Welcome to the General Surgery Residency Program
Training excellent physicians who will go on to achieve success and become outstanding leaders
Welcome from our Program Director
Dear Residency Candidate:
On behalf of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our new General Surgery Residency Website. Located in Edinburg, Texas, in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, our General Surgery Residency provides an exciting and historical opportunity to be part of the development of not only a new General Surgery Residency Program but to contribute to and participate in the creation of a new medical school and birth of a new university. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a direct role in the establishment of institutions of higher education, medical education, and graduate medical education. This is a golden opportunity to “do good” on a regional, national, and international level.
Our philosophy and mission of general surgical education is to, above all, provide excellent, safe and evidence-based cutting-edge care to the people of South Texas. This new program brings long awaited medical and surgical care to an underserved region. This is possible by creating a learning environment where our residents will develop into outstanding general surgeons educated in the broad-base of general surgery. They have exposure and participate in the full spectrum of surgical subspecialties including minimally invasive, bariatric, oncologic, pediatric, acute care, trauma, surgical critical care, vascular and endovascular, cardiothoracic, and plastic surgery, while completing a true general surgical training program.
During their rotations, the residents work with experienced general surgeons in private practice, as well as work side-by-side with the Chairman of the Department and the Program Director. Our mission is to produce Board eligible general surgeons who are excellent clinicians and surgical technicians capable and ready to enter the independent practice of general surgery in the community; or, if our residents choose to do subspecialty training, they will be competitive and capable of attaining nationally recognized fellowship training. For those residents who choose to pursue an academic career, they will be afforded the opportunity for research and to develop the foundations for an academic surgical career.
We believe that the General Surgery Residents are the very core of an excellent Department of Surgery. We strive to clinically challenge our residents by providing an environment that is conducive to learning while promoting professionalism and service through compassionate care for all.
Jose Almeda, MD
Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program
Assistant Professor/ Clinical Associate Professor, Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, UT Transplant Center
Director, Pediatric Transplant Surgery, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital
The new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Residency Training Program in General Surgery at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Texas, has initial accreditation by the Residency Review Committee for surgery under the auspices of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACMGE) for four categorical residents at each year. The initial intern class began July 1, 2015. Since our program is in its infancy, our initial five years of matched residents have a unique opportunity to “set the stage” for the future of our program throughout their five years.
Organization of Surgical Service
Residents in our program have the opportunity to learn from experienced private practice general surgeons who provide care for patients in all areas of general surgery. Residents will complete monthly rotations on surgical services that have been designed to capitalize on the true broad-spectrum general surgery practice while ensuring that all residents receive sufficient depth in all surgical sub-specialties.
All rotations will be performed at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) in Edinburg, Texas, with the exception of the Trauma/Emergency/STICU and Transplant rotations. These will be provided at the University Hospital (UHS) in San Antonio in cooperation with the General Surgery Residency Program in San Antonio.
July Surgical Skills Curriculum
Our program provides an innovative surgical skills curriculum at the beginning of residency for PGY-1 residents. All interns will participate in a month-long rotation in surgical skills in July that will provide the foundation for their skills development throughout their residency. Hands-on activities and directed practice of suturing and knot-tying, laparoscopic skills, camera navigation, chest tube placement, venous access, and vent management are taught, as well as skills to assist with integrating into the culture of the hospital and community. This curriculum is a proficiency-based model with surgical simulation and introduction of key topics in surgical patient care. Topics including reading radiographic images, interpretation of blood gasses, H&Ps, professionalism, interdepartmental teamwork, and resident well-being are presented. Simulation activities continue on a monthly basis beyond July throughout the 5 years.
Skills Development Rotation
Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit
Intensive Care Unit
Trauma / Emergency Surgery
GS Red—General Surgery with an emphasis on vascular surgery
The goal of the Red Surgery Service is to continue the overall objectives of General Surgery with emphasis on vascular surgical disease to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage patients with peripheral vascular, aortic, and carotid disease.
GS Blue—General Surgery with an emphasis on acute care surgery, surgical critical care and bronchoscopy
The goal of The Blue Surgery Service is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to evaluate, diagnose, and manage the acute care surgery patient. This is comprised of complex tertiary surgical cases, complex re-operative surgical cases, surgical critical care, and plastic surgery.
GS Green—General Surgery with an emphasis on colorectal surgery, surgical oncology and lower endoscopy
The goal of the Green Surgery Service is to continue overall objectives of general surgery with an emphasis on surgical oncology, colorectal surgery, and hepato-biliary surgery. Residents will develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage colorectal and oncology patients.
GS Orange—General Surgery with an emphasis on minimally invasive surgery, bariatric surgery, and upper GI endoscopy
The overall goal of the Orange Surgery Service is to continue the objectives of General Surgery with emphasis on Bariatric Surgery and Upper GI Endoscopy to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage the Bariatric patient
The goal of the surgical critical care/Intensive Care Unit rotation is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to evaluate, diagnose, and manage critically ill surgical patients.
The Goal of the Breast Surgery Service is to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to evaluate, diagnose and manage patients with benign and malignant breast diseases.
A dedicated, 4-week skills lab rotation in which interns develop technical skills, including suturing and knot-tying, laparoscopic camera navigation, central lines, intraosseous lines, airway management, code management, fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery, and vascular and bowel anastomoses. The rotation also includes resident readiness instruction in the areas of radiology, ABG/blood gasses, staff communication, case studies, and professionalism. Evaluation models based on proficiency and the Mayo Clinic Surgical Olympics is implemented.
GS-E is responsible for the ER surgery consults, any surgery required within 24 hours of admission (other than gallbladder disease), and, of course, trauma. This service also covers the SICU, which is responsible for ventilator management, central line placement, PEG/trach, nutrition access. Residents spend two months on GS-E and SICU and rotate with PGY2, PGY3, and PGY4 residents and work closely with several excellent clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants.
Our General Surgery Residency Program will provide broad-based experience in pediatric surgery under the leadership of Dr. Ambrosio Hernandez. The Women’s Hospital at Renaissance currently has 800 live births per month, which will provide an excellent experience with all levels of index cases in pediatric surgery. There are no pediatric surgery fellows; therefore, all cases will be available to the General Surgery Resident on rotation.
Residents in the program will complete a one month research elective in year 2 of residency, in which they will select a research project to complete in years 3-5 and choose QI projects at the hospital that are ongoing throughout the program. Additional research opportunities are available throughout all years of the program according to resident interest. Dr. Lisa Treviño provides leadership in all research projects and will work with each resident to assist them in pursuing their individual interests.
Residents in years 4, may choose one elective rotation. These selections may be an opportunity for specialty training in particular areas of interest for the resident or additional practice in specific areas.
Residents will work closely with a very busy transplant service (top 10 nationally for liver transplant volume) that primarily deals with liver and kidney transplant with occasional pancreas transplant. This service also involves complex hepatobiliary cases and provides good exposure to transplant ICU patients.
The goal of the endoscopy rotation is to develop an in-depth fund of knowledge of the more common gastrointestinal disorders likely to be encountered by the general surgeon.
MINIMUM REQUIRED NUMBER
CASES PER YEAR BY HOSPITAL
Residents and Faculty will participate in an extensive Didactic curriculum that includes
The goal of the General Surgery Residency is to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to evaluate, diagnose, and manage surgical patients in a professional and compassionate manner. Residents participate in a broad spectrum of patient care cases including general surgery, vascular surgery, and surgical oncology opportunities. The care of these patients requires a multidisciplinary approach, which depends on advanced interpersonal communication skills with collaborative colleagues, and more importantly, communication with the patient and the patient’s family. The overall goals of the program include:
Jose Almeda, MD
Program Director, General Surgery Residency Program
Assistant Professor/ Clinical Associate Professor, Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, UT Transplant Center
Director, Pediatric Transplant Surgery, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital
American Board of Surgery
American Society of Transplant Surgeons for Liver and Kidney Transplantation
MD, UT School of Medicine San Antonio, The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 2002
Organ transplantation and complex hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery (adults and children), University of Southern California, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Transplantation; complex pediatric diseases of the liver and pancreas such as tumors and chronic pancreatitis
Matsuoka L, Almeda JL, Mateo R. Pulsatile perfusion of kidney allografts. Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2009 Aug;14(4):365-9.
Kim J, Huang E, Sher L, Almeda JL. The role of sirolimus in liver transplantation. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: December 2007, Volume 12, Issue 6, p 636-640.
2010, San Antonio Magazine 'Best Doctors'
Dr. Almeda was born in Del Rio, Texas and did his medical school and General Surgery residency training in San Antonio at UTHSCSA. He is certified by The American Board of Surgery. Dr. Almeda completed fellowships in Liver and Kidney Transplantation at the University of Southern California (USC) and is accredited by America Society of Transplant Surgeons.
In addition, under the direction of Rick Selby M.D., he completed an intense fellowship in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery also at USC. During this training, he focused on tertiary referrals involving complex liver, bile duct, and pancreatic diseases. Using traditional open, and new laparoscopic techniques, Dr. Almeda now offers South Texas specialized surgical services focused on pancreatic cancer, liver tumors, and bile duct diseases including repair of bile duct injuries. Along with Dr. Thomas, the team offers vascular reconstruction for those pancreatic tumors previously categorized as inoperable and can help with liver tumors involving complicated resections. The outcomes of these operations parallel or exceed those of tumors that do not involve vascular structures, thus the benefit to the patients is tremendous.
Dr. Almeda helps lead South Texas’ ONLY Organ Transplant Program at Doctors Hospital Renaissance Health System. Under his direction are 22 team members that lead a UNOS Certified program for kidney transplantation. The world-class transplant program offers pre- and post-transplant care and specializes in dealing with the complex care needed by the patients of South Texas.
Ricardo D. Martinez, MD, FACS
General Surgery Residency Associate Program Director
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
UT Rio Grande Valley
Dr. Martinez received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Texas Pan American and attended graduate school at the University of Texas San Antonio with an emphasis in Biochemistry. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 1988 and continued on to Yale College of Medicine for residency at the Hospital of Saint Raphael, where he served as the Chief Resident from 1992-1993. He then went to work as a junior partner for Roy B. Stewart, MD from 1993-1995. He founded Rio Grande Surgical Associates in 1995, where he continues his practice today. He is a founding partner of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance and serves as the Assistant Medical Director of Surgical Services.
He is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and serves as Director of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Surgery Residency Development. Dr. Martinez serves as the Associate Program Director of the General Surgery Residency Program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley- Doctors Hospital at Renaissance.
Samuel K. Snyder, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chair, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
Board Certification: American Board of Surgery
Specialty Practice: Endocrine and General Surgery
Education: MD, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois, 1974
Surgery Intern, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
General Surgery Resident, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
American College of Surgeons (Fellow), 1983
American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
International Association of Endocrine Surgeons
International Society of Surgery
Southern Society of Clinical Surgeons
Southern Surgical Association
Western Surgical Association
Central Surgical Association
Texas Surgical Society
Priestly Surgical Society (Mayo Clinic)
Elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, 1973
Honored by the Founding Medical Student Board of Directors of Martha’s Health Clinic For Work in Establishing a Free Clinic for the Homeless in Temple, Texas 1995.
Annual Distinguished Teaching Award from the Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University College of Medicine, 1999.
Annual Award for Distinguished Teaching from the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, College of Medicine, 1999.
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Texas A&M University Chapter, April 2000.
J. Bradley Aust Award for best clinical paper by a new member, Western Surgical Association, November 2004.
Randall W. Smith Chief/Resident Faculty Mentor Award, Scott and White Clinic, Temple, Texas, 2005-2006.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2006.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2007.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2011.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2012.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2013.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2014.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2015.
Texas Monthly Magazine Super Doctor, December 2016.
The Leonard Tow 2016 Humanism in Medicine Award from the graduating class of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine in recognition of exemplary compassion, competence and respect in the delivery of care, May, 2016
The Gold (The Arnold P. Gold Foundation) Humanism Honor Society, May 2016.
Snyder SK, Hendricks JC. Intraoperative Neurophysiology Testing of the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve: Plaudits and Pitfalls, Surgery, 138:1183-1192, December 2005.
Snyder SK, Roberson CR, Rajab MH. Local Anesthesia with Monitored Anesthesia Care vs. General Anesthesia in Thyroidectomy a Randomized Study. Archives of Surgery 141:167-173, February 2006.
Davis ML, Quayle FJ, Middleton WD, Acosta MPH, Hix-Hernandez SJ, Snyder SK, Moley JF, Brunt LM, and Lairmore TC. Ultrasound Facilities Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy in Patients Lacking Definitive Localization from Preoperative Sestamibi Scans. American Journal of Surgery 194(6):785-791, June 2007.
Snyder SK, Lairmore TC, Hendricks JC, Roberts JW. Elucidating Mechanisms of Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve injury during Thyroidectomy and Parathyroidectomy. J Am Coll Surg. 206:123-130, January 2008.
Schierling S, Snyder SK, Custer MD, Pohl JF, Easley D. Magnet Ingestion. Journal of Pediatrics, 152 (2): 294, February 2008.
Sadowski BM, Snyder SK, Lairmore TC. Routine Bilateral Central Lymph Node Clearance for Papillary Thyroid Cancer, Surgery 145:696-705, October 2009.
Snyder SK, Hamid KS, Roberson CR, Surjit SR, Bossen AC, Luh JH, Scherer EP, Song J. Outpatient Thyroidectomy is Safe and Reasonable: Experience with More than 1,000 Planned Outpatient Procedures. J Am Coll. Surg. 210: 575-584, May 2010.
Randolph GW, Dralle H, with the International Intraoperative Monitoring Study Group; Abdullah H…Snyder SK…Woodson G: Electro Physiologic Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring during Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. International Standards Guideline Statement. Laryngoscope 121:51-516, January 2011
Lee CY, Snyder SK, Lairmore TC, Dupont SC, Jupiter DC. Utility of Surgeon-Performed Ultrasound Assessment of the Lateral Neck for Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Cancer. J Oncology Vol 2011, Article ID973124, 4 pages, November 2011.
Barczynski M, Randolph G, Cernea C, Dralle H, Dionigi G, Alesina P, Mihai R, Finck C, Lombardi D, Hartl D, Miyauchi A, Serpell J, Snyder S, Volpi E, Woodson G, Kraimps J, Hisham A, with the International Neural Monitoring Study Group (INMSG). External Branch of the Superior Laryngeal Nerve Monitoring during Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. International Neural Monitoring Study Group Standards Guideline Statement. Laryngoscope 123 Suppl S4:S1-S14, September 2013
Terris D, Snyder S, Carneiro-Plus D, Inabnet W, Kandil E, Orloff L, Shindo M, Tufano R, Tuttle M, Urken M, Yeh M. American Thyroid Association Statement on Outpatient Thyroidectomy. Thyroid 23:1193-1202, October 2013
Snyder SK, Sigmond BR, Lairmore TC, Govednik-Horny CM, Janicek AK, Jupiter DC. The Long-term Impact of Routine Intraoperative Nerve Monitoring During Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery. Surgery 154:704-713, October 2013
Snyder SK, Govednik-Horny CM, Lairmore TC, Jiang Da-Shu, Song J. Total Thyroidectomy as Primary Definitive Treatment for Graves’ Hyperthyroidism. American Surgeon 79:, December 2013
Dixon JL, Snyder SK, Lairmore TC, Jupiter DC, Govednik CM, Hendricks JC. A Novel Method for the Management of Post-Thyroidectomy or Parathyroidectomy Hematoma: A Single Institution Experience after over 4000 Central Neck Operations. World J Surg 38:1262-1267, June 2014.
Govednik CM, Snyder SK, Quinn CE, Saxenna S, Jupiter DC. Minimally Invasive, Non-Endoscopic Thyroidectomy: A Cosmetic Alternative To Robotic-Assisted Thyroidectomy. Surgery 156:1030-1038, October 2014.
Stack J, Bimston D, Bodenner D, Brett E, Dralle H, Orloff L, Pallota J, Snyder S, Wong R, Randolph G. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and American College of Endocrinology Disease State Clinical Review: Hypoparathyroidism – Definitions and Management. Endocrine Practice 21:674-685, June 2015.
Lairmore TC, Folek J, Govednik CM, Snyder SK. Improving Minimally Invasive Adrenalectomy: Selection of Optimal Approach and Comparison of Outcomes. World J Surg 40:1625-1631, March 2016
Hall CM, Snyder SK, Maldonado YM, Lairmore TC. Routine Central Lymph Node Dissection with Total Thyroidectomy for Papillary Thyroid Cancer Pctoberotentially Minimizes Level VI Recurrence. Surgery 160(4):1049-1058, October 2016.
Snyder SK. “Ambulatory thyroid surgery – Is this the way of the future?”, Controversies in Endocrine Surgery, Springer, 2016.
Serpil J, Randolph GW, Snyder SK, Sritharan N, Paddle Paul. “RLN and the Ligament of Berry”, Recurrent and Superior Laryngeal Nerves, Springer, June 2016.
Dionigi G, Snyder SK, Chiang FY. “Mechanisms of Injury”, Recurrent and Superior Laryngeal Nerves, Springer, June 2016.
Snyder SK. “Surgery for Ectopic Parathyroids”, Medical and Surgical Treatment of Parathyroid Diseases: An Evidence-Based Approach, Springer, August 2016.
Dr. Snyder was born in Berwyn, Illinois and completed his medical school training in Maywood, Illinois at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. He completed a surgery internship and general surgery residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Snyder has been heavily involved in the training of physicians, serving as a professor at Texas A&M University Health Science Center for 36 years. In 2010 he initiated a fellowship training program in Endocrine Surgery.
He also served as the Director of the Division of General Surgery, Chief of the Section of Endocrine Surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology at Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas. While at Scott and White Clinic he sat as Vice Chairman for Clinical and Legal Affairs in the Department of Surgery. In 2016, Dr. Snyder was selected as the Inaugural Chair of the Surgery Department of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.
Personal Interests: Piano, music composition
UTRGV/Doctors Hospital at Renaissance General Surgery Residency Program
Resident Application Process
We are happy you are interested in our program. All applications to our residency program must be made through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS).
Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS)
All applicants for our Surgery Residency Program must participate in the National Residency Matching Program. Our program only accepts applications from ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) sponsored by the AAMC. Your Dean’s Office will assist you in submitting your application and all appropriate supporting documents.
Applicants are screened by looking at the quality of their entire application and select applicants will be invited for an interview. Required items are as follows:
The application deadline is November 30. Interviews will be conducted on selected dates between November and February. Invitations to interview are extended by e-mail. Selection for the program depends on a review of the applicant’s file and interview.
It is the policy of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and its affiliated hospitals to sustain resident selection processes that are free from impermissible discrimination. In compliance with all federal and state laws and regulations, the University of Texas System Policy, and Institutional Policy, no person shall be subject to discrimination in the process of resident selection on the basis of gender, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Resident applicants must clear a screening process to ensure that they are not listed by a federal agency as ineligible for participation in federal programs. This screening is performed at no charge to the applicant.
The interview starts with a reception with the Program Director and faculty on Sunday evening, followed by dinner with the current residents from our program. Applicants will have the opportunity to get to know the faculty and leadership in an informal setting. On Monday, the day of the formal interview, applicants will attend our Grand Rounds presentation and are introduced to hospital leadership, additional faculty and given a tour of our hospital campus and clinics. Formal interviews will be held with the Program Director, Associate Program Director and General Surgery Faculty to evaluate personal, academic and patient care qualities of each applicant. We encourage each applicant to come prepared with their own questions about our program.
5501 S. McColl Rd. Edinburg Texas 78539 | (956) 362-8677 | 956-DOCTORS
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Doctors Hospital at Renaissance proudly meets the federal definition of a “physician-owned hospital” (42 CFR § 489.3). As required by law, a list of the hospital’s physician owners and investors is available at www.dhr-rgv.com. DHR, Ltd. and its affiliated entities comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.