Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship Alumni Testimonials

Augustine Saiz, Jr., MD, 2021-2022 Fellow

“The Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is a completely immersive experience. If you love orthopaedic trauma, you’ll love this fellowship. Every day you’ll be challenged with high-volume patient care and complex fracture surgeries under the guidance of world-renowned, expert faculty. If you buy in, your technical prowess and clinical decision-making will become superb. Under the mentorship of the faculty, you’ll gain clinical acumen but also be afforded opportunities to teach, network, research, and participate in national conferences/courses. Additionally, you’ll work with a dedicated and outstanding orthopaedic trauma staff of NPs, PAs, and clinical staff to assist in providing patient care. The residents are hard-working, eager to learn, and enthusiastic, and make the fellowship experience even better. Overall, the whole team takes a pride in providing top-notch patient care and in the OR, technical excellence is demanded. The fellowship was exactly what I was looking for and has set me up for success as an attending at an academic level 1 trauma center. I would gladly do the fellowship again and recommend highly for those seeking an intense trauma experience.”


Blake Schultz, MD, 2021-2022 Fellow

“My year at UT Houston was the most rewarding educational opportunity I have to date. The academic resumes of the faculty and the statistics for case volume/complexity speak for themselves, but what can’t be measured is the group’s focus on fellow education. From Day 1, everything is optimized to challenge, educate and mentor the fellows. No opportunity is off-limits and no detail or teaching point too small to go unexplored. I have never been on a team where everyone is so dedicated, focused, and talented, but also so humble and approachable. Each faculty member is an internationally recognized leader in their respective subspecialties of orthopedic trauma and they are passionate about developing your skills, and your career, at the best orthopedic fracture buffet in the country. I am lucky to be a member of the UT Houston team and would recommend the fellowship for anyone who loves to be challenged and is serious about orthopedic trauma. ”


Chandra Vemulapalli, MD, 2019-2020 Fellow

“UTHealth is the complete Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship. The volume of complex cases is incredible and coupled with expert faculty who are fully invested in your education and future. This fellowship produces academic trauma surgeons and is set up very effectively to do so with foci of clinical expertise built into the rotations as well as a scheduled academic curriculum to transition you into attending life. The faculty here take mentorship very seriously and will be resources for you for the rest of your career. This was the right choice for me and I would absolutely do this fellowship again given the choice now.”


David A. Zuelzer, MD, 2019-2020 Fellow

“I came to Houston with high expectations for excellent training based on the quality and testimonials of the fellows before me. Every one of my expectations was exceeded. The faculty is an excellent group of high-character, fun, passionate, skilled, and dedicated surgeons each of whom brings something unique and special to the fellowship. I have never seen a group of people more dedicated to medical education. There is a very high volume of high-energy, complex injuries. The residents are great to work with and everyone seems to take pride in taking care of the fellows and making sure they maximize their year. This was far and away the best learning experience of my career. I am grateful for my year in Houston and I consider it a career and life-changing experience.”


Philip K. Lim, MD, 2018-2019 Fellow

“I had the privilege of being one of the UT Houston fellows and it was a phenomenal year. I trained with exceptional educators who are also genuinely nice people. The staff is also amazing. There is high case volume, high complexity, and high yield learning. It was an invaluable experience.”


Sharon N. Babcock, MD, 2017-2018 Fellow

“My year at Houston was the most challenging and fulfilling year of my medical training. The volume and complexity of the trauma is world class, but everyone knows that. And the faculty are world class experts, with every subspecialty within orthopaedic trauma represented with a leader in each field. But you know that as well. What you may not know is how much the faculty truly care about the education of each and every medical student, resident, fellow, visiting student, and traveling fellow that steps foot in the clinic and the OR. The caliber of the lectures and journal clubs is extraordinary, and the feedback I received on creating and presenting lectures was crucial to my future at a teaching institution. The faculty can quote the literature, but more importantly can treat the patients and obtain excellent results and outcomes. I will forever be grateful for the doors that were opened within the orthopaedic trauma community by the supportive faculty, and hope to make them proud by helping to educate the next generation, passing on the techniques I learned and the experiences I had during my fellowship year.”


Steven M. Cherney, MD, 2016-2017 Fellow

“My fellowship year at UTHSC at Houston and Memorial Hermann was an incredible experience.  It was everything I needed and more to complete my formal surgical training. Each faculty member seems to genuinely love their job, and it comes through in their passion to educate you as a fellow.  They also make sure you grow not only as a surgeon, but also as a teacher.  This was critical to me as I wanted to end up in an academic position.  On the surgical side, there is ample opportunity to “run your own room” when needed, but also have appropriate oversight for the most complex cases.  The surgical volume and injury severity is unlike anywhere else, and it was great to learn alongside true surgical masters.  The didactic education surpassed my expectations as well.  I would absolutely choose to do my fellowship in Houston again if I had to revisit my fellowship choice.”


Cory M. Czajka, MD, 2015-2016 Fellow

“The UT Houston fellowship afforded me a year of intensive training and learning under the tutelage of some of the finest educators our field has to offer.  The fellowship taught much more than mere fracture care.  It was a year-long immersion into caring for an unparalleled volume of the sickest patients.  The fellowship gives you every opportunity to hone your skills in a graduated sense of responsibility while also providing a foundation to become an educator if you so choose.  I am proud to consider my mentors from UT Houston colleagues and friends.  I utilize lessons learned in Houston every single day in practice.”


Jason A. Davis, MD, 2014-2015 Fellow

“The UT Houston Ortho trauma fellowship prepared me to teach and tackle anything that a busy Level 1 trauma center could throw my way. The sheer volume, expertise of the faculty, and exposure to various competing philosophies provides a full and well-rounded experience that is unparalleled. The continued support and mentorship of the faculty post fellowship has flattened the learning curve, and served me and my patients well. There is no better orthopaedic trauma fellowship.”


Jason Tank, MD, 2013-2014 Fellow

“My fellowship year at UT Houston was a fantastic educational experience that prepared me for an Orthopaedic Trauma career. The ortho trauma faculty has a great reputation and I think it would be hard to find a core group of teaching faculty that has more passion for education, especially fellow education.   Their diverse backgrounds, passion for education paired with the high velocity/high volume of Ortho trauma makes an excellent educational opportunity!  This fellowship made me comfortable managing the challenging trauma cases!”


Ali Jarragh Esmaeel, MD, 2012-2013 Fellow

“I am one of the first international fellows from Kuwait. My fellowship at UTHSC-Houston was very beneficial in building my confidence and skills in managing complex orthopedic trauma. I was blessed that I was able to assist and perform many pelvis and acetabulum cases with world leading figures. There are daily 3-4 busy trauma rooms in the operating theater.

During this fellowship, we spent 3 months rotation with Dr. Mark Brinker “the Wizard of treating nonunions and bone deformities” and he showed me how to look at fractures from other perspectives which made this fellowship very unique. There were many social events and gathering that decreased the stress from work environment.

Currently, I work as the head of orthopedic department at Jaber Hospital in Kuwait and I am able to do many referred complex trauma cases. Thanks to my mentors that made me reach my current level. I am still in touch with my mentors whenever I have a question about a particular case.”