“My mom took a different path to becoming a doctor. She didn’t really have the resources to go to college when she was growing up, so she ended up having a family first and then went to college and eventually UT Southwestern for medical school. We watched her go through that process and it definitely inspired me. Honestly, I don’t know how she did it, but she was always at our games and all of my volleyball tournaments. We had a very supportive dad, too. They just made it work.”
And now you’re married to a physician?
“After my undergraduate years at Texas A&M, I went to UT Health Science Center at San Antonio for medical school and residency, and met my husband, Juan Cabrera. I decided he was worth sticking around for. Then I got the opportunity to do a shoulder and sports medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt University in 2012, and we moved to Tennessee. Eventually, I felt the urge to head back home - my whole family still lives around the Dallas area. So we moved to Prosper and will both be working at UT Southwestern Frisco.”
Are you looking forward to working so closely with your husband?
“That’s a loaded question (laughs). We’ve actually worked together before in San Antonio and it was nice to meet for lunch and catch up. At our last hospital, we would occasionally share patients. (Dr. Juan Cabrera is a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist). I would have patients with hip fractures or other injuries that required rehab afterward, and he would be their doctor. When they came in for a follow-up, they’d say, ‘Your husband is so great!’ They’d give him all these accolades, and I would show them the X-rays and say, ‘Look, I spent hours fixing your hip.’ But they would still give him most of the praise, and I’m OK with that. He is pretty great.”
What drew you to orthopedic surgery as a specialty?
“I played high school and club volleyball, and I tore my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) right before nationals. That’s when all the recruiters show up. I was pretty devastated, and when I first met my orthopedist I didn’t want to believe his diagnosis. But after I had the surgery, I began to think, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ I thought it would be amazing to help athletes get back to playing, and everyday folks back to functioning and playing with their kids.
What have been some of your most challenging surgeries?