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Education

The Division of Colon & Rectal Surgery is actively engaged in teaching and training medical students, residents and fellows.

Colon & Rectal Surgery Fellowship

Our division has an ACGME-accredited one-year fellowship position in Colon and Rectal Surgery. Our program is located at a single hospital (the University of California Irvine Medical Center) and is designed to prepare the trainee for an advanced practice in Colon and Rectal Surgery. 

We have a nationally recognized faculty that is highly interested in the training of our fellow. Access to faculty and the program director is emphasized. During the year, assessment frequently occurs to evaluate how we can tailor the educational experience to the trainee’s ongoing needs. Significant educational resources are in place to assist in training including office space, free textbooks, an iPad, computers and electronic journal access through the University of California system. We have a structured series of lectures, conferences and journal clubs throughout the year. We emphasize maintaining a good balance between educational experience and clinical service. Duty hours are strictly monitored.

Our practice emphasizes advanced surgical techniques in all aspects of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Our faculty are very active in evaluating and adopting new surgical approaches and technology, and we participate in (and often lead) clinical trials. In the area of colon and rectal cancer, the trainee will become proficient in robotic surgery, laparoscopic surgery and the approach to recurrent colon and rectal cancer. The trainee will learn advanced techniques such as laparoscopic intracorporeal anastomosis and transanal specimen extraction. Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) is utilized and “Reverse” (transanal) TME is performed. Minimally invasive approaches to recurrent cancer are also applied when appropriate and intraoperative radiation therapy is utilized in specific cases. The trainee will learn the multidisciplinary approach to colon and rectal cancer through participation in tumor board and lectures from nationally recognized experts at our NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our faculty performs Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) with peritoneal cytoreduction in select cases.

We also have a busy practice in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and benefit from being associated with an active Gastroenterology practice in IBD at our institution. We emphasize minimally invasive approaches to IBD treatment and a collaborative approach with our colleagues in Gastroenterology. Our fellows routinely exceed the required case numbers for ileal pouch surgery and leave the program comfortable performing totally laparoscopic restorative proctocolectomy.

In terms of pelvic floor surgery, we offer endoanal ultrasound, anal manometry, pelvic floor physical therapy and excellent collaboration with our colleagues in Urogynecology. Fellows will become facile at Sacral Nerve Stimulation therapy, clinic-based Peripheral Nerve Evaluations, injection of bulking agents and overlapping sphincter repair. Fellows finish the program able to perform standard and advanced techniques in rectal prolapse surgery such as robotic ventral mesh rectopexy.

During the year, the trainee is expected to participate in a research project. For that project, we have resources including a statistician, SAS/SPSS programs, clinical databases (Nationwide Inpatient Sample, National Surgical Quality Improvement Project, California Cancer Registry, University Health Consortium), and collaborative research fellows.  We also provide financial support for travel to academic meetings to present research. Faculty will assist throughout the year in research design and publication. This can serve as an excellent springboard to an academic surgical practice if the trainee desires.

After training at our program, fellows have gone on to busy academic and private practice environments. Our goal is for trainees to leave the program ready to launch into a highly successful career.

Thank you very much for your interest in our program!

Steven Mills, MD, FACS 
Professor of Surgery
Program Director, Colon & Rectal Surgery Fellowship

Applying to our Program:

Fellow applications are accepted entirely through ERAS and determined via the NRMP process. No phone calls please.
Matching applicants will begin their fellowship the following August.

Requirements for application:

  • ERAS Application
  • CV
  • Personal Statement
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • USMLE transcript
  • ABSITE transcript
  • Applicants from international medical schools must have a valid California post-graduate training authorization letter (PTAL) and be ECFMG certified at time of application. 
  • DO applicants must have completed USMLE steps 1 and 2 
  • Meet all UCI GME requirements for appointment. Found here

Applications for the 2021-2022 interview season will be reviewed in April with invitations sent in May for the following interview dates:

September 9, 2021
September 23, 2021


All interviews will be held virtually.
For more information, please visit our Graduate Medical Education page. 

About Us:

In 2006, UC Irvine became one of the first educational institutions in the United States to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons for simulation training. As a Level I accredited state-of the art simulation center, UC Irvine offers residents the means to learn novel techniques to supplement their curriculum in both open and minimally invasive surgery.

 At UC Irvine, residents receive exposure to all core components of surgery, as well as specialized training in surgical oncology, vascular surgery, minimally invasive surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, colon and rectal surgery, trauma and acute surgery, and transplantation.

 The UC Irvine, School of Medicine mission: Discover. Teach. Heal 

Learn more about how the  UC Irvine Medical Center is living its mission through the  UCI Irvine Health Magazine and Helping You Live Well .

Mini-fellowships

The division is also one of a select few centers in the United States to offer mini-fellowships to train established surgeons in the techniques of minimally invasive colectomy procedures. Our two-day course focuses on patient selection, procedural indications and contraindications, procedural techniques and methods on how to manage potential complications.

Participants have the opportunity to practice hands-on, in both inanimate and cadaver labs, as well as to observe a live surgery and attend comprehensive lectures with leading colorectal surgeons.

Contact Us:

University of California, Irvine
333 City Blvd West, Suite 1600 | Orange, CA 92868

UC Irvine Health: ucirvinehealth.org   
University of California, Irvine: uci.edu

Program Coordinator:
Staci Reichenecker
reichens@hs.uci.edu 

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