As a youth, Shiu-Yueh Lin was frequently reminded about the path in life that her parents had succinctly laid out for her.
Her destiny was established long ago.
“My parents always told me I was going to be a doctor. When my father would introduce me to someone, he would always say – ‘This is my daughter, Shiu-Yueh. She’s going to be a doctor.’ And you know what? I always felt growing up that it would come true.”
The journey toward a career in medicine wasn’t always an easy one, but she clearly enjoys the title that now often precedes her name. Dr. Baxter (her married name) has been practicing medicine for the past 25 years and is an established physician with U.S. HealthWorks in Dallas (Carrollton).
“I enjoy being a doctor. Every day you meet new people, and most of them have interesting backgrounds,” she explained. “It’s neat to get to know patients, give them good health education, diagnose their problems, and help them get better.”
Dr. Baxter was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. with her family at age 3. The reason for the move is a fairly common one.
“I don’t recall there being any particular reason for their emigration other than economics. My parents were like many people who left Taiwan, they wanted to make a better life for their family,” Dr. Baxter said. “My father had nine siblings and the family business was farming. But you can only divide a farm so many ways.”
Her father was educated in Taiwan and became a psychiatrist, while her mother was a nurse. Once in the U.S., the family moved around frequently for several years before finding a permanent home in Utica, New York.
Life was good for the Lin family, which included four girls. But that all changed when Shiu-Yueh’s father died of a sudden heart attack her junior year in high school.
“It was a tremendous shock for all of us,” she said.
Despite the loss of her father, the dream of becoming a doctor survived. His death put a strain on the family finances, however, Shiu-Yueh diligently sought out scholarship help, and the University of Dallas eventually answered her need.
College life was good. She got her undergraduate degree in biology and met Scott Baxter, who later became her husband.
Even though the young couple planned for a family, Dr. Baxter continued to pursue her goal, and applied for medical school. She was accepted to the University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School in Houston and planned to attend with the help of a Navy Health Professions Scholarship.
But medical school would have to wait because Shiu-Yueh was eight months pregnant. The birth of her son (Sean) was timely, and a year later the new mom was off to medical school, which she finished in 1990.
Dr. Baxter affiliated full time with the U.S. Navy in 1990, and completed a nine-year tour that included a residency in Family Medicine. The family was on the move for a period of time, which included a two-year stay in Alaska, but continued to grow with the birth of Sarah and Steven. When Scott had a chance to work back in Dallas, the family returned to Texas and has remained there.
Dr. Baxter joined U.S. HealthWorks in 1999 and enjoys the work as a doctor with duties in both occupational medicine and urgent care. She also serves as a Captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
“We do a little bit of everything at U.S. HealthWorks, so that makes the job very interesting every day,” she said. “Like a lot of doctors, we do a fair amount of interpreting and deal with our patients as a whole person. I work with some really great people.”
With her three children now grown, home life is a little more sedate for Shiu-Yueh, her husband and their four cats. She finds time to make baby blankets on her digital embroidery sewing machine, dabbles in cooking, and calls herself a “gym rat” because she visits a local gym almost every day.
Sometimes, life works out exactly as planned.