Surgical Critical Care Fellowship


The Surgical Critical Care (SCC) Fellowship program at UT Health San Antonio is designed to create leaders in trauma surgery and surgical critical care through intensive clinical exposure to complex surgical critical care, the development of administrative skills required to manage a modern surgical intensive care unit, and involvement in various educational and clinical research opportunities.

The one-year SCC fellowship is fully accredited for three fellows per year by the ACGME. For those who are interested, an additional year consisting of Trauma Surgery and/or research is available. The Trauma Surgery year consists of dedicated clinical training on the Trauma and Emergency Surgery service at University Hospital, the lead Level 1 trauma center in San Antonio, a city consisting of over 1.5 million people and the 7th largest city in the nation. During the second year, fellows also have the opportunity to earn the degree of Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI) from UT Health San Antonio.

The UT Health San Antonio SCC program is a member of the TRISAT multi-institutional education consortium , consisting of the three major San Antonio critical care programs: UT Health San Antonio Surgical Critical Care, UT Health San Antonio Anesthesia Critical Care, and San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) Surgical Critical Care. This affords our UT Health San Antonio SCC Fellows unique educational opportunities, including exposure to anesthesia critical care faculty as well as clinical rotations at military installations managing critically-ill military and combat casualties.

Clinical sites include University Hospital (Surgical Trauma ICU), Audie Murphy VA Hospital (Ultrasound, Surgical ICU), SAMMC (Surgical ICU, Trauma ICU), and the US Army Institute of Surgical Research (Burns).

The UT Health San Antonio SCC program also offers a strong didactic experience through its multi-institutional weekly webcast lecture series that is currently viewed on a routine basis by institutions across the country, and a comprehensive Reading Compendium, which consists of over 120 articles, organized into 12 SCC topics.

Fellows also have the opportunity and are encouraged to participate in any of the ongoing research projects that encompass trauma, critical care, emergency surgery, and burns. Additionally, Fellows can develop their own projects depending on individual interests. Trauma faculty research focuses on new and innovative ways to improve the care, management, and treatment of trauma and critically ill patients. Ongoing research includes industry-sponsored studies, grant-sponsored multi-institutional studies, and investigator-driven studies in areas such as acute lung injury, ARDS, ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), intra-abdominal infections, critical care diagnostic devices, surgical infection, and surgical nutrition.

Fellows who are able to obtain a Texas license prior to starting fellowship are appointed as faculty and are given the opportunity to take faculty trauma and emergency surgery call. With two in-house trauma/critical care faculty 24/7/365, assistance is immediately available during call periods.

Qualified applicants must have completed an ACGME-accredited General Surgery residency prior to starting fellowship and must be either board-eligible or board-certified by the American Board of Surgery.

Interview offers will be sent by email, typically between March and June of the interview year. Interviews are conducted during July and August, and positions are filled through the NRMP Match (

Program Director

Ramon F. Cestero, M.D., MBA, FACS, FCCM

Associate Professor  |  Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program Director  |  Executive Development Program Director  |  Executive Health EMBA Program Director  |  Surgical Trauma Intensive Care Unit Medical Director

Dr. Cestero received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco – East Bay in 2003, followed by fellowships in Trauma Surgery in 2009 and Surgical Critical Care in 2010 at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California. Dr. Cestero is board certified in both general surgery and surgical critical care. During his time at Los Angeles County/USC, Dr. Cestero was awarded two commendations from the County of Los Angeles for his efforts as team leader of the LAC/USC Haiti Trauma/Critical Care Task Force after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Cestero served as an active duty Navy surgeon and served as Department Head, Combat Casualty Care Research at the US Naval Medical Research Unit in San Antonio. Throughout his Navy career, Dr. Cestero has completed multiple combat surgical deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as the Chief of Trauma for the NATO Role 3 Combat Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2012. His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio, Medical Director of the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit, and Program Director of the Surgical Critical Care fellowship as well as the Trauma Surgery fellowship. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as the American College of Critical Care Medicine, and he is Vice Chair of the South Texas American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. He is also the Program Director of the UT Health San Antonio School of Medicine Executive Leadership Program, including the Executive MBA for Health Professionals and the Executive Development Program for Emerging Health Leaders. As the inventor of a novel surgical retractor and in coordination with UT Health San Antonio, he has successfully licensed the technology to a medical device company. His research interests include clinical trauma care, critical care diagnostics, surgical device development, and medical leadership and management.

Contact Us

Debbie Schwartz
Surgical Critical Care Program Coordinator
Department of Surgery/Division of Trauma, MSC 7740
UT Health San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229-3900


Phone: 210-743-4155

Additional Information:

GME Office