Three residents and two fellows completed their training in the department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School in June, and two new residents began their training in July 2012. They will care for patients at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

“With four participating training sites, we offer our residents an excellent clinical experience, including a large volume of cases that spans the spectrum of diseases of the head and neck,” says residency program director Samer Fakhri, MD, FACS, FRCS(C), an associate professor at McGovern Medical School and a core physician at the Texas Sinus Institute. “We base our residency program on the concept that producing caring, competent physicians who are also leaders in the field requires a mutual commitment between educators and trainees to uphold the highest standards of clinical practice. We all work together to advance the art and science of otolaryngology.”

Clinical rotations are structured to be subspecialty specific. “The dedicated subspecialty rotations make for a training process that ensures continuity of care and the opportunity to consistently read the literature of a given field and apply it to everyday practice,” says Ronda Alexander, MD, an assistant professor in the department and core physician at the Texas Voice Performance Institute. Dr. Alexander assumed the role of assistant residency program director in the spring of 2011.
Educational activities for residents include weekly three-hour didactic sessions, attendance at local and national conferences and continuing medical education events and extensive surgical opportunities in a state-of-the-art dissection facility that includes laboratory space for teaching minimally invasive skull base dissection lab and temporal bone anatomy. Residents may also participate in facial plastic and laryngology dissection sessions.

“Our graduates continue to succeed in becoming certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology at a rate of 100 percent,” says Dr. Fakhri, who has directed the residency program since 2006. “This has held true for over a decade.”

Graduating Residents and Fellows

Tracy Byerly II, M.D., Garima Agarwal, M.D., and Fernando Gomez-Rivera, M.D., completed their residencies in otolaryngology in 2012. Drs. Byerly and Gomez-Rivera joined private practices and will be providing patients with comprehensive care of otolaryngologic health challenges; Dr Agarwal has joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and will be primarily serving our nation’s veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Byerly earned his medical degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Dr. Agarwal earned her medical degree at King George’s Medical College in Lucknow, India. Dr. Gomez-Rivera earned his medical degree at La Salle University in Mexico City.

Paul S. Lee, M.D., has completed a one-year fellowship in rhinology. Dr. Lee received his medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine in 2006 and completed his residency in otolaryngology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in New York. Dr. Lee is practicing in California.

Angela Sturm-O’Brien, M.D., leaves the department after completing a one-year fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Sturm-O’Brien received her medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in 2006 and completed her residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the same institution. She has joined Facial Plastics Surgery Associates in Houston.