department of surgery
The primary reason why we exist as a Department is to produce graduates of our Residency Programs who become outstanding surgeons. We have the track record to prove success, but we are just getting started.
UTHealth is situated in the heart of the largest medical center in the world, in the fourth largest city in the nation and the largest city in the South. Houston’s incredible diversity is reflected in the clinical experience available to our residents. They rotate in a variety of hospitals—both public and private, and both general and highly specialized, including some recognized as among the best hospitals around.
Under the direction of Program Director Dr. Don Lesslie, we evaluate several hundred completed applications each year from graduates of medical schools all across the United States (and elsewhere) to work with our large, dedicated and extremely capable faculty who bring with them national and international reputations for their expertise in most of the areas which constitute general surgery. Resident and faculty work together to help every trainee to design a course of study to best meet their future needs.
Combined with the wealth of optional research opportunities available to our residents, we have been successful at placing our recent graduates into highly competitive specialty fellowships, solo rural practice, and every other conceivable position. We welcome your inquiry; come help us create the next chapter of surgical history at UTHealth.
- Peter Kneuertz M.D.
- Naruhiko Ikoma M.D.
- Dhivya Srinivasa M.D.
- Courtney El-Zokm M.D.
- Anthony Tannous M.D.
- Amit Agarwal MD
- Winston Chan M.D.
- Uma Phatak M.D.
- Shauna Levy M.D.
- Seth Bellister M.D.
- Robert Hetz M.D.
- Lee Hafen M.D.
- Joshua Person M.D.
- Eric Martinez M.D.
- Neil Desai D.O.
- Matthew Pommerening M.D.
- Kendall Sowards M.D.
- John Hall M.D.
- Casey Anderson M.D.
- Ashleigh Francis M.D.
- Victoria Chang M.D.
- Topher Goodenough M.D.
- Ronald Chang M.D.
- Morgan Collum D.O. (p)
- Matthew Weaver M.D.
- Margaret Jackson M.D. (p)
- Maahmoun Harmouche M.D.
- Krislynn Mueck M.D.
- Cole Cowling M.D.
- Sean Diffenbaugher M.D.
- Rodrigo Pedraza M.D.
- Norris Tran Duc M.D.
- Mitchell George M.D.
- Michael Medina M.D. (p)
- Michael Lewis M.D.
- Maura Livengood M.D.
- Matt Breland M.D.
- Justin McKibbin M.D.
- Hannah Smith M.D.
- Gina Landinez M.D.
- Georgina Alizo M.D.
- Christopher Schneider M.D.
- Christopher Kannady M.D.
- Brittani Barrett-Harlow M.D.
- Brian Blumenauer M.D.
- Berry Fairchild M.D.
- Anthony Divito M.D.
- Angie Staller M.D.
- Andy Rivera M.D.
The General Surgery Residency Program is fully accredited by the Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Surgery of the ACGME, and we must meet certain standards spelled out by those governing bodies. We thus provide an equitable wage and an equitable benefits package of life, health, disability and professional liability insurance. We provide appropriate sleeping and meal facilities for all residents on duty and allow sufficient time off duty for the residents to remain physically and mentally refreshed despite the rigors of their assignments. We also provide a scholarly environment for our residents with readily accessible library and on-line computer facilities, a didactic curriculum of basic science and clinical topics and faculty members who are leaders in their fields.
Our residents routinely finish with large experiences in all areas of the general surgery curriculum as designed by the American Board of Surgery. The gradual allowance of increasing clinical responsibility has long been a cornerstone of our training philosophy, and we have an extraordinary variety of hospitals available to provide the diverse clinical experiences necessary to mold the proficient surgeon.
The result is that our residents have been enormously successful in achieving their goals upon graduation. A few of our recent graduates have chosen to make their contribution through the private practice of general surgery. Others have moved directly into faculty positions. The majority, though, have pursued additional training in surgical subspecialties, and they have been extraordinarily successful in obtaining fellowship positions in such disciplines as surgical oncology, organ transplantation, pediatric surgery and cardiothoracic surgery.
We are proud of our residents, past and present, and the training they have received through this program which has resulted in a first-pass ABS exam passage rate that is among the highest in the country for programs like ours. We feel certain that through them our program will significantly and positively impact both on our community and on the future of American surgery.
On a final note, as you well know, there have been tremendous changes in recent years in the way medicine and surgery are practiced in the United States and there is every reason to believe that the landscape of medicine will continue to change for some time before a period of relative stability returns. It is, of course, vital to the future success of our individual graduates and to the future success of this residency program that we respond to those changes. We have been on the forefront of the evolution of minimally invasive surgery. We have an already large and ever growing number of lives covered by managed care contracts in carefully structured networks. In these and other important ways I believe that our faculty and the institutions which comprise our residency experience have positioned themselves to successfully negotiate the coming changes and to continue to produce the future leaders of American surgery.
Thank you, once again, for your inquiry about the surgical residency at UTHSC. We are pleased to have this opportunity to introduce to you our program and hope that you are stimulated to learn more about us through a trip to our campus for a personal interview.
How to Apply
6431 Fannin, MSB 4.331
Houston, TX 77030
6431 Fannin, MSB 6.018
Houston, TX 77030
- Graduate Medical Education Resident Handbook
- Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates
- UT Counseling and WorkLife Services
- Benefits Brochure
- GME Office
Candidates must be registered with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Applications may be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Individuals applying to our program can submit their materials through the ERAS system.
A complete ERAS application includes:
- Dean’s Letter
- Medical School transcript
- ERAS generated Curriculum Vitae
- 3 Letters of Recommendation—One should be from the Department Chair and/or Program Director of the surgery program where you are currently enrolled
- Personal Statement—A statement of your goals and reasons for your interest in Surgery
- USMLE Board scores
- ABSITE scores
- List of your publications
The mission of the integrated urology residency program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School is the production of skilled urologists trained for urology in the future, rather than for urology as it is currently practiced. In order to produce excellent urologists, the program must incorporate clinical and basic research, and inculcate in the residents an appreciation for research, the scientific method, and the desire to question conventional wisdom. The resident scholar needs to question why we do things rather than concentrate on “how” we do things.
Teaching at UTHealth Medical School is done at the “bedside”, or in a more formal setting. Both methods are useful, but there is no substitute for broad supervised clinical exposure, or bedside teaching. As a result of clinical teaching and exposure, the resident scholar is expected to gather appropriate information, collate and process data toward a working diagnosis, explain the pathophysiologic processes underlying the diagnosis, disease or injury, and formulate a treatment plan.
These basic skills in patient care must be mastered before surgical and other technical skills can be effectively utilized for the benefit of patients. It is the philosophy of the UTHealth program that the surgical operation is less important than the reason(s) why the operation is done, and knowledge about the disease the operation is intended to treat. Treatments change, disease processes do not.
Didactic teaching takes place in conferences at Memorial Hermann-TMC and MD Anderson in conjunction with resident and faculty personnel whose primary duty location is other than those 2 facilities. Residents and faculty are expected to attend.
First year residents will receive an introduction to patient care, critical care medicine, and pathways and technical skills of critical care. Supervised in a university hospital setting at Hermann Hospital, LBJ Hospital, and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, residents will be exposed to the general surgery program and sub disciplines such as cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, renal transplant surgery, general surgery, trauma surgery, medical and surgical ICU care and procedure rotations. An introduction to surgical operating room techniques, basic patient evaluation, differential diagnosis, recognizing the “sick” patient, recognizing surgical complications, techniques of intravenous and arterial access and monitoring, and respiratory support and management will provide residents a backbone to surgical patient care as well as and electrolyte/nutritional management and hemo-dynamic monitoring. Residents will master the “introduction to mastery of hospital systems” related to patient care, vagaries of function of the inpatient floors, laboratory, radiology and cardiology areas, anesthesia, and the various other services with which interaction occurs.
By end of year, the resident should be able to provide basic and intensive care in the institutional environment where that care takes place easily and confidently and in judgment of his or her supervisors competently.
The junior urology resident has several sources of teaching available to them including faculty, staff, senior residents, and clinic personnel who are well-versed in outpatient urology with rotations at Hermann Hospital, LBJ Hospital, and MD Anderson. By the end of Year 2, the resident will have a good working knowledge of urology including evaluation of patients in clinic, on wards, in the ER, and a consultative situation. Surgical skills will include scrotal/inguinal surgery, endoscopic diagnostic, and surgical procedures under supervision. Surgical exposure for extirpative surgery including kidney, bladder, prostate, and scrotal contents. Surgery for incontinence and reconstruction should be well understood as to goals, outcome, complications, and follow-up. Basic information and skills to base surgical practice, pre and post-operative care, goals of treatment pathophysiology of common and exotic diseases and complications. Surgical assisting will be an important skill which will help in the later stages of surgical training.
Rotations for the third year resident will reside at Hermann Hospital for Urology and Transplant and MD Anderson Cancer Center. PGY3′s will mature and develop his/her own urologic knowledge and ability with sufficient background information in the initiation of clinical research projects in outcome studies, incident studies, or case reports. Rotations at Hermann should produce gradual assumption of primary consult responsibility; growth in surgical skills, particularly in complex incontinence surgery including slings, myomectomy, augmentation and associated gynecologic conditions treated surgically. Operative experience demands thorough, basic knowledge of the condition being treated, and the ability to identify the unusual and usual problems associated with these conditions themselves as well as their treatment. Gradual assumption of responsibility for telephone contact with patients, for the teaching of allied health staff and junior residents and students is expected at this level. Case presentations at conference should reflect basic knowledge, knowledge of the specific case presented, and overall facility with the process of case presentation. Residents at this level will be called upon to interact with the presenting residents (i.e. to solve the case).
Rotations in Pediatric Urology, Christus St. Joseph Hospital, and MD Anderson Cancer Center require the senior residents a great deal of background information, well-developed surgical skills, diagnostic ability, judgment.
The pediatric urology rotation is a one-on-one rotation with the pediatric urology faculty and involves 2 clinic weekly, coverage at LBJ Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. PGY4′s are expected to bring considerable basic knowledge to the pediatric rotation. At end, will be able to do examinations and evaluate children of all ages including evaluation by endoscopy, radiology, ultrasonography, and urodynamics. Care of well and sick children undergoing urologic evaluation or treatment will be mastered. Responsibility of running the service will fall on the PGY4 and pediatric surgical skills including magnification will be mastered.
Christus St. Joseph Hospital:
This rotation at a private hospital is designed to allow the resident to improve his/her surgical skills. It is a different exposure than they receive at other hospitals. The level of responsibility provided to the urology residents at St. Joseph’s is similar to that of chief resident. The extent of the resident’s role with each of the attending physician varies according to expectations of these positions. The residents round on all the patients and are not to serve in lieu of the attending physician.
Call for the ER at St. Joseph’s to assist Urology faculty with assessment and treatment of patients in addition to regularly scheduled call for PGY4′s will reside and will be carefully supervised by Dr. John Bertini, academic Chief responsible for evaluation and monitoring activities during the resident’s rotation. It should not be interpreted as a surgery rotation only, but to bring knowledge and skills into focus in an excellent community hospital. Excellence in a variety of hospital settings is the ultimate underlying goal.
MD Anderson Cancer Center:
PGY4′s responsibilities at MD Anderson are increasing commensurate with the resident ability. Faculty have made a great effort to increase the surgical responsibilities for the resident assisting on major cancer operations. Combined with this is the responsibility for pre-and post-operative care for the patients at this level of training. Continued participation in clinic provides a continuity of care involved of patients both before and after surgery. Rotations have been invaluable for the maturation of the surgical training of the residents before their chief resident year.
MD Anderson Cancer Center:
Chief resident at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center serves in the same capacity as the oncology fellows. They are assigned a teaching service. In the role, they are responsible for the care of all the patients assigned to this service. The resident first assists with the faculty on all the patients operated on this service. They are responsible for directing the care and coordination of the activities of the junior residents on this service. Rounds are made twice daily, chief residents are expected rapid progression to the level where they can function independently. Chief residents are involved in conferences at M. D. Anderson including didactic conference and Journal Club and are expected to have completed the independent research mentored by the M. D. Anderson faculty.
LBJ General Hospital:
The chief resident is responsible for the service at LBJ and supervise the junior resident who is on the Urology service. Although their is close faculty supervision, the residents have taken a more active role as the provider for the patients. It is expected that a increase of responsibility leads the resident to assume a more active role in the decision making process for pre- and post-operative management. Residents should demonstrate independent clinical activity, respective evaluation, diagnostic formulation, and pre-and post-operative care.
Memorial Hermann Hospital – TMC:
Chief residents run the adult service at Memorial Hermann and directs the residency staff. They are responsible for the coordination of all clinical care, inpatient and outpatient, and consultative. He/she is expected to be present in clinic when not in the operating room, as well as make twice daily rounds with staff and faculty. Details for patient care, scheduling, follow-up for inpatients are his/her responsibility. PGY5′s function independently, anticipating problems and complications, consulting with the attending, and providing exemplary care for patients by themselves with staff. Understanding of the Urologic disease completely and to be able to recognize it and to treat all of it.
To apply, contact
6431 Fannin, MSB 6.018
Houston, TX 77030
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
(Four-Year, Six-Year and Integrated OMS/PhD Residency Programs)
Four-year* and six-year Advanced Education Programs in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery are offered. Special provisions are also available for individuals to pursue a PhD or MS during either track.** Each program prepares practitioners to treat diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and aesthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. The basic prerequisite for both four- and six-year programs are a DDS or DMD degree from an ADA-accredited dental school. See below for additional requirements for the integrated OMS/MD program. Applicants may be asked to take a special exam to replace the National Dental Board, which no longer provides a score.
Both four- and six-year residency programs are designed to integrate the fields of medicine and dentistry. The residency provides extensive surgical experience and exposure in areas such as oral and maxillofacial pathology, maxillofacial trauma, reconstruction, cleft palate, orthognathic, dentoalveolar surgery, implants, TMJ and aesthetic surgery as well as outpatient anesthesia.
In the four-year program, residents spend the first year performing oral and maxillofacial surgery. In the second and third years, 12 months are spent on various off-service rotations such as medicine, anesthesia, neurosurgery, and general surgery. The final year consists of 12 months of oral and maxillofacial surgery at a “chief resident” level. Upon satisfactory completion of the four-year program, residents receive a certificate in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
The six-year program adopts a similar schedule to the four-year program with the primary difference consisting of requirements for obtaining the MD degree. The first year is spent with the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery department. In the second, third and fourth years, residents are enrolled in medical school, completing years two, three and four of the medical school curriculum. During the fourth year of medical school, eight months are provided for the fulfillment of requirements related to the oral and maxillofacial surgery residency, such as rotations on neurosurgery, anesthesia, and general surgery services. The fifth year of the residency is a surgical internship year, which also includes a nine-month rotation in Oral & Maxillofacial surgery. In the sixth year, the resident serves as a chief resident with rotations to six different hospitals. Upon satisfactory completion of the six-year program, residents receive a certificate in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and the MD degree.
The six-year OMS/MD candidate must meet the admissions requirements for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. These include:
- A minimum of 90 undergraduate credit hours at an accredited U.S. or Canadian university or college.
- One year college English
- Two years college biology
- One year physics.
- Two years college chemistry (one year general chemistry and one year organic chemistry).
More detailed information can be found at the UTHealth Medical School website: http://www.med.uth.tmc.edu/
*Three four-year program positions are available, however, one position may be reserved for a military applicant if there is a need.
**Candidates from either the four- or six-year tracks may pursue either an MS degree (granted by UTHealth School of Dentistry) or a PhD (in conjunction with the UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences). The General Record Examination (GRE) and additional courses of study may be required, depending on the individual’s previous or anticipated academic experience. The additional degrees will likely extend the duration of the residency.