TCOM’s Dr. Albert Yurvati served his country, his profession, and his school with honor

By Steven Bartolotta

Dr. Albert Yurvati

The career and legacy of Albert Yurvati, DO, PhD, DFACOS, FICS, FAHA is summed up in one word: service.  

Dr. Yurvati, a Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Professor of Surgery and the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Chair of Medical Education, served his country with honor in the United States Army for almost two decades. He continued his legacy of service by caring for his patients for more than 35 years as a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. 

His passion to serve others drove him to make a profound impact to his country and his patients.  

“I am so grateful that I have been able to serve my country and my medical school, TCOM, for so many years. I have cherished every moment,” said Dr. Yurvati. “I learned so much in the military that I was able to bring to the medical field. It helped make me a better osteopathic physician and surgeon.” 

A Vietnam-era veteran, Dr. Yurvati enlisted in the United States Army in 1973 after graduating high school and completed eight weeks of basic training at Fort Dix in New Jersey.  

He spent three years in the Army and later joined the California National Guard Reserves while working on his undergraduate degree from California State University. 

Dr. Yurvati began his second stint in the Army in 1982 as a commissioned officer. It was at that same time Dr. Yurvati arrived in Fort Worth and began his medical school career at TCOM.  

During medical school, Dr. Yurvati became a pilot of Cobra gunships and Huey helicopters. He spent his summers at Fort Hood in Killeen mastering the art of flying, repelling out of helicopters while earning an air assault badge and expert field medical badge. He did a family medicine rotation at Fort Hood while perfecting his skills to become a flight surgeon. 

“Going to medical school and being in the military at the same time was incredibly challenging, but it was also so rewarding,” said Dr. Yurvati.  

Dr. Yurvati graduated from TCOM in 1986 and continued to rise through the ranks of the military. He became a Major before ending his military career in 1994 with an honorable discharge to begin a cardiothoracic residency. At this time, he started his second career as an osteopathic surgeon.  

A legendary career as a surgeon began. He completed two surgical residencies – five years of General Surgery training followed by a three-year Cardiac-Thoracic and Vascular residency. 

Dr. Yurvati returned to Fort Worth in 1996 and was initially in private practice. He joined TCOM as full-time faculty in 2002 and became the Chair of Surgery in 2008. In 2012, he pioneered a surgical breakthrough, the Xiphoid. He became the first surgeon in the world to identify the xiphoid process, a cartilage structure at the tip of the breastbone, as the source of mysterious pain for many patients, and to fix it.   

“I give all the credit for my training and expertise to the knowledge that I gained as a student at TCOM,” said Dr. Yurvati. “The school gave me the tools and training that I needed, and now I want to give back to the next generation of students. The Health Science Center has so many opportunities and I want to do as much as I can to mentor and train students to become the best.” 

His passion for excellence has been recognized nationally and internationally, as well as at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC), where he received the 2021 Mary Luibel Distinguished Alumni Award in May of this year.

This month, Dr. Yurvati received the Charles L. Ballinger Distinguished Osteopathic Surgeon Award from the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons.  He is the only person in the history of ACOS to receive all three of their highest awards.  Dr. Yurvati received the Orel F. Martin Medal in 2013 and the Guy D. Beaumont Jr. FACOS Award of Academic Excellence in 2016. 

He recently established the Dr. Albert and Sharon Yurvati Scholarship, which is currently funding two DO/PhD students. The scholarship shows their commitment to train the next generation of clinical scientists. 

Dr. Yurvati hung up his scalpel in 2020 as he retired from surgical career, but his service and love for his profession and country remains.  

“I’m so lucky to have been in the military, served with so many great people and then to have practiced osteopathic medicine for as long as I have, it’s the best I career I could have ever dreamed of,” said Dr. Yurvati. “My ‘why’ is the love I have for what I do, the love for my school and I love our students.”

You can contribute directly to the Dr. Al and Sharon Yurvati DO/PhD Scholarship

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