Jaron Santelli, MD
The Austin City Limits Music Festival, the South By Southwest music conference, the Texas Longhorns, and now this amazing city is the proud home of the UT Southwestern Austin Emergency Medicine Program. Perhaps you have heard about the "new program in Austin." Well, we are alive and thriving! We are now in the process of interviewing our third class, which will give us our first full cadre of residents. Under the direction of Todd Berger, MD, FACEP, the residents along with our attendings, have worked hard to develop the infrastructure and personality of this new program.
Here is a little background about our program. UTSW Austin is a three-year program with eight residents per class. We work at four different facilities with most of our time spent at University Medical Center Brackenridge, which boasts a 75,000 visit ED Level One Trauma Center in downtown Austin. Brackenridge is the referral center for all of Central Texas and the only adult Level One Trauma Center within 60 miles. We are a certified Stroke Center and Chest Pain Center.
Our training is supplemented by several months at Dell Children's Hospital, also a 75,000 ED visit Level One Trauma Center, and Seton Medical Center-Austin which is a 35,000 visit ED private community hospital, cancer center, stroke center, and cardiac transplant center.
Being in the capital city has had its advantages. One of the greatest opportunities presented to the residents in Austin is that of public advocacy. With the guidance of our Program Director, Dr. Berger, our TCEP fellow and attending Dr. Julie Sullivan and the support of Dr. Angela Siler Fisher, we are able to participate in First Tuesdays. During these specific days of the legislative session, we are able to lobby for issues important to the Texas medical patients and community alongside other TMA and TCEP representatives. This opportunity has instilled in our program a sense of responsibility to the community and an understanding of the influence we hold.
The UTSW Austin residency program is fast developing strengths in EMS and Event Medicine. Austin is a city with abundant event opportunities. Dr. Berger, Dr. James Kempema, and Dr. Chris Ziebell, our Chief of Service, have developed opportunities to learn outside the hospital and gain hands-on experience in events such as the Formula One racing events and the Austin City Limits music festival. Our residents participate in a month rotation during which we work with Austin City/Travis County EMS Systems, Austin City Police Department, Travis County Star Flight Aeromedical, and Austin Fire.
The faculty here at the University Medical Center Brackenridge has worked hard to develop an ultrasound curriculum. Dr. Sohan Parekh heads up this task. We spend a full month on an Ultrasound rotation within the Emergency Department and have additional class days each month where we work on specific ultrasound skills. In addition, University Medical Center boasts one of the largest Simulation Centers in the country. Our simulation facility is located on the UMCB campus and is a former, fully functioning hospital floor with operating suites. It has been retrofitted to practice medicine with high fidelity simulation manikins in a real hospital setting, including 8 ORs, an ED, an ICU, a cardiac cath lab and several hospital wards. Dr. Andy Kitlowski and Dr. Sara Scott have spent countless hours developing simulation cases and procedural skills sessions that are done every month. They have helped refine the skills of the more senior residents and introduced skills to the more junior trainees.
Education has also become one of the pillars of UT Southwestern Austin. During the last legislative period, a medical school at University of Texas was approved. Dell Medical School is scheduled to accept its first class in 2016. We are all excited, as this will bring even more opportunities in education. In addition, several of the members of our inaugural class have taken advantage of this "blank slate" and brought international medicine to the forefront at UMCB by traveling to places like Malawi, Honduras and Haiti to provide medical care to those in desperate need. Dr. Adrian Martinez has developed a program called GiveMore in which our third year residents can take part in traveling to Nicaragua.
This program has grown so much in such a short time because we have had the support of so many people in leadership positions though out the state. Thank you!
Derek Ou, MD, PGY2
It's 7:30 am, Dr. Todd Berger furiously gathers his paperwork, buttons his shirt, puts on a neck tie and laces his sneakers. After throwing down some donuts, he heads off to University Medical Center Brackenridge with his nerves on a wire and his heart on a sleeve. Why is Dr. Berger so excited for this day in particular? He is ready to make history by interviewing the first class of emergency medicine residents in the history of Austin. Along with his partners in crime, Dr. Janna Welch, Dr. Ann Czarnik and Dr. Shawn Wassmuth, the leadership for the program is established and the stage for excellence is set.
The University of Texas Southwestern in Austin Emergency Medicine Residency Program broke ground on June 25th 2012. As a fresh class of 8 residents from different walks of life entered through the level 1 trauma center, excitement filled the air as we took off running! Now in its second year of syndication, we are two classes in and one class shy of a full house. We have made great strides in the advancement of medicine and health care in Austin. We have resident representatives for TCEP, ACEP, TMA and were even recognized from the galley floor of Congress by Senator Kurt Watson. Our residents have already provided medical assistance in third world countries such as Honduras and Malawi.
We work in close association with Dell Children's Medical Center which is a huge asset to us as they are a level 1 pediatric trauma center, one of only fourteen in the country. They have established a new Pediatric EM Fellowship spearheaded by Dr. Coburn Allen and Dr. Sujit Iyer. We have a great working relationship with our pediatric counterparts and spend a great deal of time there from the ED to the Pediatric ICU.
With the establishment of the Circuit of the Americas track, Austin has become a boom town in the area of event medicine. Austin is fortunate enough to host events from the F1 Grand Prix, Moto GP, V8 Supercar, Grand Am of the Americas and the X Games with more events to come. Not only do we get to work in the medical facilities at the track, we are also gathering data and building research based off these events. We currently have multiple studies in the pipeline with strong resident involvement and plenty of opportunities for more.
When you walk through our doors, you will find Cindy Fisher, our coordinator, ready to greet you with a smile. Dr. Berger, our PD, former search & rescue and wilderness guru, works tirelessly to ensure that feedback is given and received. He asks we perform to our maximum potential and he emphasizes the importance of time with family, and for this we love him. Dr. Wassmuth is your older brother who is also your boss. He is our APD for my soon to be third year class. What is great about Dr. Wassmuth is that he is fully transparent in that you will always know where you stand in his book, good or bad. If you ever get the chance to sit for one of his lectures, you are in for a real treat. If you ever meet him at one of our get togethers, he will be the one with the sleeveless shirt. Dr. Welch is the mom you never had but always wanted. She grants you autonomy from day one and will nudge you in the right direction if you start coloring outside the lines. She has an amazing knack for melting all your frustrations away and can also plan a great retreat. Dr. Czarnik is a regular bedside teaching pro. Her style of teaching is so conversational you can count on getting great, high yield teaching points on almost every patient encounter without realizing you are being taught. Dr. Ziebell is our medical director. He is perhaps the most captivating man you will ever meet and has gained the title, at least in my book, as the "Explainer-in-Chief" of all things simple and complex. Just talking with him inspires you to go out and do something, anything.
In the coming years, Austin will become the hub for medical care in Central Texas. We are anticipating the building of the new UMC Brackenridge and are ready to welcome the Dell Medical School Class of 2020. Our residency will be at the center of the action ready to teach and make a difference. As we continue to shape our program, we invite you to come visit us and see how we do things here in Austin. Maybe you can become a part of our little family here. Just know that for each new resident that enters our doors for the first time, they will be greeted with open arms by the homeless, the helpless and the hurt ready to share their tales of woe.