Contributing Experts

October 21, 2011

Catherine Browne, D.O.


Dr. Catherine Browne is a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist who has been practicing for the past 10 years. She was raised in New Mexico, one of four children. Her father died of cancer when she was little, so she was raised by a single mom who was a school teacher. They were poor. (Her mother was widowed at age 33yrs old with 4 kids, 2 of them still in diapers.) After her father’s death, she wanted to study science or medicine, which led to her life dream of eventually going to medical school. Coming as an outsider into medicine was challenging, but eventually she worked her way through college (working two or three jobs at a time on the side while being a full time student) and got into medical school. She went to college at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. She attended medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.

She chose a DO (osteopathic) school over an MD (allopathic) school because, although the curriculum and scientific learning is the same, the osteopathic schools have a holistic/whole body focus, which she prefers. Osteopathic schools also focus strongly on primary care (family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology). Typically 80% of graduating DO’s go into primary care vs. a small minority of graduating MD’s.

One of the osteopathic tenets is “mind, body, spirit”—make sure with each patient encounter you are treating the whole patient as opposed to just the one issue. (Example: patient has broken arm—don’t just cast the broken arm but address if there is a calcium/nutrition issue that led to a broken bone in the first place or is there a problem with balance or neurology that led to the fall that broke the arm in the first place?) Osteopathic doctors also learn manipulation or hands-on techniques which are similar to physical therapy or chiropractic care. These hands-on skills can be used to make sure the body is in alignment. Again, it is a holistic focus. (Example: patient has elbow pain/problem—don’t just focus on the elbow but also check the joints above & below, so the shoulder & wrist, along with all the muscle & ligaments attaching in those areas.)

While in medical school rotations, Dr.Browne rotated through obstetrics and gynecology, and she was hooked. She found that as a woman, she related on a more personal basis to the issues many of her patients were dealing with. She empathized with their emotions and reactions to the health issues being faced. She remembers her grandmother’s stories and her mother’s stories about their healthcare experiences over the past eight decades. Medical care wasn’t always kind to women; Dr.Browne strives to be different in her practice. God called her to be a healer, and a listener. She tries to remember that calling in her every day interactions with patients.

And still to this day, she remembers the very first baby she saw come into the world—a five pound breech baby girl—who opened her eyes, stretched open ten delicate little fingers, and then breathed in her first breath—a miracle!—followed by her five pound twin brother. She also remembers the very first baby she got to deliver—a seven pound baby girl, who just celebrated her 11th birthday. Childbirth is a sacred moment of emotions that she is honored to witness. Becoming an obstetrician seemed to be a natural choice for her.

Dr. Browne spent 7 years in the Army as an active duty doctor, taking care of active duty women and the wives of active duty men. While in the Army, she worked at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii, at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington state, and at Ft.Irwin in the Mojave desert in southern California. After she left active duty, she then stayed on as a civilian doctor and took care of Army and Air Force patients for an additional year at Madigan Army Medical Center and at McChord Air Force Base.

Then, she and her family moved to Montgomery, TX, near Houston, where she worked for 2 1/2yrs at an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Clinic) serving the indigent and uninsured. They recently relocated to Austin, TX. She has a 6yr old boy and a 2yr old girl at home.

Last Updated: October 8, 2012

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