October 10, 2022
- Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2013-2014), Hand Surgery
- Residency - UT Medical Branch at Galveston (2007-2013), Plastic Surgery
- Medical School - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (2003-2007)
Jennifer Kargel, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. As the Section Chief of Plastic Surgery and Director of Hand Surgery at the VA North Texas Health Care System, she performs hand surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery for veterans and active military personnel. A pediatric hand surgeon for Children’s Health, she provides treatment for pediatric and congenital hand conditions, as well as brachial plexus and peripheral nerve pathology, with clinics at both Dallas and Plano campuses.
Dr. Kargel earned her medical degree and completed a residency in plastic surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She received advanced training in hand surgery and microsurgery through a fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical School.
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in both plastic surgery and hand surgery, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014. Medical education is one of her passions, and she serves as an associate program director for the integrated and independent plastic surgery residency programs at UT Southwestern, helping to shape the academic experience for trainees in the plastic surgery residency and hand fellowship programs through lectures, one on one teaching, and program reform.
Dr. Kargel is an active member in local, regional, and national professional organizations such as the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, the Dallas County Medical Society, the American Society of Plastic Surgery, and the American Association of Hand Surgery. She serves on multiple local committees that focus on faculty diversity, inclusion, wellness, and development, and serves as the chair of the Young Plastic Surgeons Committee of Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons.
A renowned hand surgeon and plastic surgeon, she has delivered numerous presentations locally, regionally, and nationally, and has published several academic articles.
Born and raised in Texas, Dr. Kargel lives in the Dallas area with her husband, daughter, and collection of family pets. Her interests outside of medicine are varied and include cooking, baking, gardening, reading, watching movies, painting, and drawing.
Coming from a family of medical providers, Dr. Kargel always knew she wanted to be a physician and a surgeon. She was further drawn to plastic surgery for several reasons. She had an amazing plastic surgery mentor, Dr. Linda Phillips, at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “I saw what she did, and I thought to myself that I wanted to be able to impact patients’ lives the way she does,” Dr. Kargel says. Also, plastic surgery and the subspecialty of hand surgery require a high level of creativity and problem solving, requiring expertise in a wide variety of areas such as bony fixation, soft tissue manipulation, and microsurgery.
“It’s very rewarding to be able to treat these injured patients, restore function of the hand, and get them back to the activities and sports they love,” Dr. Kargel says. She cites the interaction with parents and children as a constant motivator.
Once she began working with children, she knew that pediatric hand surgery was a perfect fit for her. “Kids are resilient and they heal so well,” Dr. Kargel says. “Even with injuries that seem devastating, they can bounce back and have excellent results very quickly.”
In addition to her work at Children’s Health, she serves as the Section Chief of Plastic Surgery and Director of Hand Surgery for the VA North Texas Healthcare System, where she treats acute and chronic hand conditions for active and retired military personnel. She considers it an honor to care for veterans and strives to always provide high quality state-of-the-art surgical and non-operative treatments for these patients.