School of Health Professions

Surgical resident found passion for patient care in the EHS program


By Kate Hunger 

Raised in a military family, Michael Sippel moved frequently growing up. When he graduated high school, he wasn’t enthused about jumping into a four-year college setting. 

So he took his dad’s advice and enrolled in an emergency medical technician program at UT Health San Antonio. When he realized he was interested in studying medicine, he enrolled in the paramedic program. That training led him to apply to the Emergency Health Sciences bachelor’s program, which he attended while working full-time as a paramedic.

“The instructors are very amenable,” he said, describing how they were flexible and allowed him to take exams around his work schedule. “They really work with you to make sure you are able to pursue your academics.” 

Sippel recently completed a Department of Defense regenerative medicine research fellowship and is now a third-year general surgery resident at University Hospital.

“I love University Hospital,” he said. “At this point, it feels like home.”

He said the EHS program prepared him well for the Texas Tech Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, and that working full-time as a paramedic while going to college also prepared him for the rigors of residency.

The opportunity to gain clinical experience before entering medical school was a major benefit to his educational journey, he said.

“I think the most valuable thing I got out of the path I took was the patient contact,” he said. “I learned very quickly that I liked taking care of patients.” 

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