Our Team

John Steele, M.D.

Trauma Medical Director

Dr. John T. Steele is a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery in General Surgery with added certification in Surgical Critical Care. He attended the Medical University of South Carolina which was followed by General Surgery training at the Medical University of Ohio in Toledo. While on active duty in the US Navy, Dr. Steele completed a 2 year Trauma and Critical Care fellowship at the University of California at San Diego, where he remained on faculty as a Clinical Instructor in Surgery until 2008. Dr. Steele is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is an Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor and is involved in ATLS courses throughout the region. Having established his practice at Palomar Medical Center Escondido in 2000, Dr. Steele has been actively involved in medical staff leadership and is the current Chair of the Department of Trauma and the Trauma Program Medical Director. Dr. Steele’s practice is primarily based at Palomar Medical Center Escondido, although he maintains privileges at Palomar Medical Center Poway.

Dr. Steele’s training and experience provide an excellent foundation upon which to maintain his Acute Care Surgical practice. He is an active Trauma surgeon who does emergency and elective General Surgery. He balances this with Surgical Critical Care. Special technical interests include minimally invasive procedures and endoscopy.

David Cloyd,
M.D., F.A.C.S.

Department of Surgery
Department of Trauma
Palomar Medical Center Escondido
Assistant Director of Trauma Services

Dr. David Cloyd joined Palomar Medical Center Escondido in July, 1985 and has previously served as Chairman of both the Department of Surgery and the Department of Trauma. His current positions, in addition to serving on the trauma and vascular call panels, include Assistant Director of Trauma Services, and President of the San Diego Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Cloyd graduated from Stanford University, received his MD from the University of Nebraska, and his surgical education from the University of Kansas, where he was honored with the Merck, Sharp and Dohme award for outstanding surgical educator. He has practiced surgery at Palomar Medical Center Escondido since 1985, and in addition to interests in trauma, critical care and vascular surgery, he has studied, lectured and published on advanced laparoscopic surgical techniques. His interests outside of the hospital include bicycling and sailing.

Debra Byrnes,

Director of Trauma Program
Palomar Medical Center Escondido

Debra Byrnes joined Palomar Health as the Trauma Program Director in January, 2008, bringing more than twenty years of experience in emergency and trauma care and a “hands-on approach” to every aspect of the program. She enjoys patient care and leading a team of Trauma Care nurses. She currently is involved in the effort to create a Trauma Intensive Care Unit for patients at PMC which is scheduled to open by January 2009. In her role, she also is involved in trauma prevention activities in the community.

A native of Orange, California, Byrnes grew up in Orange County and received her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach. She says by the second grade, she knew she wanted to become a nurse – the result of having spent a lot of time in the emergency room as a child who rode horses. She was a Candy Striper by age 13, a Certified Nursing Assistant by 17, and an RN by the time she was 22-years-old.
































































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