UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Avery, Richel Zayas MD

School of Medicine
Family & Community Medicine

Dr. Richel Avery, an Assistant Professor/Clinical, is a Family Physician who cares for patients and teaches medical students in the MARC Primary Care Center. Dr. Avery earned her M.D. from Dr. Jose P. Rizal College of Medicine, Xavier University, in the Philippines. She completed her Family Medicine residency at UT Health San Antonio?s Department of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Avery is board certified in Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine. Her passions are helping patients live healthier lifestyles and remain active throughout their lives.

Dr. Avery?s life experiences strengthened her character and made her a more resilient, determined and confident person. She paid for her education through earning academic scholarships and working at night. As an undergraduate nursing student, she helped organize a free clinic in one of the most underserved areas in her hometown. While Dr. Avery loved nursing, she quickly realized the limits of her role and decided to become a physician. After earning her MD, she became the director of a non-government charity hospital?s TB Department where she led a team of five nurses who taught Fourth Year medical students in their Community Medicine Rotation.

In 2005, Dr. Avery moved to the US where she worked as an Emergency Department nurse and studied for her USMLE exams to enter a residency. After passing her USMLE exams, she Matched with UT Health San Antonio?s Family Medicine residency and was selected as the Most Outstanding First Year Resident. Dr. Avery?s strong clinical, interpersonal, and teaching skills led to her being selected as Chief Resident. During her residency she completed scholarly projects on screening for colon cancer and assessing cognitive impairment in elderly family caregivers that she presented at statewide and nationwide conferences. As a Third Year resident she contributed to a TAFP grant to address childhood obesity in the residency. After completing her residency she joined UT Health?s Primary Care Center clinic at the MARC.

As faculty Dr. Avery works with the clinic?s team to achieve recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. She completed and disseminated a quality improvement project on establishing medical assistant protocols for conducting comprehensive well-child visits and screenings. She directs a weight loss management clinic alongside her practice at the MARC in collaboration with UT Health San Antonio?s bariatric surgeons. In 2018, Dr. Avery was appointed the Associate Medical Director at the UT Primary Care Clinic at the MARC. In this role she helps the clinic team improve quality of care for our patients.

8/2018 - Present Associate Medical Director UT Health Primary Care Clinic MARC, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio, TX
7/2013 - Present Assistant Professor/Clinical and Faculty Physician UT Health San Antonio, Family & Community Medicine, San Antonio, TX