There shouldn’t be a difference between care and caring. Here at UT Health Austin compassion is one of our biggest driving factors as healthcare providers.
By focusing on outcomes and goals that matter most to patients, our objective is to ensure that every single patient feels listened to, understood and helped in the most effective and meaningful way. Dr. Christina Salazar, a gynecologist specializing in management of complex women’s health conditions in the Women’s Health Institute, explains that this approach to patient care is unique to medicine. She says that healthcare providers rarely have the opportunity to carve out time to sit as a team and discuss each patient as an individual and then together develop a treatment plan utilizing a variety of resources already available on the team.
“It’s about getting back to the human side of medicine, and focusing on how we can better the system for patients that require specialized care,” said Dr. Salazar.
The care team approach is designed to utilize medical opinions from a variety of specialists to review a patient’s history, symptoms, lifestyle as well as emotional and mental health to put together a long-term care plan that is unique to the patient’s needs. “Having the ability to unite dietitians, social workers, and physical therapists into an academic setting allows us to have a very functional, supportive and caring medical team. That has been the largest contributing factor in providing phenomenal caring for our patients,” said Dr. Salazar. “I think the ability for us to apply the resources available to us and collaborate with our colleagues in the Musculoskeletal Institute has been very effective. Our mission as a clinic is to serve as a unique resource for the community and help provide solutions by looking at the patient from a new perspective. After reaching their goals, we graduate these patients and send them back to their primary providers.
“Patients have been very receptive and even emotional at times after receiving care here,” said Dr. Salazar. “I’m touched all the time by their stories and it reminds me that I’m here to make a change in how healthcare is delivered and to make a difference in people’s lives.
Dr. Salazar was inspired to serve others through the field of medicine by her father who is a general surgeon and family practitioner serving the needs of patients in South-Central Texas. She has always had a special interest in women’s health and is committed to using that passion for the benefit of the Austin community. She is a strong patient advocate and cares deeply about improving each individual woman’s quality of life. “It’s just a joy to be a part of this team,” she said. “We are changing lives and helping Austin’s citizens get specialized care that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It’s really encouraging seeing some of these patients that have otherwise felt lost who have now found a path to healing.”