Kara Beair-Butler is currently in her fourth and final year of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency at OU Tulsa, where she serves as a chief resident of the program. Kara, who was born and raised in the greater Tulsa area, first announced her desire to be a Pediatrician at the age of 3. Since that day, she has never looked back. At the age of 8, her then 6 year old brother’s diagnosis with Type I Diabetes shaped her desire to be a physician serving pediatric patients with chronic illnesses, particularly Diabetes.
In 1996, Kara’s mother and another local mother founded the Green Country Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It was an effort that involved Kara’s whole family and gave her a greater sense of the tremendous impact a few dedicated individuals can have when they come together for a great cause. The following year, Kara served as a counselor at Camp Lo-Be-Gon, a day camp in Tulsa, where children with Diabetes and their siblings spend a week learning about Diabetes while enjoying all the traditional activities and fun of summer camp. She has returned every summer for the last 18 years to volunteer. Through her experiences with JDRF and at Camp Lo-Be-Gon, Kara gained a better understanding of the challenges that patients with chronic illnesses and their families face. She also learned what a frightening and often overwhelming experience it can be when a chronically ill child ages out of their Pediatric provider’s practice and must establish care with a new physician. With this in mind, Kara decided a combined residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics would allow her to better serve her patient population and afford her the opportunity to keep her patients as they transitioned into adulthood. Those early years truly shaped Kara as an individual and future physician.
Kara is a graduate of Holland Hall High School and went on to earn her BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Oklahoma City University. She then attended medical school at the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. There, Kara served as the President of the Undergraduate American Academy of Osteopathy, as well as both the Rural Health Fair Chair and Scrub Run Public Relations Chair for the Student Osteopathic Medical Association. As a participant in the Inaugural Class of the School’s Rural Health Option, Kara had the opportunity to develop a unique skill set and knowledge base tailored to providing care for some of the most underserved areas of her home state of Oklahoma.
Kara began her residency training in the Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Program at OU Tulsa in 2011. At OU, Kara has had the opportunity to serve in a number of capacities, including sitting on the General Medical Education Committee, the Resident Executive Council, and the Pediatric Education Committee. At the OU Tisdale Clinic, home of the resident continuity clinic for Med/Peds, Kara was a founding member of the Clinical Practice Management Committee, and she has continued to serve for the last 3 years as her class representative. She also spear-headed the effort to create a partnership with a North Tulsa Elementary School, where the residents serve as mentors to students ages 5 to 12. Finally, Kara has had the opportunity to plan and participate in numerous community-based activities, including health fairs, sports physicals, and outreach projects.
Upon completion of her residency and graduation in June, she will be staying on as faculty for the Medicine/Pediatrics Department at OU Tulsa, where she will serve in both the clinic and hospital settings. There she hopes to continue impacting the community where she grew up, while training a new generation of physicians, who she hopes will share her passion for community medicine and outreach.