Many students who leave home to attend UT also leave their doctors and clinics behind. Finding a good physician who makes you comfortable is important for any kind of visit, but especially for visits to the gynecologist. Austin has many great gynecologists, but most offices are out of the way for UT students. And the process of becoming a new patient at any doctor’s office is a headache. Luckily, UT has its own University Health Services system, which includes a reputable women’s health clinic.
The clinic’s services range from annual wellness exams, prescribing or inserting birth control and administering STI and HIV tests and treatment for common gynecological issues. A full list of available services can be found on the UHS Women’s Health Clinic website. Barbara Blizzard, chief provider at the Women’s Health Clinic and nurse practitioner with UHS, said, “We deal with college health solely — it’s our focus — that makes us good at what we do.”
More women at UT must take advantage of the UHS women’s health clinic. Elena Pojman, a math, Spanish and latin american studies junior, came across the clinic by accident. “I tried to make an appointment with the main health office and saw there was a women’s health clinic, which is what I needed,” Pojman said. She said it was easier to use the clinic than to go through the trouble of making an appointment at a busy Austin office.
Pojman visited the clinic her freshman year. It was her first experience with women’s healthcare, which was understandably daunting, but she said her clinician made her feel comfortable.
Barbara Blizzard said the clinic tries to comfort visiting patients, especially new ones. “For some students, this is their first time that they’ve ever approached gynecological needs,” Blizzard said, “Hopefully, we are sensitive to that.” Blizzard said the clinic also tries to provide patients with both understanding about their visit and the ability to navigate the world of women’s healthcare.
Julia O’Hanlon, a political communication and humanities senior, visited the clinic to renew her birth control prescription. She cited the level of care and comfort she received from the staff as as an added bonus. O’Hanlon noted her caregiver spent ten minutes speaking with her about which birth control pill would be best. “That was never a conversation at my old OB-GYN. I felt seen, heard and respected.”
O’Hanlon’s experience with the women’s health clinic is a shining example of why UT women should take advantage of the UHS services. The women’s health clinic serves as a convenient and educational service for UT women while simultaneously being a welcoming and caring environment. Multiple testimonies affirmed the staff’s level of expertise and attention to their patients.
“Some people are surprised we’re here,” Blizzard said.“A lot of times (women find out about us from) word of mouth, and that’s a pleasant thing, for someone to have had a good experience and to tell someone else about it.”
If you find yourself in need of women’s healthcare, make an appointment at the clinic on the UHS web page or call their office to set up an appointment — it’s that easy. If you are worried about the cost, visit the Cashier and Insurance webpage which has information about pricing, affordability and tuition based payment.
The women’s health clinic is ready and accessible. Instead of traveling to a busy downtown office, walk straight to the SSB after class and take care of your healthcare needs. This will benefit you, your wallet and the wonderful women’s health clinic.
Torres is a Plan II English and creative writing junior from San Antonio.