University of California (Irvine)

University of California (Irvine)

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8.4 (4)
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Contact Information

City
Orange
State/Province
California

Program Information

Residents per class
4
University of California (Irvine) Orthopedic Residency Program, Orange, CA

User reviews

4 reviews

Overall rating 
 
8.4
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.5  (4)
Didactics/Teaching 
 
5.5  (4)
Operating Experience 
 
10.0  (4)
Clinical Experience 
 
8.5  (4)
Research 
 
10.0  (4)
Residents 
 
7.8  (4)
Lifestyle 
 
7.5  (4)
Location 
 
10.0  (4)
Overall Experience 
 
7.5  (4)
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(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
8.6
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
3.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
9.0
Lifestyle 
 
8.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Recent Sub-I

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
For the most part the faculty were pretty good with a few exceptions. I worked with Dr. Bhatia (PD) a little and he seemed really great to work with. Dr. Zamorano (other PD) wasn't around very much; I don't know if the residents work with him at another location or what but he isn't around very much. Dr. Gupta (chair) seemed really pleasant to be around; it seemed like he and the chief resident had a great relationship. I only worked with Dr. Jones once because there are a thousand people in his room, but the residents love him and the chief did everything in his cases.
Didactics / Teaching
This is the weak point of the program. I've now done 3 sub-i's and they have, by far, the worst lectures I've ever seen. In my entire month there, I did not see a single lecture from Bhatia, Zamorano, or Gupta. Dr. Jones runs his own lectures on Mondays which are resident presentations and he gives his insight. This doesn't seem to impact the residents though, the PGY-2s and chiefs were some of the brightest I've met. Not sure if they just read on their own or what.
Operating Experience
This is the best part of the program. Man, do they operate. The two chiefs had the best operative skills of any other residents I've seen, and they let their PGY-2's do a ton. This may be resident-dependent though because I heard the third chief sucks. But if you come from this program with bad operating skills, its your own fault. They are doing simple and complex cases with knife in hand. I saw PGY-2s doing cases that were considered "chief-level" at other places. One of the sub-i's even got to do a femoral intramedullary nail skin-to-skin.
Clinic Experience
Its heavy as a PGY-2 but light as a chief. The PGY-2s do this idiotic "Pre-op clinic" where they do pre-op H&Ps on all the elective cases. No learning whatsoever. And its 2-3 days a week.
Research Opportunities
I am really basing this solely on what residents have told me as I didn't do any research on my month there. Residents work mainly in Dr. Thay Lee (famous biomechanics guy) lab or Dr. Gupta's lab (nerve stuff?). Its there if you want it; apparently one of the chiefs is graduating with 10 or so publications but he said he might do academics. One of the PGY-2's already had some projects going.
Residents
This is kind of hit-or-miss. I only worked with 2 of the chiefs and the PGY-2s on my sub-i. The chiefs were awesome and 3/4 PGY-2s were good. But apparently there have been some problems with the other chief and some of the other residents. They all seem to get along well. One of the residents has a volleyball court at his house and they apparently play there a lot.
Lifestyle
They get absolutely rocked as a PGY-2 and a chief. They are consistently there until at least 8 pm every night. They said its only because its early in the year and they want to make sure everything is going well, but I'm not sure how they would get home earlier. THere is just so much work to do and too few residents to do it. They try and get the post-call guy home early (its technically "home call" but I don't know if they ever go home on call), but not always.
Location / Housing
Southern California. Housing is expensive. A few residents live with their parents because its so expensive. A few residents live in Newport Beach together and apparently party hard together.
Limitations
The major limitation is the lectures. Just horrible. If these got better, this would be an absolutely top-notch program. It is definitely not one where you are spoon-fed though. It worries me that there are NO adult reconstruction or sports guys there. They apparently get some joints and sports on other rotations, but all the residents said this was the biggest weakness.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
If you're willing to work hard, you will definitely reap the rewards and come out a top-notch surgeon. The two chiefs seemed happy with their fellowship matches but I can't remember where they're going. This will definitely be in the top of my list, but as someone who probably wants to do sports, I'm worried about not having a mentor and someone in the field to write letters for fellowship.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
fall 2011
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(Updated: December 12, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
9.5
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
8.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
9.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
10.0
Lifestyle 
 
10.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Rotator's Thoughts

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Staff are great here...most of them love to teach and rarely take the knife away. They were even great teachers to me as a rotating student. Dr. Jones and Bhatia (the program director) were the best and Dr. Gupta, despite the reputation, wasgood to work with. You can tell his residents really respect and like him as their chairman and he works hard for them.
Didactics / Teaching
In the OR were great but formal lectures were just okay. Dr. Zamorano and Jones gave great lectures and they had some great outside lectures but some of the others were not so great.
Operating Experience
The best I've ever seen. The residents all operate a ton. Not sure about outside rotations but I heard those are pretty OR-heavy too.
Clinic Experience
Standard clinic...they don't overload patients for resident clinic
Research Opportunities
A ton. Dr. Lee and Dr. Gupta's labs are both very prolific.
Residents
Some of the best and smartest I've ever worked with. Even got to talk to some of the 3rd and 4th years and they seemed bright as well.
Lifestyle
Southern California---what else can u say?
Location / Housing
Expensive...almost all the residents rent. Location is So Cal though...coming from the midwest, this was unreal.
Limitations
none really...I guess they could have better didactics
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Great, wish I could've matched here but they're pretty strict on board scores and mine weren't great. Rotate here if you can as the med students get to do a lot and are taught by attendings, not just ignored. This is a great program that puts their residents in great fellowships and operate a lot.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
2009
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(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
9.3
Staff Surgeons 
 
9.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
8.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
10.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
9.0
Lifestyle 
 
9.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
9.0

Resident's Perspective

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
The staff here are exceptional when it comes to operating and clinical judgment. Every single one of them works hard for resident education. The previous poster is correct in one aspect: our program director is one of the nicest and intelligent surgeons I've ever worked with. He is an amazing teacher in and out of the OR. I'd have to completely disagree with what was said about our chairman. We make sure that every T is crossed and I is dotted when he rounds, but not because we're scared of him...his number one priority is excellent patient care and we want to make sure he knows that the ortho patients are well taken care of. As far as the other staff, Dr. Zamorano is an amazing teacher and gives you great autonomy in the OR. The same thing can be said about almost all our other staff. I can only think of one hat I would even call a little "handsy."
Didactics / Teaching
This used to be our weak point, but in the last 4 or 5 months we have drastically changed our didactics as our chairman/PD noted this weakness. We now have specialty-specific lectures that have been incredibly useful as can be noted in our OITE scores which have drastically improved.
Operating Experience
It's been said in the previous posts, so I won't say anymore...we operate a ton with instruments in hand, not standing on the sidelines.
Clinic Experience
Orthopod211 was quite wrong in this aspect. We have attending covering and present in every single clinic we have. Every once-in-a-while a trauma attending covering fracture clinic might have to run to the OR for an hour or so, but we just throw up the x-ray in the OR and tell the story and get the advice we need. On any given day, we have 3-5 ORs running and 1-2 residents in clinic. Clinic feeds the OR, so none of us are sorry for the clinic...I don't think any of us think of it as "too much clinic."
Research Opportunities
Expansive....almost too much. Sometimes have to tell the attendings that there is just not enough time to start another research project. They're perfectly fine with this. I think we have 30-40 podium or poster presentations at the academy meeting.
Residents
I'm obviously biased, but I personally think that our residents are great. A lot of us are very different but for the most part, we all get along really well. We hang out as much as we can outside of work. A bunch of us go on snowboarding, surfing, volleyball, camping, etc together. We also get great fellowships (ie Rush Sports, Miami Spine, Harvard Sports, San Diego Joints).
Lifestyle
I'm not sure how lifestyle can be much better. As PGY-2's (our hardest year) we get 2 full weekends off a month. After our PGY-2 year, it's all home call. Not sure who Orthopod211 was talking to, but after talking to the guys in our class, we all average around 80 hrs per week. Sure, there are weeks when we go over, but there are also weeks that we go under.
Location / Housing
It's Southern California. I went surfing post-call on Friday and then Saturday morning, and went snowboarding Sat afternoon to Monday (President's Day weekend). The location is incredible.
Limitations
None.
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
I love it here. I can't imagine being anywhere else. I felt compelled to write this after reading Orthopod211's post as I felt a lot of it was untrue. I've made some really great friends here and I know I've made professional contacts that I can ask for help from the rest of my career.

Qualification

I am a current resident of this program.
Date of Rotation
2007-2012
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
6.1
Staff Surgeons 
 
8.0
Didactics/Teaching 
 
3.0
Operating Experience 
 
10.0
Clinical Experience 
 
5.0
Research 
 
10.0
Residents 
 
3.0
Lifestyle 
 
3.0
Location 
 
10.0
Overall Experience 
 
3.0

UCI

Program Review

Staff / Faculty / Chairman
Most the the faculty are extremely nice, and the program director is one of the nicest doctors I've worked with. Dr. Zamarano is an amazing traumatologist, great with pts and the best attending you could ask for as a resident. The Chairman is very intimidating--both to the residents and others. The residents are extremely uncomfortable around him, which is apparent when he rounds with them.
Didactics / Teaching
Of the three programs I rotated, the didactics at this program were by far the weakest. A few hours once a week in the morning, with three 1-hour blocks. One given by a resident, one by an attending, and then grand rounds. There may have been a 4th hour of didactics.
Operating Experience
This was very strong. I saw PGY-2's doing some great stuff on the trauma service. Most of the PGY-2's are very comfortable with a lot of autonomy, and this was quite impressive. While better than no services at all, at the main campus, they're split into three services: trauma, spine, and elective. What this means is during the time you're on elective, you cover a hand surgeon, then a F&A surgeon, then a sports case all in one day. It was impossible for the PGY-2s covering multiple attendings in multiple specialties to have read/prepared for the case. I'm sure the attendings understand this, but it still seemed pretty tough for the residents as they tried to learn the material since they're doing a different thing every day.
Clinic Experience
To give full disclosure, all a sub-intern sees is what happens at the main campus, which is where you are during your intern year, your PGY-2 year, and then 6 months of your PGY-5 year. We don't see what happens during the PGY-3,4, and half of your PGY-5 year b/c you're at different sites doing different things. As far as the time you're at the main campus, you are in clinic a lot. There is "resident clinic" a lot--two half days and one full day week (2 days) in addition to "pre-op clinic" which seemed like was happening several hours a week. The residents see a ton of patients in these resident clinics, which may give great autonomy (as the attending covering "resident clinic" often doesn't see the pts), but learning how to examine and "do clinic" from an attending was missing. I'm sure they get this in their 3rd and 4th year, but 40% of every week doing resident clinic seemed like a ton of painful clinic without the benefit of learning from the experience.
Research Opportunities
No exposure to this.
Residents
As a sub-intern, you only really interact with a little less than half of the residents in the program. Of the 7 I worked with, about half are guys I'd like to be my seniors or co-residents, and 3 I would not. I also disagree with the last post that the residents are happy. Some were, some clearly were not.
Lifestyle
Supposedly your PGY-3 and 4 year are great, but as mentioned above I really don't know how it is at the other sites. During your PGY-2 year, you work very hard and are in the hospital a lot. The PGY-2s said they work over 100 hour every week, and from my time there I definitely believe them. They are on call as PGY-2s a lot--averaging at best Q4, but if a PGY2 is on vacation (which is 4 months a year if they each take a month), then they have to go to Q3. They usually get to sleep quite a bit on call, but they're just there a lot.
Location / Housing
Great location obviously
Limitations
Delayed operating experience/fellows (although not much of an issue).
Overall Rotation Experience / Conclusion
Overall, the program has its pros and cons. Like any program, it's not all bad, not all good.

Qualification

I rotated as a medical student at this program
Date of Rotation
summer 2008
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