Minimally Invasive Surgery Education Fund


Minimally Invasive Surgery Education Fund, Dr. Erik WilsonThe vision of the Drs. Erik Wilson, Kulvinder Bajwa, and Shinil Shah Minimally Invasive Surgery Education Fund endowment is to create a mechanism that allows for the perpetual support to train advanced minimally invasive surgeons that become leaders in their community and practice setting of their choice by enabling them with a skill set to perform the full range of general and gastrointestinal surgical procedures through the least invasive and most effective methods possible.

Dr. Erik Wilson founded the University of Texas Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Fellowships, and he, along with other faculty, started training surgeons in advanced minimally invasive techniques in 2003. The fellowships have merged into a multi-center training partnership in advanced surgical techniques with a consortium of faculty in academic and community settings in Texas. More than 150 fellows practicing nationwide and internationally have been trained under the UT Minimally Invasive Surgeons of Texas (UTMIST) system. Every year, the most talented and well-trained surgeons nationwide and globally look to be trained through the fellowship consortium.

The funding of the fellows and infrastructure for them has been pulled together without a consistent mechanism of support, now approaching 20 years. More sustainable and reliable support of the fellowships is warranted and provides a way to support these fellowships via an endowment for perpetuity.

Drs. Erik Wilson, Kulvinder Bajwa, and Shinil Shah have over 50 years of combined affiliation with UTHealth Houston. Dr. Erik Wilson comes from rural Texas and has led surgical innovation and robotic surgery. He has taught and lectured worldwide on minimal access and minimally invasive surgery. As a UTHealth Houston faculty training an entire generation of surgeons, he has been instrumental in growing the fellowship, robotic training programs, and faculty practice across the Houston Metropolitan area. Dr. Shinil Shah calls Houston his hometown and completed his surgical training and connection with UTHealth Houston. His strength is in operative experience and research to improve patient and disease management. He just completed his Doctorate in Education to understand better and deploy techniques geared toward learners. He is committed to furthering surgical education and the resources needed for success. Dr. Kulvinder Bajwa was recruited from private practice for his diverse experience in all surgical settings, including rural communities, military medical centers, war and peacetime field deployments, and suburban hospitals. He has extensive teaching experience in these settings and has led expansion efforts of the faculty practice in the Southwest Houston corridor. His military and medical roles have given him valuable leadership experience. Though they all took different paths in their medical careers, they all have become esteemed faculty members of the Department of Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. Drs. Erik Wilson and Shinil Shah also trained in the Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship they now support with their surgical expertise and research. They all believe that a successful career in Minimally Invasive Surgery starts with solid foundational training.


Distributions shall support the Minimally Invasive Surgery education programs in the Division of Minimally Invasive and Elective General Surgery, Department of Surgery, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. Support includes, but would not be limited to, salary and benefits support of fellow(s), skills training, educational events, board review courses, support of the program directors involved in fellow education, teaching faculties’ salary, education and research projects, as well as the support of the postgraduate educational program infrastructure, including support staff and coordinator(s).