Why am I an ADC OB/GYN? Caring and loyalty

My name is Dr. Yvette Gutierrez-Schieffer. I am an OB-GYN at ADC.

Every morning, for the past 20 years, I have gone to my office at ADC to work hard — making rounds, seeing patients, doing surgery, delivering babies and bringing new ADC patients into the world.

I love my job, my partners and ADC.

Why am I still here after 20 years?

The clinic’s mantra — Let Our Family Take Care of Your Family — has never been truer for any Austin family than mine.

An ADC family

My family’s history with ADC predates me. My father was a 20-year-old junior at the UT pharmacy school in 1961. He was far away from his family in Rio Grande City, TX.

He got really sick one day with nausea, fever and abdominal pain. He knew four doctors had an office on Seton Avenue not too far from his apartment. They were called The Austin Diagnostic Clinic and were within walking distance. So he walked in without an appointment and was seen by Dr. Renfert.

Dr. Renfert diagnosed him with appendicitis and sent him over to Seton Hospital right away. My father survived and went back to school, earned his pharmacy degree and has had his own pharmacy in Austin for over 40 years.

My first memories of ADC

Yvette Gutierrez-Schieffer

Dr. Yvette Gutierrez-Schieffer

My first memory of ADC was in late 1967. I was almost 5 — very shy and quiet. I was just starting to learn to speak English at an Austin Montessori Kindergarten. We only spoke Spanish at home. My mother’s extended family had emigrated from Mexico in the mid 1950’s. Her grandmother – my “Grande Califa” – was very sick.

I remember going to my grandmother’s house late one night. The house was very dark and quiet. Everyone was whispering that they had called the doctor and he was coming to the house. I was watching and listening to everything.

Soon, a thin man in a suit and tie came in with his doctor bag — just like Marcus Welby, MD and “Doc” on Gunsmoke. His name was Terri Collier. He was a new, young doctor with ADC. All I know was that he was very important and that he had come to take care of my Grande.

That event made a big impression on me.

After that night, almost every adult in my family became Dr. Collier’s patient — my grandparents, my parents, and the rest of the adults in the family. They all continued to see him until he retired. We all have continued to see ADC doctors since then — including my children, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews.

Continuing the tradition

So I decided to be a doctor.

I graduated from UT, went to UT Southwestern, got married, and then decided to go into OB/GYN instead of a “less disgusting specialty like eyes” as my other grandmother suggested.

I was finishing residency in San Antonio and wanted to come back to Austin to practice. My mother asked Dr. Collier, “Do you know of any OB/GYNs looking for a partner?”

It just so happened that in 1993 ADC had just added an OB/GYN section. Wow! I could actually possibly work at ADC just like Dr. Collier. You don’t know how excited I was when my mother told me the news. I sent in my application and the rest is history.

I started at an office by myself, sharing with a family practitioner.  Anytime I had to be on call or perform a delivery, I had to cancel patients and drive to St. David’s or Brackenridge Hospital.

But life was good. I was working in my hometown – at the place that had always taken care of my family. I walked around in awe the first few months.

Eventually we moved to our current main location and my practice grew. I have never had to worry about who to refer my patients to or if my patients will get good care.

I recently celebrated a half-century of my life. Reflecting on it, I realized that the shy, quiet, hardworking little girl had pretty much grown up with ADC.

Who knows how long I’ll be here? Remember, my grandmother is going strong, and my Dad says he’s never going to retire.

As you can see I have no choice. I will always be loyal to ADC, and because of that I want my ADC family to stay around and take care of other families like mine for another 60 years and beyond.