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40-Year Physicians

As our 40th year of serving Lubbock and the region wraps up, we want to take a moment to recognize the amazing physicians who helped us get to where we are today. Although every physician who has come through our health system has helped advance our mission, only five of them have been with us since the beginning. This year we celebrated each of our physicians, especially our 40-year physicians, at our First Inaugural Physicians banquet. Read about each of our 40-year physicians and their contributions to UMC and to Lubbock!




Surendra K. Varma, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.E., DSc(Hon)

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Dr. Varma went to medical school at King George’s Medical College in Lucknow, India. In 1968, he came to the United States to attend Harvard Medical School. Here he completed a fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology.

Dr. Varma came to Lubbock in 1974. Shortly after, he helped open UMC (it was called Lubbock General Hospital at the time). He began our pediatric unit, now UMC Children’s hospital, and he took care of UMC’s first patient. Dr. Varma’s next goal was to begin a pediatric residency program; he did just that in July 1978.

Among many other awards, Dr. Varma received the Best Teaching Award for Pediatric Residents in 1988, Outstanding Clinical Teacher at TTUHSC School of Medicine in 1991, Ted Hartman Endowed Chair by TTUHSC and UMC in 2007, and the Grover E. Murray Professor by the TTUHSC Board of Regents, which is a high honor.

Dr. Varma says he deeply appreciates the partnership that UMC and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have. He is the only 40-year physician who still practices at UMC on a daily basis.


David Mangold, M.D.

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Dr. Mangold went to medical school at the University of South Dakota and the Texas Tech University School of Medicine respectively. He was a part of the first graduating class at the Texas Tech School of Medicine, so, naturally, he joined in on the teaching hospital endeavor.

He became a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery when UMC opened in 1978. From 1982-1983, he also served as the Chief of the Division of General Surgery. Needless to say the Texas Tech Department of Surgery and UMC would not be where we are today without him. Today, Dr. Mangold is still a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.


Gabor B. Racz, M.D.

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Dr. Racz graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Medicine in the 1960s. After working in the UK for a few years, he moved to Syracuse, New York. It was here that he completed a residency in anesthesiology. He moved to Lubbock in 1977 to become the first Chairman of Anesthesiology for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and to help open the new hospital (UMC).

During his early years at UMC, Dr. Racz developed a pain program, to merry anesthesia and pain, organized a respiratory therapy service and our blood gas lab test. Eventually, he recruited some former colleagues, such as Dr. Paul Meyers who came to UMC as a neurologist and began a neurology program.

He also was the first Grover E. Murray Professor at Tech, which is a high honor.

To this day, Dr. Racz is Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Anesthesiology and Co-Director of Pain Services at the TTUHSC.


Robert J. Salem, M.D., F.A.C.S.

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Dr. Salem went to medical school at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, before joining the military and completing an internship at Fitzsimons Army Hospital and residency in general surgery at Texas Medical Center. Before moving to Lubbock to join the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and UMC, Dr. Salem was able to practice under Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, vascular surgery pioneer.

He moved back to Lubbock in the late 60s. Eight years before UMC opened, Dr. Salem assisted in performing the first ever open heart surgery in Lubbock. He then went on to perform the very first surgery at UMC in 1978; it was a double mastectomy for a patient with breast cancer. He was adamant about seeing the Texas Tech School of Medicine succeed, and he knew that wouldn’t happen without UMC.

In 1975 the Texas Tech School of Medicine established the Robert J. Salem, M.D. Award for Excellence in Surgery. Today, Dr. Salem is the Chief Medical Officer Emeritus at Covenant Health System and is still a professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.


Obie L. Stalcup, M.D.

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Dr. Stalcup graduated from the University of Texas Medical School in 1963. He went on to complete a residency in general surgery and a then a residency in urology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He served as Chief of Surgery at Lubbock’s St. Mary of the Plains Hospital in 1975. Future physicians were taught here until UMC opened and became the teaching hospital.

Naturally, Dr. Stalcup went to the teaching hospital until going to Methodist Hospital and serving as Chief of Staff there. He is the principle provider at the Urology Center at Grace Health System, but he says he is grateful to have raised up care providers of the future at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and UMC.




40 Year Physicians

View photos from our Physician Banquet here

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