of Omaha, Neb., retired recently as professor of medicine, medical microbiology and immunology at Creighton University School of Medicine, professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and chief of medicine at for the Veterans’ Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.