Department of Surgery

Department of Surgery Chair's Message

Media Component
Todd K. Rosengart, M.D.

It has been a great honor to serve as chair of surgery of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery since November 2012, having been afforded the unique opportunity to continue the storied legacy that began with Dr. DeBakey assuming this role almost 80 years ago. Our journey over the past decade includes our recruitment of more than 170 faculty and the achievement of our 250 surgeons, scientists, and advanced practice providers, our more than 150 trainees, and our total staff of nearly 600 members of many great milestones. These include a top 20 ranking by the US News and World Report for the past five years and our most recently achieving a top 25 rank for departments of surgery in NIH grants support, representing nearly a two-fold growth in funding and a rise of ten spots in the past year.  


The landmarks of our journey include many clinical records and innovations. These include our becoming the top 5 busiest transoral thyroid/parathyroid programs, robotic heart surgery, and robotic esophagectomy programs in the U.S., the top 10 busiest lung transplant program, and the most experienced mesothelioma treatment center in the nation. Dr. Joseph Coselli at more than 3500 cases has performed more thoracoabdominal aneurysm repairs than any surgeon in history and Dr. John Goss and his team at more than 3000 cases has performed more liver transplants than almost anyone in the nation.  

Our Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center is one of only two programs in the U.S. to perform heart, kidney transplantation and is perennially ranked highest in the nation for surgical quality. The pediatric, congenital heart, and transplantation surgery programs at Texas Children’s Hospital remain the busiest in the U.S., performing sophisticated procedures ranging from fetal surgery to artificial heart implantation. Our trauma program at Ben Taub Hospital founded in the 1960s by Dr. Ken Mattox continues today to lead the nation in trauma quality outcomes.

Innovation by our research team, led by vice chair Dr. Livia Eberlin and our staff of more than 50 research coordinators, grants managers and statisticians, includes inventions ranging from intra-operative mass spectrometry that instantaneously detects cancerous tissues to myocardial regeneration that can treat myocardial infarction. Managing over 350 grants and clinical trials, our Office of Surgical Research oversees a portfolio of programs ranging from our ATLAS data science and DiHAC digital health programs to our thoracic cancer and aortic aneurysm biorepositories.    

Our undergraduate and graduate medical education programs have likewise flourished over the past decade. The attraction of our undergraduate programs has led more Baylor medical students to seek residencies in surgery than ever in recent memory and today attract over 200 applicants to 15 spots annually in our storied DeBakey Summer Student program for pre-med students. Our general surgery residency program has grown to ten categorical positions featuring four distinct tracks, making it one of the largest in the U.S. Its unique Global Surgery Program led by Dr. Rachel Davis and our new Innovations Track remain the only such NRMP-listed programs in the nation.  

Partnering with great institutions across the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest, we are confident and excited for the future of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery. We look forward to the great changes awaiting surgery, and we plan and expect to lead the journey to that future.