The UTMB Vascular Surgery Residency Program has been approved by the Accreditation Council for the Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The new program will recruit candidates directly from medical schools and provide a full five years of Vascular Surgical training.
Typically, medical students go through a general surgery residency and internship period that lasts five to seven years. They then move on to a subspecialty fellowship (such as vascular surgery) for two additional years.
Dr. Michael Silva, chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy and director of the Texas Vascular Center, began working towards developing a five-year paradigm approximately four years ago for students who are looking to specialize in vascular surgery.
Silva said that in the past 10 to 15 years, vascular surgery has become more minimally invasive and catheter based. By having a program that focuses on this type of training for five years as opposed to just two years, the students not only receive a more streamlined education, but a more specialized one as well. Upon graduation, vascular surgery residents will be eligible for board certification in vascular surgery by the American Board of Surgery.
Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center is the only other training program in the state that has the same accredited Vascular Surgery Residency program. Dr. Silva says UTMB and Methodist plan to work closely together to do a combined surgical simulation training program and will also collaborate with students from Baylor and UT Health Science Center at Houston.
The first resident in the new program, Jenny Worsham, is part of a UTMB legacy. Her grandfather, Fred J. Wolma graduated from UTMB in 1943 and was a former UTMB chief of general surgery, chief of staff, and co-director of the Emergency Department. He was honored in 1984 as an Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus. In addition, Dr. Wolma and his wife Dorothy established the The Fred J. and Dorothy E. Wolma Professorship in Vascular Surgery, currently held by Dr. Silva.