Marcela Torres Gutierrez was a high school student when she started shadowing doctors and nurses on hospital rounds. The clinical rotations gave her an up-close, beside view of the medical profession—a view that only piqued her curiosity as she considered her future. While doing additional research, Gutierrez honed in on a role she thought would be a perfect—physician assistant (PA).
After completing a bachelor’s degree in biology at UNT Dallas, she decided to get some real-world experience.
“I knew to get into PA school I was going to need some medical experience, so I thought scribing would be a perfect way to get my foot in the door and learn a lot about medicine,” she says. “I worked as a scribe for Dr. Mitch Abrahams and Dr. Keith Waguespack.
It was her first exposure to urology and prepared her well for the PA program at Texas Tech. “I knew I loved urology but was interested in other specialties too,” she adds. “At one point I was actually leaning toward dermatology, when I did a rotation in dermatology, I found it wasn’t for me.”
“Every time I had a rotation, I compared my experience with working with the amazing urologist at UPNT, and I knew it was the place where I wanted to be.” The feeling was mutual. Dr. Waguespack assured Gutierrez she was welcome back at UPNT once she completed her PA program.
Today, Gutierrez is proud to work alongside Dr. Waguespack, Dr. Keith Bloom and Dr. Zachary Compton. “I see their passion for patients and how compassionate they are,” she notes. “The way they really spend time with them and really listen to their problems are. Patients are not just a number. They really get to know the patient and get down to uncovering the underlying issue.”
They have also been great role models for the way Gutierrez puts men and women at ease while overcoming urology issues so they can enjoy a better quality of life.
“Sometimes patients think they are alone. They don’t realize how common certain disease processes are, and how many others experience the same issue. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I just let them know they are in a safe space where they can discuss their medical problems. And just as importantly, that their condition is something we can treat. We offer good treatment options. More than anything, we’re trying to help their quality of life.”
When Gutierrez isn’t caring for patients, the Texas native adores spending time with her husband and dogs—two Shiba Inus and a Schnauzer. “I love my dogs like they are my babies,” she admits.