“I really do love taking care of my obstetric population and the delivery, but I also enjoy all aspects of my job in caring for women,” she said.
That defining moment took place during medical school at Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska. Originally from Manhattan, Kansas, Morales completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Saint Louis University.
“Right after I finished my residency, from 2012 to 2016, I was in the military serving in the Air Force,” she said. During that time, she provided OB/GYN services to the military population.
Now, she is an OB/GYN physician with Valley Care Clinics in Edinburg.
Morales moved to the region when her husband got a job in the Rio Grande Valley. When she was searching for careers in the area, she interviewed with Valley Care Clinics. Meeting the staff members and interacting with families and the hospital sealed the deal for Morales.
“I really knew that’s where I wanted to be,” she said.
Morales, who has been practicing for about 11 years, noted similarities between the patients she started serving here in the region and the ones she served in the Air Force.
“A group of our population is transient, which is something I did see also in the military,” she said. “A lot of them are coming from their homes due to their husband’s work or their work, and they don’t have a lot of support.”
The Valley’s high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure also present a challenge for Morales’ patients — especially those who are pregnant.
“The first thing they should do when they find out they’re pregnant is to start or hopefully continue their prenatal vitamins,” she said. “The next thing would be to connect with their provider and try to optimize their health care so that they can get on top of any of their co-morbidities, like high blood pressure,diabetes, or other medical problems.”
Even if patients aren’t pregnant, Morales recommends an annual well woman exam.
“That’s a time where we can go over things like their pap smear history, mammograms, and a general medical check up,” she said. “Things like making sure they are up to date on their colonoscopies and bone scans, for example.”
“A lot of the challenges I see are things like interrupted sleep due to hot flashes, decreased libido, mood changes, and all those things can be affected by menopause,” she said. “A lot of times, we do talk to our patients about starting hormone replacement therapy as well as any other therapies they might need to help those issues.”
Some additional services that Morales offers at her practice include:
> Annual physicals and wellness screenings
> Adolescent and adult gynecology
> Family planning
> Prenatal care (normal and high risk pregnancy)
> Minimally invasive surgery
> Pelvic organ prolapse repairs
> Menopause/hormone replacement therapy
“We do the full spectrum of women’s health care — from the initial visit that may be at a young age, prenatal care, well woman care, and geriatric care,” Morales said. “We deal with all kinds of different problems that our female population might face.”
It all comes down to being a health resource while serving her patients.
“My goal in taking care of patients is really to provide a good patient experience, give patients autonomy, and really try to help patients get the most that they can out of their health care,” Morales said.
Dr. Kristy Morales practices at Valley Care Clinics Sugar Road OB/GYN, 4302 S. Sugar Road, Suite 206, in Edinburg. Learn more about her practice at valleycareclinics.com/find-a-doctor/kristy-morales, or by calling (956) 682-6146. Patients can make appointments online or by phone.