Ross Bethel is a physician at Selah Family Medicine and believes that the key to a successful appointment is to really listen to the patient without assuming the answer. He thinks that better health is not the result of the pills he subscribes, but instead a result of motivating someone to make changes in their lifestyle. Ross enjoys being part of a larger community like Yakima, as communication between doctors and specialists is often better and there is uniformity in how things are done. Following in his father's footsteps, Ross became a physician because he enjoys helping others and saw the impact his father had on his community as a physician.
What inspired you to choose medicine as a career?
I grew up in Poulsbo, Washington where my dad was a family doctor. I grew up around medicine. I can remember going on house visits with him, meeting people and always running into people in the store who admired him, so I'm sure that played a big role in my decision. I like to help people and I've always enjoyed science so those combinations lead me to pursue a career in medicine.
Do you have a philosophy or approach to working with patients?
My philosophy is to make sure I listen to my patients and understand what they are feeling and thinking. As I get to know them and their lifestyles, I see how medicine would fit in with trying to make their life better. It is not just about treating a diagnosis, but about seeing what works for their life.
What do you appreciate most about the doctors and staff you work with?
An advantage of being in a larger community of physicians is that we can have better communication with our specialists as well as uniformity in how well we do things. I believe you will also see better continuity between in-patient and out-patient care.
What do you like about Yakima?
There are a lot of great things about Yakima. It is a small town that doesn't have the hustle and bustle you see on the west side. You can also get almost anywhere in Yakima in about 15 minutes. The Capital Theater is a great attraction and there are lots of recreational opportunities. As far as the work environment, I believe we have really good relationships between primary care physicians and specialists. You don't feel isolated and you become part of a community. We have good support from our administrators and they believe in physician leadership.
Tell me a little known fact about you or talk about what you like to do outside of work.
I like to play tennis. I played tennis through high school and then gave it up for 20 years, but started playing again a couple of years ago. I'm on a tennis team and we compete against other cities. I've played guitar for a long time and led worship at my church, but I haven't done that for the last couple of years. I also like to ride my bicycle. I'm married with three children and they are eleven, nine, and five. Being a dad and a husband is a huge part of my life. I have also been going to an orphanage in Kenya. We started a clinic that supports that orphanage so I'm taking a team again this summer.