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Since 2005, our Department of Plastic Surgery has been approved for a fully integrated residency program.

Prior to this format change, residency training was operated as an independent program, which was established in the 1960s.

The UC Irvine Plastic Surgery Residency Program accepts three medical students for a six-year educational training experience in plastic surgery.

The director of the Department of Plastic Surgery oversees the educational portion of the program. When students successfully complete the program, they are eligible to sit for their boards in plastic surgery.

Rotations »

UC Irvine Medical Center Rotation

UC Irvine Medical Center has a broad clinical base with a concentration of critical care, trauma and burn experience. The medical center is a designated Level I trauma center. It also houses an adult and pediatric burn unit. Thus, the clinical goals of this rotation are to become skilled in the following principles and techniques of critical care:

  • Trauma and burn resuscitation
  • Maxillofacial, craniofacial, extremity, and general trauma surgery and management
  • Burn cases, grafting, and reconstruction
  • Major flap, oncologic and microvascular reconstructions
  • Hand surgery
  • General surgery

Burn Rotation

Interdisciplinary burn service rounds are led by Keyian Paydar, MD. The multidisciplinary structure of this service also develops skills in effective interdisciplinary relationships for care of critically ill patients, which is found in few other programs. Residents participate in the comprehensive care of burn patients from acute care through rehabilitation.

Hand and Upper Extremity Rotation
This rotation is performed at UC Irvine Medical Center under the direction of Amber Leis MD, Neil Ford Jones, MD, and Wendy Ng, MD as well as at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and St. Jude Medical Center under the direction of Donald Bittner, MD.

In addition, a variety of faculty members offer more exposure through their practices. The Level I trauma center provides care for hand trauma and replantation. UC Irvine Health orthopaedic and plastic surgeons are faculty members for this service.

Microvascular treatment is provided by plastic surgery residents and attendings in plastic surgery. The primary goal of this rotation is to master the principles of management, surgery and therapy of hand and upper extremity disorders in adults and children. It also provides a strong digital and extremity replantation experience and reinforces the goals of strengthening microsurgical experience. This rotation is supplemented by monthly conferences and by several annual symposia in anatomy, internal fixation and other relevant topics.

Head and Neck Rotation
Our residents receive an in-depth head and neck experience. The goals of education, experience and operative management in head and neck oncologic surgery is achieved by a multidisciplinary head and neck service staffed by teams from plastic surgery, otolaryngology (ENT) and general surgical oncology. Further, facial call is shared equally with the ENT service, alternating every other week. Additional cases are done in combination at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Irvine and Anaheim Hills.

Pediatric/Cleft/Craniofacial Rotation
This rotation is centered on the pediatric plastic surgery service at UC Irvine Medical Center, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, CHOC Children's Hospital of Orange County and California Hospital. The primary goals of these rotations are to learn the principles and techniques of cleft lip and palate, craniofacial and other congenital and acquired anomalies.

The related goals of outpatient pre- and post-operative evaluation and management of these pediatric subspecialties are gained by attendance at The cleft and craniofacial panels at Long Beach Memorial, CHOC and California Hospital as well as the vascular conference.

Rotations at UC Irvine Medical Center and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center are directed by Daniel Jaffurs, MD. The CHOC rotation is directed by Libby Wilson, M.D.

Kaiser Rotation
This rotation includes a variety of "bread and butter" plastic surgery, including cleft lip, palate, breast reductions, breast reconstruction and hand surgery under the direction of Sharrie Mills, MD. This rotation is staffed by six full-time faculty. All plastic surgery referrals for the local Kaiser institutions are sent to this rotation hospital. In addition, head and neck surgery is performed at the Kaiser hospitals in Anaheim Hills and Irvine.

Further rotations on the combined hand service between UC Irvine and Kaiser are also part of the program. Finally head and neck reconstruction is performed with the head and neck service at both Kaiser hospitals.

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
This rotation is directed by Keith Hurvitz, MD. and Steven Grant, MD. It provides a wealth of experience at Millers Children's Hospital in Long Beach and a variety of clinical disciplines.

Experience includes hand surgery, ophthalmological plastic surgery, pediatric and adult plastic surgery, and general surgery (vascular, GI, oncology, pediatrics, etc.) Daniel Jaffurs, MD, oversees the craniofacial program; Garrett Wirth, MD, is medical director for the wound care center at Long Beach Memorial. Both rotations provide a multitude of experience to the residents.

Hoag Hospital/ Newport Beach Surgery Center
This rotation is directed by Malcolm Paul, MD.

Aesthetic Rotation/Resident Aesthetic Clinical Rotation
This rotation meets weekly under the direction of Ivan M. Turpin, MD, and Malcolm Paul, MD. Cosmetic consultations are done weekly in this clinic and there is one operating room day weekly that is dedicated to cosmetic surgery. Communication between faculty members and the resident is vital before surgery.

VA Long Beach Healthcare System
Under the direction of Garrett Wirth, MD, Keyian Paydar, MD, Gregory R.D. Evans, MD, Trung B. Nguyen, MD, Amber Leis, MD, and David Wood, MD, residents are exposed to a wide range of plastic surgery experiences, including working with the spinal cord team.

Other Opportunities »

The opportunities for our plastic surgery residents to expand and achieve their educational goals are enhanced by several specialized facilities developed within the university and teaching hospitals of our program. They include:

  • Microsurgery Training Laboratory
    This facility for basic and advanced training in microsurgery is located in our research laboratories. Residents take a formal training course in microsurgery on matriculation, and return as needed for practice. This occurs primarily at the PGY III level.
  • Fresh Tissue Dissection and Surgical Practice
    This facility is devoted to anatomic dissection of fresh cadavers for training and research purposes. Material is available for dissection as needed.
Continuing Medical Education »

Continuing medical education involves a disciplined and regular review of the literature, and attendance at relevant meetings, courses and conferences.

An excellent compendium and summary of the CME process for plastic surgeons is contained in the Resource Book for Plastic Surgery Residents. It is distributed annually by the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation.

We have also provided a resource manual more specific to the residency program at UC Irvine.