Physician of the Year Finalist: Ryan Koch

Physician of the Year Finalist: Ryan Koch
Ryan Koch of Unity Health and White County Oncology

As an oncologist with Unity Health in Searcy, Dr. Ryan Koch sees firsthand the highs and lows that come with cancer treatment.

But one of the most rewarding parts of his work is treating patients with cutting-edge therapy, right in their own hometown. Koch infuses compassion and empathy into his interactions with patients as he helps them battle cancer.

“My concern for my patients prompts me to continue to research, read and learn about advancing treatments and I feel responsible to provide them with the most advanced care possible,” Koch said. “If I am not able to provide this I will get them to an appropriate place [that] can.”

As a medical oncologist, Koch is tasked with taking care of patients with cancer and blood disorders who are both an outpatient and inpatient. He provides treatment in the infusion room of the cancer center and monitors patients as they receive therapy, as well as diagnoses and treats cancer and provides options to improve the quality of life of patients struggling with malignant disease.

When thinking back on memorable moments throughout his career, one story sticks out in particular for Koch. There was a couple who had been married for over 60 years when the wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. There was little that could be done but chemotherapy was an option.

“Delivering the news and watching their interaction has stuck with me,” Koch said. “The husband wanted so bad for her to take the treatment and give her the extra couple of weeks. The wife was so sure about her decision to avoid chemotherapy as this had always been her thought if she were met with the decision. They embraced and we all cried in the room that day. I knew them for a very short period of time. I was a witness to their eternal love and support for one another. We all have different battles in life and we never know what others might be going through.”

After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado, Ryan Koch received his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri.