Thank you for your interest in the general surgery residency program at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Our program places strong emphasis on provision of excellent clinical care, establishing new horizons in minimally invasive surgery, education of residents and medical students in all aspects of surgery, and high-level surgical research. Our program trains and prepares some of the finest young surgeons in the country for the rigors of academic or private practice as well as subsequent fellowship training.
Our general surgery residency program’s integrated and affiliated training sites include rotations in surgical oncology, cardiothoracic, vascular, gastrointestinal, colorectal, hepatobilliary, general surgery, surgical critical care, pediatric surgery, and trauma/acute care surgery. UC Irvine’s faculty and volunteer faculty, as well as that of our affiliate institutions, are committed to teaching and provide residents with a variety of resources and opportunities to engage their surgical knowledge. Surgical residents perform clinical rotations at our University Medical Center, the Veteran’s Affairs – Long Beach Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
Residents interested in research will find a broad range of resources and mentors. While not required, research during residency imbues critical skills and exposes the resident to the an additional dimension of academic surgery. Options for one or two years of dedicated research outside of the clinical track are available.
Resident applications are accepted through ERAS and determined via the NRMP process. Matching applicants will begin their residency the following June.
Requirements for application:
The University of California requires that all residents be citizens of the United States, be in possession of a green card, or possess an ECFMG-sponsored J-1 visa. We do not sponsor visas for citizenship. Applicants from international medical schools must have a valid California post-graduate training authorization letter (PTAL)
We wish you the best of luck in your surgical pursuits, and thank you for your interest in our residency training program!
Dolich, M.D. F.A.C.S.
Director, General Surgery Residency Program
The UC Irvine Department of Surgery emphasizes six competence areas identified by the ACGME for organization of educational objectives and assessment methods:
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.
Unlike other residency programs, UC Irvine has a surgical educator whose focus is to develop and implement novel curricula and enhance the surgical skills of our residents.
UC Irvine Medical Center
UC Irvine Medical Center is an academic medical center and principal clinical facility for the School of Medicine’s teaching and research programs. The following services are provided: medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, family medicine, pathology, radiology, ophthalmology, neurology, anesthesiology, and pain management and rehabilitation.
In addition, the medical center has cardiac, neonatal, respiratory, burn, and medical-surgical intensive care units. It is the designated countywide Level I tertiary trauma referral center.
Affiliate Teaching Hospitals
The residency curriculum is a two-year cycle with teaching conferences oriented to the curriculum. It includes standardized readings and a review of surgical text, basic science, surgical decision-making, SCORE, AccessSurgery and the American College of Surgeons’ Surgical Education and Self-Assessment Program.
In 2013, we moved to an iPad based curriculum featuring educational apps and tools aimed at improving didactic knowledge, study skill and helping to maintain cohesive organization.
With a climate that ranges from 50 to 75 degrees in the winter and 60 to 90 degrees in the summer, and close proximity to the mountains and the ocean, Orange County, California offers a wide variety of activities from skiing and snowboarding to surfing, sailing and other water sports. In fact, swimming, boating, surfing, skin diving and fishing are year-round sports. Irvine alone boasts expansive parks, scenic hiking, biking and jogging trails as well as public golf courses and tennis courts.
Hard core sports fans will enjoy frequent professional sporting events, including Angels’ baseball, the Anaheim Ducks for hockey and horseracing at the Santa Anita and Del Mar tracks.
Orange County is home to the nationally renowned South Coast Repertory, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, art museums, Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland and California Adventure, as well as numerous performance venues.
Visitors to nearby Los Angeles will find some of the best entertainment facilities in the country, the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, the Geffen Playhouse, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the Kodak Theater and the Hollywood Bowl. A variety of smaller stage productions are also available in Hollywood and the nearby Melrose Avenue district. Extensive art collections are on view at the Los Angeles County, Norton Simon and Getty art museums, as well as at the Huntington Library, which is home to a world-class arboretum. There are also numerous smaller art galleries throughout the region.
The region’s extensive freeway system makes all of these activities readily accessible. San Diego, with Sea World, the prestigious San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, and the U.S./Mexican border are only a two-hour drive away.
Timothy Feldmann, M.D., Administrative Chief
Timothy Feldmann, M.D. was born and raised in Sycamore, Illinois about 60 miles from Chicago. He attended the University of Notre Dame where he earned his Bachelor of Science. He then obtained his MD degree from Loyola University Chicago. His next stop was at the Univserity of California Irvine where he is currently completing his surgical residency. He plans on pursuing a fellowship in colon and rectal surgery next year. In his free time he enjoys reading, movies, traveling, and spending time with his wife, who is also a general surgery resident.
Dorna Jafari, M.D., Administrative Chief
Dorna Jafari, M.D. was born in Iran and immigrated to the US at the age of 11. She grew up in Orange County, California and went on to receive Bachelors in Science in Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine. She was a lecturer in thedepartment of Neurobiology at UCI prior to attending medical school. She graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine. During residency she conducted clinical research with Drs Pigazzi, Stamos and Nguyen. She had the privilege of presenting her research at the American Surgical Association and published more than 17 peer review articles and 5 book chapters. After completing General Surgery she will pursue fellowship training in Colorectal Surgery. Dorna enjoys traveling, yoga, reading and all things culinary.
Caitlin Houghton, M.D.
Thai Lan Tran, M.D.
Thai Lan Tran, M.D. grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated as a valedictorian. She earned a B.S. in Psychobiology, and a minor in Education at the University of California, Los Angeles. She then received her MD degree at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. During medical school, she got accepted to the Clinical Research Training Program and spent a year at the National Institutes of Health learning bench work research. Follwing medical school, she came back to California for a general surgery residency at the University of California, Irvine. During residency, she was accepted to the Surgical Oncology Research Fellowship program at the National Cancer Institute. While at the NCI, she had the privilege of working in an immunotherapy lab, under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Rosenberg. She became an expert in the clinical isolation of T cells and involved in several projects aiming to optimize the clinical efficacy of gene modified T cell therapy products for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and synovial sarcoma. After completing general surgery residency, she is pursuing a fellowship in Trauma/Critical Care. During her free time, she loves to travel. She also enjoys playing tennis, snowboarding, cooking, and spending time with loved ones.
"I was first interested in UCI Surgery because it is an academic center with a diverse patient population, a moderate sized residency class and is in a great location. After working here for 3 years, I now know that the best part of UCI is the people. The residents, attendings, students and staff truly work as a team. We help each other, teach each other and support each other. This is unique and not something that can be found in most surgical residencies. The training is also excellent because we work at a University Center, VA, Kaiser and a private practice hospital."
"UCI surgery is different because it is not a program --it is a family. I first realized this as a Sub-I, and it becomes more solidified every day. An as a family, we want everyone to excel, we expect the best from each other, and we are always there for each other."
"The most important part of our program is the diversity that it provides its resident. We are a university program that experiences opportunities at multitude of different community programs. Our operating experience is diverse and extensive. We have the opportunity to operate with the world experts, and at the same time be able to experience the community, private surgeon’s point of view."
"The best thing about my program is the people. It is why I chose UCI, and it is why I came back after 2 years of research. I felt very close to the people I had started residency with, as well as certain attendings, administrative, and staff members. I also really appreciate the focus on resident education, which became very noticeable when Dr. Hoyt was here, and has been continued on by dedicated people like Dr. Jill Endres and Dr. Brian Smith."
“I chose UCI because of the diverse patient population, young energetic faculty, and camaraderie among the surgical residents.”
Department of Surgery Graduating Residents
Our graduates have forged different paths based on their surgical passions. Some have pursued subspeciality fellowships in academic institutions while others have moved towards private, group or HMO practice organizations.
Below is a list of recent graduates and their surgical pursuits: