Committed to Respect
Recognizing the value of your lifetime of experience
Reviewed by: Yvette Williams-Brown, MD, MMS, FACOG
Video by: Emily Kinsolving and Alyssa Martin
Written by: Ashley Lawrence and Lauren Schneider
Every woman should feel seen and be heard throughout all stages of their life — it’s the respect that you deserve. Yvette Williams-Brown, MD, MMS, FACOG, is a fellowship-trained gynecologic oncologist in both Women’s Health, a clinical partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, and UT Health Austin’s Livestrong Cancer Institutes. Dr. Williams-Brown recognizes the value in understanding your lifetime of experience and works with you to build a treatment plan centered around your needs.
“As a gynecologic oncologist, I really enjoy the long-term relationships that I develop with patients,” says Dr. Williams-Brown. “As a part of their continuity of care, I see patients from the time of their diagnosis, through their surgery, and beyond. I have the privilege of getting to know their families and hearing their stories. It’s the resilience and strength of my patients that allows me to do the incredible work that I do.”
Gynecologic oncologists are fellowship-trained gynecologists who have completed an additional 3-4 years of training to become experts in prevention, early detection, and treatment of all gynecologic cancers.
Our gynecologic oncologists work alongside a team of women’s health experts, including radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, oncofertility specialists, onco-psychiatrists, genetic counselors, physical therapists, dietitians, social workers, and more, to provide unparalleled care for patients every step of the way.
“I was drawn to medicine, because I wanted to be able to make a direct impact on the lives of others,” shares Dr. Williams-Brown. “Unfortunately, we can’t always cure a disease, especially when it comes to cancer. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything we can do. There are ways we can still treat the whole person, treat their family, and give them the dignity and respect they deserve. Truly hearing and understanding what the patient is saying is also a part of what allows a person to heal.”
Dr. Williams-Brown also serves as a member of UT Health Austin’s CaLM Care Team. The CaLM model of whole-person care offers personalized cancer treatment as well as wraparound services for patients, including social, emotional, and mental health support, nutritional support, oncology pharmacist support, palliative and supportive care, cancer fertility preservation, and more.
“It’s important to take a team approach to patient care, because it really isn’t possible for one person to fulfill all of a patient’s needs,” explains Dr. Williams-Brown. “I also enjoy having learners in my clinic, because they bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to enhancing patient care. When I see a student’s genuine enthusiasm and eagerness to actively take part in improving a patient’s condition, it sparks a profound joy that ignites my heart and soul.”
In addition to providing education and training for the next generation of gynecologic surgeons, Dr. Williams-Brown provides subspecialty training in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery as the Program Director of the Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery Fellowship within the Dell Medical School Department of Women’s Health. She also serves as a career advisor and an Academic Society Coach, and in 2022, she was inducted into the Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education for demonstrating excellence in all aspects of health science education, educational scholarship, and leadership.
“When I meet with patients, I like to initiate a conversation around their specific preferences, goals, and needs,” shares Dr. Williams-Brown.
“I take a similar approach with my students. I help them understand and recognize the various paths that lie before them and empower them to find confidence within themselves to come to their own conclusions about what’s best for them.”
In spring 2023, Dr. Williams-Brown and two Dell Medical School students received a Health Equity Pilot Project Award from the Dell Medical School Office of Research and the Dell Medical School Office of Health Equity to study whether portable technology can increase access to cervical cancer screening and prevention for underserved populations in Central Texas.
“As clinicians associated with a medical school that was born of the support of the community, I think that it’s important for us to give back,” says Dr. Williams-Brown. “If our main goal is to help improve the health of the population, then it’s our obligation to really hear and understand what the community is saying. I can learn from them as much as they can learn from me, and that relationship helps move health care forward.”
Dr. Williams-Brown’s research interests involve improving healthcare delivery so that it is more equitable and inclusive, particularly in relation to women’s health. Areas of her research include improving access to early detection and prevention of cervical cancer, enhancing screening for ovarian cancer in low-risk women, and expanding access to gynecologic cancer care for underserved populations.
“I’m very lucky in the sense that I get to do so many different things,” shares Dr. Williams-Brown. “I get to see patients, I get to teach, I get to operate, I get to conduct research, and I get to collaborate with so many different experts. The most exciting thing about being a part of this institution is that there is opportunity to build, grow, and innovate, and there is not just one way of doing something. Collectively, we’re all seeking out new ways to improve the care of our patients and help improve the care of the community. That’s what makes this an amazing place.”