The Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann Hospital

Affiliated with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston — Houston, TX

  • Trauma only
  • Critical Care only
  • Trauma & Critical Care
  • Acute Care Surgery
  • Advanced Practitioner
  • Duration: 2 years (SCC/ACS), 1 year Trauma Surgery
  • Positions available: 3
  • Salary: $74,206 (first year fellowship)/$76,709 (second year)
  • Program Director: Bryan A. Cotton MD, MPH

Last updated: February 09, 2021

The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) is one of only two ACS-verified level 1-trauma centers serving Houston, Texas, the fourth largest city in the United States. The trauma center and main teaching institution is located at Memorial Hermann Hospital, an 1000-bed facility within Texas Medical Center. It is home of Life Flight aero-medical services and the John S. Dunn Helistop, the busiest heliport in the United States for its size. UTHSC admits well over 9,000 trauma patients annually with the most severely injured cared for in the 20-bed Shock-Trauma ICU (STICU).

The fellowship was initiated in 1994 and currently supports three (3) Acute Care Surgery and Surgical Critical Care Fellows and one (1) Clinical Trauma Fellow. The Acute Care Surgery Division has eleven (11) faculty members.

The majority of the Surgical Critical Care year is spent in the STICU, allowing exposure to a wide variety of severely injured patients, often with multiple co-morbid conditions. Additionally, the STICU serves as the highest level of care for critically ill patients from general surgery services, head and neck surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology. Our Shock-Trauma ICU cares for >1000 patients a year, with the fellow directing the care of these patients under the mentorship and guidance of the board-certified SCC faculty. A fellow will spend about 6 months in the Shock-Trauma ICU with electives available in the Burn ICU, MICU, Advanced Airway, Critical Care Ultrasound, Mentored-Research, PICU, and Neuro-ICU. Fellows become quite proficient in bronchoscopy, endoscopy, percutaneous tracheostomy, etc.

As for the AAST/Acute Care Surgery component, there are several months spent on Trauma, with others on Cardiac/Vascular, EMS/prehospital trauma systems, and Emergency General Surgery. Elective options include Ortho Trauma, Interventional Radiology, Burn Surgery, HPB/transplant, and additional Cardiac/Vascular time.

The fellows do trauma, EGS and ICU cases. While they do not do significant elective stuff, they do have elective gallbladders that come back through EGS, ostomy takedowns, and abdominal wall reconstructions that come back. Previous ACS Fellows have logged well 400+ cases during the two years with us. Most ACS fellows log 100+ major trauma cases in their first year (not trachs, PEGs, take backs, or washouts, but real cases). In addition, most fellows will graduate with over 80 vascular, over 70 thoracic, and countless trauma laps. The trauma team performed over 270 emergent laparotomies (Trauma Bay directly to the OR) in 2020 and over 250 vascular trauma cases.

Critical reviews of research and the medical literature form an integral part of the daily ICU bedside teaching rounds and didactic conferences. Each Monday both administrative and research issues are addressed at the Trauma/Critical Care Faculty Meeting. In addition, changes in practice and proposed research topics are discussed in detail at the monthly Practice Management Guidelines meeting. Recently implemented Surgical Critical Care Conference and the Trauma Operative Conference deliver Grand Rounds-quality lectures by the institution‘s (and visiting) Faculty that are aimed specifically at "fellow-level" education (PGY-6 and above). The SCC resident is expected to deliver at least one Grand Rounds lecture throughout the year. The SCC resident is also encouraged to participate in ongoing projects and to develop their own research interests. Research time is made available on an individual basis to those residents who wish to further their own scientific investigations.

Program started 1994

How to apply

Qualifications: A fellowship candidate must meet the following criteria: (1) has completed training and holds an M.D. or equivalent degree and (2) will be board eligible or board certified in their specialty upon starting the fellowship.

Bryan A. Cotton
6431 Fannin
MSB 4.286
Houston, TX 77030

Research opportunities

With a Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Faculty that have authored almost 200 publications over the last four years and who hold funding from the NIH and DoD, there are significant research opportunities available during the fellowship. Topics of interest amongst the diverse faculty include but are not limited to clinical, basic science and translational research in hemorrhage, opioid-sparing multimodal pain therapies, surgical infections and sepsis, emergent hepato-biliary issues, prehospital and combat casualty care, and traumatic brain injury.

About the hospital

  • Beds: 1182
  • ICU beds: 299
  • Annual ED visits: 59706
  • Annual trauma admissions: 9300
  • Trauma faculty: 11

Fellowship procedures

  • Total surgical (annually): 4400
  • General surgical: 25%
  • Trauma: 55%
  • Blunt trauma: 75%
  • Penetrating trauma: 25%


6431 Fannin
Houston, TX 77030

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