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Letter to Applicants

On behalf of all the UCI Plastic Surgery Faculty, we are delighted to welcome you. Thank you for taking the time to learn about what UCI has to offer! Our residency program was established in the 1960s and we have been a fully integrated residency program since 2005 with a complement of 3 residents a year. Our residency has developed into a wonderfully comprehensive program filled with diverse faculty and residents, exposure to multiple different types of hospitals and practice systems, and an abundance of learning opportunities and support.  Residents of our program encounter the full scope of plastic and reconstructive surgery, ranging from breast reconstruction, hand surgery, limb salvage, microsurgery, pediatric and adult craniofacial, burn reconstruction, lymphedema, gender affirming surgery, as well as aesthetic opportunities with some of the best aesthetic surgeons in Orange County. We encourage you to check us out on Instagram @uciplasticsurgeryresidency to get a sense of the family we have built here, resident operative and educational opportunity, and life in Southern California. We are now only accepting applications via PCSA The match will remain with National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) Please direct questions to our program coordinator Elena Carraby Good luck with this application cycle!

How to Apply


Since 2005, UCI School of Medicine’s 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 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 residents successfully complete the program, they are eligible to sit for their boards in plastic surgery.

Clinical 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 Surgery Experience

Residents participate in the comprehensive care of burn patients from acute care through rehabilitation. 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.

Hand and Upper Extremity

This rotation is performed at UC Irvine Medical Center under the direction of Eric Wang, MD as well as at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and pediatric experience at Childrens Hospital of Orange County.

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.

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 several symposia in anatomy, internal fixation and microsurgery.

Head and Neck Surgery

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.


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. 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 interdisciplinary panels at Long Beach Memorial and CHOC. This experience takes place under the direction of Raj Vyas MD, Miles Pfaff MD, and Daniel Jaffurs MD at CHOC and Keith Hurvitz MD at Long Beach Memorial.

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center

These rotations are directed by Keith Hurvitz, MD and Steven Grant, MD. They provide 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).

Newport Beach Surgery Center

This rotation is directed by Daniel Kim, MD. Residents participate in a wide range of cosmetic surgery.

VA Long Beach Healthcare System

Under the direction of several full time faculty, residents are exposed to a wide range of plastic and hand surgery experiences, including working with the spinal cord team and reconstruction of decubitus ulcers and upper extremity procedures.

Additional Educational Activities

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. Residents have 24 hour access to a surgical microscope in the lab for ongoing additional practice. Plastic Surgery residents take part in a hands-on microsurgery course for 1 week under the direction of Brock Lanier, MD and the orthopedic surgery department on in vivo models.
  • 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.
  • Anatomy lab Once a month in the beginning of the academic year, residents gather to perform preselected cadaver flap dissections under the supervision of a volunteer faculty member.
  • Journal club Residents and faculty meet on a quarterly basis and discuss relevant clinical articles and evidence based medicine.
  • Aesthetic conference Residents meet quarterly with a volunteer community plastic surgeon to discuss advanced cosmetic procedures and the fundamentals of setting up and running an aesthetic practice.
  • Injection clinic Residents gain hands-on experience in managing an injection clinic for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation with various products.
  • Skin care training sessions Residents receive didactic educational sessions on cutting edge skin care health and prevention of facial aging.
  • Orange County Society of Plastic Surgery A monthly dinner is held wherein residents may network with other plastic surgeons in the community.
  • Chief Resident Clinic Chief residents are given additional autonomy in management of cosmetic and reconstructive patients.

Academic Conferences

Residents are supported in attending annual academic conferences based on their level of training.

PGY 1: Intern boot camp

PGY 2: Plastic Surgery Research Council Meeting

PGY 3: California Society of Plastic Surgeons

PGY 4: American Association of Plastic Surgeons

PGY 5: Microsurgical clinical experience in Taiwan at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital under the direction of Dr. Fu Chen Wei

PGY 6: American Society of Plastic Surgery meeting

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.

Meet our Residents

PGY-1 Residents

Grace Forster, MD UCI plastic Surgery

Grace Forster, MD            

Medical School: University of Virginia

Jacob Radparvar, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Jacob Radparvar, MD

Medical School: Tufts University

Catherine Wu, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Catherine Wu, MD

Medical School: Harvard University

PGY-2 Residents

Nima Khoshab, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Nima Khoshab, MD             

Medical School: University of California Irvine

Mikhail Pakvasa, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Mikhail Pakvasa, MD

Medical School: University of Chicago

Ekaterina Tiourin, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Ekaterina Tiourin, MD      

Medical School: University of California Irvine

PGY-3 Residents

Pedram Goel, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Pedram Goel, MD

Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

Interest: Watching sports, playing soccer, movies, music, spending time with family and friends

Eric Hines, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Eric Hines, MD

Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine

Interest: Everything Hockey, cooking, especially seafood polenta and experiencing new places through food, art, and outdoor activities

June Yoo, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

June Yoo, MD

Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Interest: Dancing, hiking, scuba diving and rock climbing

PGY-4 Residents

Ross Sayadi, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Ross Sayadi, MD

Medical School: University of Vermont College of Medicine 

Interests: The focus of my research is centered around medical innovations, projection-based Augmented Reality, and Micro/nanobubbles for wound healing. I also love drawing, triathlons and playing tennis.

Omotayo Arowojolu, MD, PhD UCI Plastic Surgery

Omotayo Arowojolu, MD, PhD

Medical School: New York University (NYU)

Interests: Traveling, writing, trail running, cycling, biotechnology, acrobatic yoga, painting, hiking

Ruben Castro, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Ruben Castro, MD

Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles 

Interests: Scuba diving, snowboarding, workin on cars

PGY-5 Residents

Hoyune E. Cho, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Hoyune E. Cho, MD

Medical School: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Interest: Cooking, hiking and spending time with family and friends

Jennifer Fligor, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Jennifer Fligor, MD

Medical School: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Interests: Hiking, Ironman triathlons and exploring the Southern California food scene

Gabrielle LaBove, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Gabrielle LaBove, MD

Medical School: Howard University College of Medicine

Interests: Running marathons, collecting/listening to vinyl records, cooking/baking, traveling and speaking Italian 

Jakob Allen, MD

Medical School: University of Missouri

PGY-6 Residents

Daniel Gardner, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Daniel Gardner, MD

Medical School: Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

Interests: The outdoors, playing golf, cooking and reading about military history 

Seung Ah Lee, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Seung Ah Lee, MD

Medical School: University of Missouri School of Medicine

Interests: Spending time with my husband, Asian cooking, yoga and pilates, Korean caligraphy, avid bulldog and Mini Cooper lover

Pauline Santos, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Pauline Santos, MD

Medical School: UCI School of Medicine

Interests: Running, rock climbing, yoga, standup paddleboarding, boxing, my dog Moose, specialty donuts, tacos, dancing, hiking and working with the best people around 

Alumni 2022

Emily Borsting, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Emily Borsting, MD

Medical School: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Interests: Spendng time with my husband, traveling, reading, hiking and boxing

Lauren Patty, MD, MS UCI Plastic Surgery

Lauren Patty, MD, MS

Medical School: Albany Medical College

Interests: Traveling, reading, the beach (a good book + lounging at the beach … perfection), time with family and friends, and sunshine

Shadi Lalezari, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Shadi Lalezari, MD

Medical School: UCI School of Medicine

Interests: Spending time with friends and family, cooking,
traveling, volleyball, and basketball

Alumni 2021

Natalie Barton, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Natalie Barton, MD

Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

Interests: Spending time with my family, fashion, traveling, cooking and playing golf

Melissa Kanack, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Melissa Kanack, MD

Medical School: UC San Diego School of Medicine

Interests: Running, lifting weights, cooking and baking, reading, and spending time with friends and family

Christine Lee, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Christine Lee, MD

Medical School: UCI School of Medicine

Interests: Traveling, dancing, cooking, hiking, scrapbooking and photography 

Alumni 2020

Brian Biggerstaff, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Brian Biggerstaff, MD

Medical School: Creighton University School of Medicine

Interests: Spending time with my beautiful wife and two sons, cooking, dancing and playing soccer 

Gennaya Mattison, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Gennaya Mattison, MD

Medical School: Loma Linda University School of Medicine 

Interests: Surgerizing, spending time with family and friends, traveling, my fur-baby rescue dogs, long walks up steep hills, museums, long runs through forest trails, music, hiking, skiing, biking, backpacking, triathlons, ultra marathons, and napping. 

Ryan Moore, MD UCI Plastic Surgery

Ryan Moore, MD

Medical School: UCI School of Medicine

Interests: Reading classic literature, Ironman triathlons, and watching musical and live performances