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Department of Surgery

Chairman's Welcome

John A. Griswold, MD

John A. Griswold, M.D.
Professor and Chairman

I would like to welcome you to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Department of Surgery web site. We hope that you find the information contained within both informative and educational. I particularly hope that you investigate our regionally and nationally recognized faculty covering all areas of surgery including general and laparoscopic surgery, trauma, critical care, burns, pediatric surgery, adult and pediatric urology, ENT, head and neck surgery, surgical oncology, peripheral vascular and endovascular surgery, cardiac surgery, and plastic surgery.

We have some unique clinical opportunities that include:

  • a state-of-the-art Level I Trauma Center serving a huge (1.9 million) rural population.
  • One of the largest regionally verified/certified Burn Centers with approximately 300 major burns admitted per year.
  • a well-recognized Division of Vascular Surgery, a national leader in cutting-edge endovascular techniques.
  • our ENT Division has the largest head and neck case volume in the region, providing general surgery residents with an endless amount of experience in thyroid, parathyroid, head and neck cancer/radial neck procedures, and even parotidectomy.
  • a very aggressive general surgery and pediatric surgery program in advanced laparoscopy.
  • a neurosurgical division and urologic division that provides superb expertise in all super specialty areas for these disciplines with no competition from urology or neurosurgical residents.
  • and the list goes on and on.

This makes us, I believe, one of the true general surgery training programs in the country where there is no dilution of experience due to competition with specialty residencies or fellowships.  We have a dedicated faculty in these sub or super specialties to help general surgery residents become competent in areas other than just traditional general surgery.

I believe we have an aggressive resident education program here. The department has enthusiastically embraced the alteration in resident work hours. We have adjusted and revised our work environment with the support of the faculty to comply with all the work hour expectations and at the same time maintain a high level of patient care and education. Our advanced laparoscopy lab is perfect for laparoscopic educational opportunities as well as refining laparoscopic and minimally invasive skills for both pediatrics and adults. We have a balanced approach to accomplishing the six core curriculum categories, some evidenced here on the website. We have designed a work efficiency program that helps our junior residents become rapidly concise in their work day reducing excess nonproductive work time and providing more time for family and educational opportunities.

The Department of Surgery is fortunate to have dedicated attendings representing every surgical specialty. Yet, and most importantly, there are no other surgical residencies and/or fellowships within the department that compete for cases. In other words, the general surgery residents in our program do not compete with ENT residents for radical neck cases. They do not compete with Urology residents for radical nephrectomies. They do not have to stand in line behind Vascular fellows to participate in open vascular surgery or endovascular procedures. We feel our program is among the few in the country that can say when residents complete our program they have in-depth experience in a broad breadth of surgery which truly earns them the name general surgeon. This translates to an environment where residents completing are able to pursue whatever field of surgery they enjoy or to undertake any procedure they wish based on their preference, not because "I didn't do enough radical neck procedures in my residency or I didn't have enough opportunity to scrub on nephrectomies, or my vascular surgery experience was diluted due to the vascular fellowship at our program". Our residents are able to choose the exact type of practice they want as their experience is broad and complete. This means our program provides unique experiences that many programs in the country are not able to provide. I invite you to peruse our web site and more importantly, apply and explore opportunities of joining our residency program for what I feel is one of the best training environments in the country!

Our department is very active in basic and clinical research, nationally known in the areas of blood substitute research, inflammatory mediators such as bradykinin, and quorum sensing in burn wound pseudomonas infection. Our clinical trials office is very active in all forms of clinical trials research especially focusing in the areas of trauma, critical care, and burns.

We welcome your comments and criticism. We hope your visit to our web site inspires further interest in any aspect of the Department of Surgery, its activities in patient care, education, and research.

Once again, welcome.

John A. Griswold, M.D.
Chairman, Department of Surgery