What is a Pediatric Surgeon?

Pediatric Surgeons specialize in the care of infants, children and adolescents. Following graduation from medical school, a surgeon must complete at least five years of graduate surgical education in a general surgery residency program. Two additional years in a pediatric surgery fellowship complete the required training for a pediatric surgeon.

Certification in General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery is accomplished with both a written examination to ensure surgical knowledge is of the highest level and an oral exam to determine the ability to manage surgical problems. This certification must be renewed every 10 years by written examination.

Our experts work with pediatricians, family practitioners, pediatric anesthesiologists, and other pediatric specialists to ensure the highest standard of care for our patients.

Our Doctors


Dr. Tuggle was Vice Chair of Surgery and Chief of Pediatric Surgery at the OU Medical Center until 2013. He and his wife moved to Austin to be near their son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. His current interests are trauma and acute care surgery in children.

Robert D. Schlechter, MD, FACS, MD, FACS

Dr. Schlechter and his wife have lived in Austin since 1984. They have two grown children and one grandson. He is Surgeon-in-Chief at Dell Children’s Medical Center. His hobbies include biking, reading and photography.

Julie I. Sanchez, MD, FACS, MD, FACS

Dr. Sanchez and her family have lived in Austin since 2001. In addition to a successful surgical practice, she is a co-founder of Abilitee Adaptive Wear, an online clothing company for children and adults with special needs. She also has a passion for education, global health and injury prevention.

Ankur R. Rana, MD, MD

Dr. Rana is a clinical pediatric surgeon with experience in all aspects of neonatal and pediatric surgery, with special clinical interest in pediatric oncology, thoracic surgery and complex gastrointestinal surgery including minimally invasive surgery. He is also the Educational Experience director.

Jessica Ann Naiditch, MD, MD

Dr. Naiditch is a board certified pediatric surgeon with an interest in trauma & oncology. She is the Trauma Medical Director at Dell Children’s Medical Center. She’s published on topics including lung biopsy, drug resistance in neuroblastoma, intussusception, cloacal exstrophy and urachal remnants.

Tory A. Meyer, MD, FACS, MD, FACS

Dr. Meyer has enjoyed the beauty of the Austin area since 2000 when he moved here with his wife and three children. In addition to a busy surgical practice, he has served as the DCMC Surgery Dept. Chair and is the present Chief of Staff. He is also a board member of Hill Country Conservancy.

Michael D. Josephs, MD, FACS, MD, FACS

Dr. Josephs moved to Austin from the East Coast in 2002 to provide surgical care to the children of Central Texas. In addition to the state-of-the-art healthcare environment, he was drawn to the vast opportunities for outdoor activities in the hill country along with the many live music venues.

Jeffrey R. Horwitz, MD, FACS, MD, FACS

Dr. Horwitz was born and raised in Houston. He has been living in Austin since 1999. His incredibly supportive family includes his wife Treva, daughter Aiden and two chihuahuas, Gracie and Bella.

Nilda M. Garcia, MD, FACS, MD, FACS

Dr. Garcia is the Surgeon in Chief for Dell Children’s. She also holds an academic appointment of Associate Professor of Surgery & Perioperative Care with Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. She is active in the field of pediatric surgery and pediatric trauma.

Erich J. Grethel, MD, FACS, FAAP, MD, FACS, FAAP

Dr. Grethel lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and three children. He has been practicing pediatric surgery here since 2010. He is surgeon champion for the Dell pediatric NSQIP team and is involved in quality and outcome measures for pediatric surgery patients.

Midlevel Providers

Midlevel providers are Nurse Practitioner’s (NP’s) and Physician’s Assistant’s (PA’s) who have completed advanced training in the management and diagnoses of various medical conditions, including chronic diseases. They work closely with physicians to provide a broad range of care while serving as a patient’s routine health care provider.

Our midlevel providers provide the highest levels of individualized care and make the patient’s needs their top priority, striving towards prevention, overall health, and patient education.

Sarah Wilson-Kennelly, RN, CPNP, RN, CPNP

Sarah Wilson-Kennelly has been a Pediatric Trauma Nurse Practitioner for 11 years and has worked at Dell Children’s Medical Center for the past 4 years. She lives in Austin with her wife and daughter and enjoys exploring the amazing city of Austin with her family.

Laura Seris, RN, CPNP, RN, CPNP

Laura has lived in Austin, Texas for the past decade. She enjoys trying new restaurants around town and spending time in her garden. Laura has been a nurse practitioner with Austin Pediatric Surgery for 6 years.


Lisa lives in Austin, TX with her husband and child. She has been a nurse practitioner since 2013 and a Registered Nurse since 2008. She has worked with Austin Pediatric Surgery since 2016, and she enjoys spending time with her family, scrapbooking, reading, hiking and swimming.

Sarah Goldshtrom, CPNP-PC/AC, CPNP-PC/AC

I obtained my undergraduate degree at Penn State University and I did my Master Degrees at UT Austin. I like to exercise and spend time outside with my family when not at work. I have been with Trauma/Surgery for 4 years and have been a Nurse Practitioner for 8 years.

Kelly Gettig, RN, CPNP, RN, CPNP

Kelly Gettig has been a pediatric nurse for over 20 years and has been with the Trauma Program at Dell Children’s since its inception in 2007. She is board certified as a Nurse Practitioner in both acute care and primary care pediatrics.

Amy Gann, RN, CPNP, RN, CPNP

Amy has more than 22 years of nursing experience, and 13 years as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In pursuit of warmer weather and sunny skies, Amy moved to Austin in 2011 to continue her passion to care for children who need pediatric surgery. In her free time, Amy enjoys traveling and fishing.

Julia Freitag, PA-C, PA-C

Julia Freitag, PA-C has been a PA since 2006. She has spent her career solely in pediatric trauma and surgery, and couldn’t see herself doing anything else. During her off time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and four daughters.

Brianna Burg, RN, CPNP, RN, CPNP

Brianna has lived in Austin, Texas since 2001. She began working with Austin Pediatric Surgery in 2009. She enjoys working with pre- and post- surgical patients and caring for hospitalized children and families. She enjoys golfing, boating, reading and spending time with her husband and son.