Sailboats off Galveston Beach

UTMB Sealy Department of Emergency Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions


  • What are you looking for in a resident application?
    We are looking for curious, conscientious individuals who desire to serve their community and who are both voracious learners and kind teachers. Emergency medicine is often the first point of access, and we want to cultivate a team of caregivers who embody equity and acceptance for everyone who enters our facilities. We want residents who will put empathy before ego while embracing the leading edge of science-focused advances and patient-centered care. Residents who will question, tinker, and always strive to make themselves and the system better.
  • What are some highlights or unique opportunities of your program?

    Our first class will take on leadership roles from the start and will forge paths for our future classes. Both the first and future classes will commence and continue building community relationships and partnerships throughout the UTMB system and with our rich connections, including:

    • Aerospace medicine
    • Maritime medicine
    • Polar medicine
    • Disaster response
    • Bedside ultrasound
    • Level 1 trauma & burn hospitals
    • Pediatric ED
    • Emerging infectious diseases
  • What will my first year look like?
  • How will a residency with UTMB be unique?

    At the UTMB Emergency Medicine residency program, you will have the ability to work with an unusually talented medical staff:

    • Courtney Townsend, MD is the single editor-in-chief of the best-selling surgery text, The Sabiston Textbook of Surgery, over the last six editions (16-21st editions)
    • Mark Winter, PhD, DABAT, FAACT, is the past president of the American Board of Applied Toxicology and Managing Director of SE Texas Poison Control Center
    • Wayne Snodgrass, MD, PhD is the past President of the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology
    • Thomas Blackwell, MD, FACP, is our Designated Institutional Officer and is board-certified in Emergency Medicine.

    There is significant NIH funding at UTMB with outstanding research opportunities. There are several local foundations that provide significant support and research for UTMB ($400million and $900 million). UTMB also houses the largest Simulation/HEC center on this side of the Mississippi in the United States

    We have unusual opportunities to study the medical effects of:

    • Hurricanes
    • Marine environments
    • Snake bites
    • Burns (at Shriner’s Children’s Burn Center)
    • Toxicology
    • Aerospace environments (at both NASA and SpaceX)
    • Polar/Antarctic environments (Center for Polar medicine UTMB)
  • Why should I choose a UTMB residency?
    A residency with UTMB is all about balance and excellence. We have outstanding faculty, unparalleled clinical care facilities, and special opportunities with disaster response, aerospace, and polar medicine. A UTMB residency will allow for a diversity of experiences such as level 1 trauma, level 1 burn, suburban emergency, and pediatric ED. The island life and temperate climate are perfect for folks who thrive exploring the outdoors, and the local community is excellent for families, full of gardening programs, family-owned businesses, and unique social events.
  • What procedures will I do as a resident?

    Below are the minimum expected number (from RRC) of key index resuscitations and procedures that each resident will have attained by graduation:

    ProcedureNumber Performed on PatientsNumber Performed in Lab
    Adult medical resuscitation4510
    Adult trauma resuscitation355
    Anesthesia and pain management4010
    Cardiac pacing61-2
    Central venous access206
    Chest tubes103
    Dislocation reduction103
    ED bedside ultrasound15020
    Lumbar puncture154
    Pediatric medical resuscitation154
    Pediatrics trauma resuscitation103
    Procedural sedation154
    Vaginal delivery103
    Vascular access206
    Wound management4010

    We anticipate that residents will complete more than the numbers listed above. For example, we anticipate more than 100 intubations per resident.

  • What are the volumes and percentages at each of the UTMB emergency departments?

    Galveston: 44,308 visits (was 50,000 pre-COVID)

    • 26% admit
    • 14% pediatrics
    • 6.7% critical care

    League City: 38,794 visits

    • 19% admit
    • 18% pediatrics
    • 3.7% critical care

    Clear Lake: 27,080 visits

    • 27% admit
    • 24% pediatrics (100% in pediatric ED)
    • 5% critical care
  • What are the duty hour issues for EM?
    1. No more than 60 hours a week in the emergency department (averaged over four weeks)
    2. No more than 12 continuous scheduled hours in the emergency department
    3. No more than 72 hours per week, emergency medicine rotation including program-related activities and clinical activities
    4. Residents will have a minimum of 24 hours free every seven days
    5. No more than 80 hours per week total on non-emergency medicine rotations
    6. An equivalent (to prior and subsequent clinical shift) length of time off before any emergency medicine shift
  • Which study resources will your program be using?
    Tintinalli, as well as UWorld, Foundations in Emergency Medicine, Board review questions, UpToDate, and faculty-led study support.
  • What is Galveston like?
    Galveston is a medium-sized community with a 27-mile-long beach and one of the largest concentrations of Victorian architecture in the country. The community is diverse and friendly. The island and surrounding areas have a wealth of local and international cuisine, attractions from wildlife preserves to Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn, and the serene beach views are just a short (1 hour) drive away from Houston, an international hub. Check out the UTMB Living page for more information!
  • What is the history of the EM residency program at UTMB?

    Although technically this is a new program, we are working to re-establish the Emergency Medicine Residency Program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. UTMB had an emergency medicine program for short period of time in 2008. It started in July 2008, but on September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike (a level 2 hurricane) closed the hospital for 4 months due to flooding, requiring all the EM residents to be transferred to other sites. The original hospital was 10 feet below sea level. Since that time, a state-of-the-art new hospital was built 21 feet above sea level with the capability of sustaining a hurricane 4 or 5 impact!

Jennie Sealy hospital, daytime