Freeman News

Freeman Hires Internal Medicine Physician at Neosho

August 01, 2023

Freeman News

Freeman Hires Internal Medicine Physician at Neosho

August 01, 2023
Dr. Melanie Akuna to start practicing on August 1

NEOSHO, Mo. – Dr. Melanie Akuna, an internal medicine physician, has joined the staff of Freeman Neosho Physician Group. 

Akuna supports primary preventative care and likes to address patients’ issues early to help prevent them from becoming seriously ill. 

“I’m pretty easy-going,” Akuna said, who holds a medical degree from Trinity School of Medicine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “I try not to be judgmental with anybody. I think my role is to use my expertise to help my patients better their own health than using the classic paternalistic medicine,” where a patient’s health decisions are made by a doctor without input.  

Akuna is also a rare “legacy” doctor. Family Medicine Specialist Bruce Akuna, long affiliated with both Freeman Health System and Freeman Neosho Hospital, is her father. 

“Lots of people recognize my last name,” she said with a laugh. 

Akuna recently completed her three-year internal medicine residency at Freeman. During her residency graduation, Freeman’s Dr. Robert McNab praised her work ethic and dedication to helping others. 

“I think Dr. Akuna is definitely one of those people who is just so true to herself,” McNab said. “She brings a personality and charm to everything she does. It’s been a great pleasure to see her build her confidence and turn into a fantastic physician who will be an amazing addition to our medical family.”  

By staying on at Freeman, Akuna is following closely in her father’s footsteps. 

“My mother is from Joplin,” she said. “After my father did his residency in Pennsylvania, we came here in 2008. I love the Joplin area.”

Akuna lives with her husband in Redings Mill – along with six chickens and four 6-year-old Leopard gecko lizards. 

“My dad originally had geckos in his clinic,” she said. “He acquired them from nurses and he started raising them. After my childhood dog passed he brought me a lot of them.” 

A common topic of conversation between Akuna and her patients centers around her elaborate nail art. 

“I really like doing it. It’s something I picked up during medical school. I found it hard sitting with nothing to do while re-listening to my lectures and polishing my notes. It gave me something to do,” she said. “During my residency interview I had the Freeman logo on my nails; everybody wanted to see them.”

Akuna is accepting new patients at Freeman Neosho Physician Group, 336 S. Jefferson. To schedule an appointment, call 417.455.4200.