Department of Emergency Medicine Click here for the Department of Emergency Medicine Home Page Click here for the UC Irvine Home Page Click here for the School of Medicine Home Page

About Our Residency Program

The Department of Emergency Medicine is an autonomous unit within the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

Our faculty members are actively involved with the hospital medical staff and in medical school affairs, as well as in professional associations, such as the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM).

The residency leadership team

The residency leadership team: Dr. Shannon Toohey, Program Director; Dr. Alisa Wray, Associate Program Director; Dr. Sangeeta Sakaria, Assistant Program Director, Dr. Shadi Lahham, Assistant Program Director

Quick Facts

Training sites

UC Irvine Medical Center (UCIMC)
CHOC Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)
Miller Children’s Hospital (MCH)
Long Beach Memorial Medical Center (LBMMC)
Mission Hospital
VA Long Beach Healthcare System (LBVA)

ED volume

UCIMC: 50,000 (2,000 patients/resident)
CHOC: 90,000
LBMMC/MCH: 110,000
Mission/CHOC at Mission: 65,000
LBVA: 16,000

Length of residency program

3 years

Year program began


First-time ABEM board pass rate for past 5 classes


Resident benefits

ACEP, EMRA, AAEM, SAEM membership
Meal allowance
Education & Conference Stipend
Licensing Stipend
Annual faculty-resident retreat
Annual class-specific retreat
North Face jacket
Medical/dental insurance
Adams Emergency Medicine textbook
AAEM Board Review book

Program director

Shannon Toohey, MD

Associate program director

Alisa Wray, MD, MAEd

Assistant program directors

Sangeeta Sakaria, MD, MPH, MST 

Shadi Lahham, MD, MS

Program coordinator

Jessica Holland


Clinical research is strongly emphasized and each resident is required to undertake and complete a scholarly project while in training.

Particular areas of emphasis and expertise within the department include:

  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Clinical informatics
  • Difficult airway management
  • Disaster and event medicine
  • Emergency airway management
  • Emergency medical services
  • Emergency medicine research
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Infectious disease
  • International emergency medicine
  • Medical education
  • Pediatric emergency medicine
  • Quality assurance
  • Simulation
  • Substance Abuse
  • Toxicology
  • Trauma
  • Ultrasound
  • Wilderness Medicine

Teaching program

Residents receive excellent training — both at the bedside and in formal conferences. Department faculty members are available at all times; cases are staffed with junior and senior residents. Residents assume added responsibility and autonomy as their training progresses, but faculty backup is universal.

The didactic curriculum includes a 4.5-hour resident conference each Wednesday morning. Residents are expected to come to conference each week and are relieved from clinical duties on all outside rotations so that they can attend. Breakfast is provided at scheduled resident conferences.

The curriculum covers core diagnosis and management topics, critical case conference, weekly reading assignments, radiology round, ECG conferences, and morbidity and mortality conferences. Our monthly Journal Club is held at our academic offices for resident convenience or at faculty/resident homes, lending a family feeling to the residency.

Each resident's critical case, procedure and resuscitation experiences are closely monitored to ensure proper breadth and depth of training. EMS education includes ground ambulance ride-alongs with the busiest paramedic units in the county and the opportunity to gain experience in transporting critically ill patients by Mercy Air helicopter. Combined monthly simulation/ultrasound conferences include hands-on training in various emergency medicine procedures as well as high-fidelity simulation of real patient cases that are tailored in complexity to the corresponding year of resident training.

By the end of the program, our residents have earned the following certifications: ACLS, PALS and ATLS. Many residents also gain instructor status for these courses, although this is not a requirement.

Block Rotations

Sample block schedule ›