Women's Health Texas – Austin

Dr. Oliver values building relationships with her patients

Listen to Dr. Oliver describe how she sees surgery as a way to connect with her patients and become a part of their lives.

Video Transcript

Donell Oliver

My name is Donell Oliver and I’m an Air Force brat so you’d think that I grew up all over but I got a lot in North Dakota and Missouri. I was born in Minot and then we moved to Missouri for a while and then we got to Grand Forks and I’ve had enough cold so now I live in Texas.

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I became interested in medicine some time in college. Nobody in my family is really in medicine and I was a biology major. I liked science. I was a huge – I’m still huge geek. So I worked in a lab for two years and I went to school here at UT.

I still remember there was one night in the ICU and this guy was crashing and I’m like this little candy striper and they’re like you know you’re a living breathing person come over here. They had me hold is his arms still for him why they were getting an art line and they coded him and he survived and I was like okay this is way cooler than running gels in a lab. And so it kind of, it was just that I needed that immediate gratification. That getting a sense of I’m working and then I can see the result and I mean that’s what happens with babies. You know you’re taking care of somebody and there was nothing and now there’s this beautiful little person there. So it’s a really great job.

I got interested in ObGyn through kind of a roundabout way. I like to do surgery. I like the anatomy of the body, the kind of the nuts and bolts of how we work and so I was drawn more to surgical specialties and I did surgery first. And it was really interesting and it got back to my gratification of being able to take care of something. But I tend to be like, I’m a talker and kind of get involved with people and they would come and go you’d never see them again. And whenever I got to OB we did surgery it was a lot of mechanical stuff but you got to know these people and you got to be a part of their lives and we got to take care of one and then another and it was a lot more of a relationship with surgical skills. And I got, I liked that drew me more into not just a mechanical like a mechanic but more of that in a relationship with it as a physician.

Part of my interest in ObGyn is also the little niches that everything has. It still kind of focuses around my interest in the mechanics. I like a lot of your gynecologic pelvic floor surgery stuff. Unfortunately as women when we get older stuff doesn’t stay where it was supposed to. And I know it sounds really weird but I really like doing the surgeries that kind of fix that.

Another area in ObGyn that I’m really interested in is high-risk obstetrics. Our group is lucky enough to be part of Seaton’s high-risk referral service which means for patients that are in the surrounding area that the hospital can’t take care of their high-risk obstetrics situation we take care of them here.

So in all my spare time I have two great kids K and Chloe. Their eight and five. And I have a fantastic husband. We’ve been married for 16 years now. We met here at UT and we’ve been together ever since. We like to go camping. We do a lot of outdoor stuff. Austin is such a great place. It’s one of the reasons we moved here is because Texas is one of the best places to be for outdoor activities and so we like camping and hiking and boating.