as a Claudia A. remembers. Aguero, an elementary school student in St. John Bosco on the West Side of San Antonio, banished her from the science club simply because she was a girl. Instead, it was placed in a class for printing. “I remember being so angry,” she says, adding that writing still isn’t her solid solution. In high school, the science teacher at the now closed Ursuline Academy insisted that girls not only belong in science, but could do anything they wanted.
Aguero followed her advice, attending Saint Mary’s University and then medical school at what was then the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston. A residency in family medicine brought her to the Rio Grande Valley, where she practiced until 2015 when she returned to her hometown to work with HealthTexas Medical Group at the Val Verde Clinic.
There, the bilingual doctor sees everyone from farmers moving from nearby towns to elderly patients and families living nearby, including those who speak primarily Spanish. She even has former patients drive north from Harlingen to see her for care.
“We treat patients like our families,” Aguero says. “This office is my home away from my house, so I try to keep it quiet and I want patients to feel as if they are visitors coming to my house.”
During the height of COVID-19, Aguero turned some of her appointments into a virtual platform, but also set up a drive-through so she could assess individuals in the parking lot and determine if they need further care.
Aguero, a mother of two adults, says preventive care is key to a healthy life, something she emphasizes even more to patients because so many have missed their annual checkups during the pandemic.
She also knows patients are less likely to follow her advice if she’s not living it herself, so Aguero keeps her special appointments for things like mammograms and colonoscopy and stays active when she’s not working, does Pilates, walks and gets a black belt alongside her kids when they were younger.
The Val Verde Clinic also serves as a teaching office for medical students at Incarnate Word University, which Aguero says gives them the opportunity to teach students the importance of caring while providing great care.