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UCI ENT Residency | Program Details


The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Irvine College of Medicine sponsors a five-year residency program in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. The PGY-1 year is developed around the new American Board of Otolaryngology requirements that include rotations in anesthesia, emergency medicine, neurosurgery and a diverse mix of rotations in the surgical specialties. The PGY-2-5 years concentrate on Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. During the PGY-2-4 years, residents acquire skills in head and neck history and physical examination techniques, and progressive acquisition of skills in surgical procedures in the specialty. During these years, training is received at UCIMC and the affiliate hospitals. In the PGY-3 year, four months are devoted to research. The final year (PGY-5) of the residency program is spent primarily at UCIMC with the focus on leading the team of residents and advanced operative experience. Surgical skills are fine-tuned, and administrative and leadership skills are developed as chief resident on the service.

The didactic curriculum for the residency program is designed to be comprehensive, academic, and well organized. A 24-month cycle is utilized and is patterned after the quartile system of the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABO). Our curriculum follows the quartiles outlined by the ABO as follows:

  1. General otolaryngology (including pediatric otolaryngology)
  2. Head and neck surgery
  3. Otology and neurotology
  4. Facial plastic and reconstructive surgery

A working knowledge of related specialties such as neurosurgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery, neurology, and pulmonary medicine are also among the academic goals of the department. Much of this information is learned at joint conferences and via specific clinical experiences.

Faculty Supervision

The department faculty actively supervise and administer the educational activities described above (quartiles of the didactic curriculum, surgical caseload, etc.). Formal resident evaluations occur twice each year, with the program director meeting each resident to review evaluations, surgical case numbers, and research progress.

The faculty are dedicated and committed to the education of the residents. Each resident receives lectures and one-on-one teaching every week. Thorough preoperative evaluation and sound medical/surgical judgment are stressed in addition to excellence in postoperative care. All surgical operations are attended by full-time faculty. In the faculty clinical practices, many patients are evaluated by the resident rotating with the attending and presented to the attending physician. The resident has the benefit of independent assessment with mentored feedback at the time of the patient visit. In addition, there is a resident clinic staffed by full time and volunteer faculty. In these clinics, all patients are initially seen by the resident, then presented to a senior resident. Attending oversight is provided and the patients are also seen by an attending physician. Residents participate in the faculty surgeries, and all operative procedures performed at UCI Medical Center and Long Beach VAMC are performed with resident participation. At the affiliated hospitals (Kaiser, Children's Hospital Orange County) the number of cases and faculty members exceeds resident availability. At these sites, residents participate in many but not all of the available surgeries.


The ENT Resident library is located in our departmental office. It contains the major journals of the specialty. Otolaryngology textbooks and other otolaryngology educational aids are also in this library for resident use. Adjacent to the library is a resident computer, resources on temporal bone anatomy, histopathology, anatomy, and surgical techniques. A second resident library and workspace is located in the clinic. The UCI Grunigen Medical Library is located on the hospital campus. The medical library has an extensive journal and textbook collection, and a computer lab available for residents. Interlibrary loan and electronic document requests are available, as well as professional library assistance for literature searches.


A fully equipped voice and speech laboratory with videostroboscopic capabilities, airway analysis, etc. is available in the clinic area. Audiological equipment is updated on a regular basis and is considered state-of-the-art. As previously mentioned, computers, etc. are available to the residents and are up-to-date. A full complement of endoscopes is available in the operating room and the outpatient clinic area.

Outpatient Clinics

Each clinical site has outpatient clinics containing fully equipped rooms set up for a complete head and neck examination. At UCIMC, LBVAMC, and Kaiser, videostroboscopy equipment is on site in the clinic. Full service audiology is present at all clinical teaching sites as well. Each site has either a dedicated microscope room, and at several sites, there are wall-mounted microscopes for detailed otologic examinations and procedures.


Dr. Steven Chau, Class of 2021

"I chose the program for the breadth of training, which has significantly grown since I started my training. Additionally, I felt the strong group bond between the residents was especially important. We have tried to maintain that throughout the years and are as tight-knit and supportive as ever."


Dr. Ashley Lonergan, Class of 2025

"I was fortunate enough to complete an audition rotation at UCI, and from the beginning of the process I knew it was a special place. Everyone I met loved teaching and having students. The residents are encouraged from an early point in their training to develop surgical skills. Furthermore, the volume and diversity of the patient population makes for an expansive clinical training program. I speak Spanish and the opportunity to care for so many who are Spanish speakers in the UCI patient population made this the perfect training program for me. The location certainly did not hurt in my deliberations either; Orange County cannot be beat!"