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University of California, Irvine Medical Center

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:

  • ERAS Application
  • 3 Letters of recommendation
  • MSPE (Dean’s Letter)
  • Grades/transcripts
  • USMLE scores

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!

Matthew Dolich, M.D. F.A.C.S.
Clinical Professor
Director, General Surgery Residency Program

Program Overview »

The UC Irvine Department of Surgery emphasizes six competence areas identified by the ACGME for organization of educational objectives and assessment methods:

  1. Patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.
  2. Medical knowledge about established and evolving surgical sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.
  3. Practice-based learning and improvement that involves the investigation and evaluation of care for patients.
  4. Interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and other health professionals.
  5. Professionalism, as manifested in a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adhering to ethical principles and demonstrating sensitivity to patients of diverse backgrounds.
  6. Systems-based practice, as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of healthcare, as well as the ability to draw effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care.
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.

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.

View residency program presentation»

View UCI Irvine Health Magazine - Winter 2013

Teaching Hospitals »

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

  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach
  • Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)
  • Kaiser Permanente in Anaheim
Residency Curriculum »

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.  

Conferences »

UC Irvine's Department of Surgery prides itself on its dedication to furthering knowledge. Core Conferences are held weekly for the department and feature resident didactics, grand rounds, morbidity and mortality conference and a resident education hour. In addition, each division meets to discuss its specific patient assessments and education. 
  • Core Conferences – Meets Thursday mornings.
  • Hepatobiliary Tumor Board – Meets first Monday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Transplant Journal Club – Meets fourth Monday of each month from 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Breast Conference – Meets second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 12 to 1 p.m.
  • Integrated GI/Med/Surg Conference – Meets first Wednesday of each month from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • GI/Colorectal Conference – Meets Wednesdays except the first Wednesday of each month from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Vascular Conference Weekly – Meets Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m.
  • Trauma/Critical Care Conference – Meets Thursdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
Recreational, Cultural, and Social Opportunities »

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.

2013-2014 Chief Residents »

Molly Deane, M.D., Administrative Chief

Molly Deane, M.D. grew up in Chandler, AZ and went on to receive Bachelors in Science in Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona.  She moved to California to work as a Research Associate in Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism at Amgen, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, CA.  She graduated from UC Irvine School of Medicine as an Alpha Omega Alpha honors recipient. After completing General Surgery she will pursue fellowship training in Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at University of Maryland Shock Trauma. Molly enjoys traveling, music, kickboxing and all things culinary.
Gregory Thom, M.D., Administrative Chief

Greg Thom, M.D. was born in Burbank, CA and raised in Orange County, CA.  He attended Capistrano Valley Christian School in San Juan Capistrano for grade school through high school and graduated as Salutatorian.  He then attended the University of California, San Diego where he majored in Management Science and Pre-med and graduated with honors.  While in medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin he met his wife, Lisa Thom, M.D. who he couples matched with at the University of California, Irvine in Psychiatry and Surgery respectively.  Lisa and Greg were blessed with the birth of their beautiful daughter, Amelia, in December of 2010 and are now preparing to move to Tucson, Arizona in June 2014 where Greg will begin Vascular Surgery fellowship at the University of Arizona.  Outside of medicine, Greg enjoys spending time with his family, camping, backpacking, snowboarding, and playing poker.

Fredrick Che, M.D.

Fredrick Che, M.D. was born in Illinois, moved to Texas at a very early age, and finally has settled down in California for the last 20 years. He attended South Hills High School in West Covina, and from then on, has been the byproduct of UC Irvine (undergrad, medical school, and now residency).  He will pursue a fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic GI/Bariatric Surgery starting in July 2014 at UCSF, Fresno.  He is newly married, as of August 2013. Fred enjoys basketball, football, snowboarding, Ping-Pong, hiking, piano, paddle boarding, and almost everything that is associated with the outdoors.

Kelly Huynh, M.D.

Kelly Huynh was born in Vietnam and immigrated to California with her family as a young child. She graduated from the University of California Los Angeles as a double major with a BS/BA in Biology and English. She then obtained her Masters in Physiology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC where she met her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Canceko. After graduating Alpha Omega Alpha from the University of Vermont, she returned back to the Southern California area for residency at UCI. She took two years off of her clinical duties to complete a research fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in molecular oncology. She looks forward to returning to the Los Angeles area to start her fellowship in surgical oncology at JWCI with her husband and son, Tyler. During her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling and spending time with her family.

Celeste Kang, M.D.

Celeste Y. Kang, M.D. was born and raised in Orange County, California. She graduated from the University of California Davis where she obtained a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry and matriculated to Loma Linda University School of Medicine. She matched into general surgery at the UC Irvine and received the Radiant STAR Award for platinum service from Kaiser Permanente during her PGY-3 year. After her 3rd year, she stayed at UCI to complete a research fellowship under the direction of Michael J. Stamos publishing 14 manuscripts in respected, peer-reviewed journals, and received the 1st place Research Resident Award from the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. After completing her general surgery residency, Celeste will pursue a fellowship in Colorectal Surgery. She enjoys surfing, paddle boarding, kickboxing and reading nonfiction.

Kristelle Lusby, M.D.

Kristelle Lusby, M.D. received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science degree in Applied Physiology from Finch University of Health Sciences. Following her graduate work at, Kristelle pursued medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School because, “it takes knowledge and turns it into something tangible.” During her general surgery, she completed 2 years of research in surgical oncology. Following residency, Kristelle will pursue a fellowship in Plastic Surgery at the University of Indiana. Outside of surgery, Kristelle enjoys traveling, photography and is fluent in French. 

Resident Perspectives »

"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.”

Graduated 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:


Graduation Year Post-Graduate Specialty
2013 Fellowship - Methodist Hospital System in Houston  Plastic Surgery
2013 Kasier Permanente - Northern California General Surgery
2013 Fellowship - University of California, Los Angeles Cardiothoracic Surgery
2013 Kaiser Permanente - Orange County  General Surgery
2012 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Surgery
2012 Fellowship -  Oregon Health Science University Colon and Rectal Surgery
2012 Fellowship- Harbor UCLA Vascular Surgery
2012 Fellowship- University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Surgery
2012 Private Practice - Kaiser Permanente General Surgery
2011 Fellowship - University of California, Los Angeles Vascular Surgery
2011 Fellowship - University of California, San Diego Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
2011 Fellowship - Moffit Cancer Institute Surgical Oncology
2011 Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic, Weston, FL Mis Foregut/Bariatrics
2011 Fellowship - University of Washington  Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery
2010 Fellowship- University of Virginia Plastic Surgery
2010 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Minimally Invasive Surgery
2010 Fellowship- Swedish Hospital; Seattle, WA Colon and Rectal Surgery
2010 Fellowship - University of Southern California Vascular Surgery
2009 Fellowship - University of California, Los Angeles Cardiothoracic Surgery
2009 Fellowship - University of Hawaii Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Surgery
2009 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Surgical Critical Care/Trauma
2009 Fellowship - Harbor UCLA Vascular Surgery
2009 Private Practice - San Luis Obispo County General Surgery
2009 Alta Bates Summit Hospital, Berkeley, CA  Minimally Invasive Surgery
2008 Fellowship - University of Florida Minimally Invasive Surgery
2008 Fellowship - University of Arizona Vascular Surgery
2008 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Surgery
2008 Fellowship - Texas A&M; Attending - Harbor UCLA/VA Vascular Surgery
2008 Private Practice - Orange County General Surgery
2008 UCLA, Olive View Medical Center Asst. Professor of Surgery
2007 Private Practice - Los Angeles County Private Practice
2007 Fellowship - University of Chicago Vascular Surgery
2007 Fellowship - Baylor College of Medicine Cardiothoracic Surgery
2007 Fellowship - St. Christopher's Hospital for Children  Pediatric Surgery
2007 Fellowship- SUNY Stony Brook Vascular Surgery
2007 Fellowship - Baylor College of Medicine Colon and Rectal Surgery
2006 Fellowship - Case Western University Vascular Surgery
2006 Fellowship- Cook County Hospital , Chicago, IL  Colon and Rectal Surgery
2006 Fellowship - University of Arizona Vascular Surgery
2006 Private Practice - Santa Maria, CA  General Surgery
2006 Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic Foundation Vascular Surgery
2006 Fellowship - University of Pittsburgh Minimally Invasive Surgery
2005 Staff Surgeon, Kaise Permanente, Maui, HI General Surgery
2005 Residency - University of California , Irvine Plastic Surgery
2005 Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX  General Surgery
2005 Fellowship - University of California, Los Angeles Vascular Surgery
2005 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Gastrointestinal Surgery
2005 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Surgery
2004 Fellowship - Scripps Clinic, San Diego, CA  Vascular Surgery
2004 Fellowship - Emory University Cardiothoracic Surgery
2004 Fellowship - Upon completion of service in U.S. Air Force Vascular Surgery
2004 Fellowship- City of Hope, Los Angeles, CA Surgical Oncology
2004 Fellowship - University of Utah Vascular Surgery
2003 Residency- St. Louis University, MO  Plastic Surgery
2003 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Surgical Critical Care/Trauma Surgery
2003 Fellowship - University of California, Irvine Minimally Invasive Surgery
2003 Fellowship - Baylor College of Medicine Vascular Surgery
2003 Private Practice - Boston, MA General Surgery