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Residents' Interests

The UC Irvine School of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine attracts the best and brightest residents from around the world.

Learn more about our residents in their own words:

Class of 2024 »

Class Picture

Class of 2024 (left to right)

Kevin Woods, MD
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Conflict & Disaster Medicine
Hobbies: I enjoy getting to travel with my wife and daughter. We love to get outdoors, especially anything water related! I also enjoy working out and jogging outside!
Why UCI? An established California program with a solid reputation. Also, I clicked with my interviewers here more than I did anywhere else.

Yuval Peleg, MD
University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Health Policy & Administration, Addiction Medicine, and Wilderness Medicine
Hobbies: Scuba diving, surfing, mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, fishing, live music
Why UCI? Exceptional training, supportive faculty, and the happiest residents I met on the interview trail!

Robert York, MD
University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine
Professional Interests: Social Issues in Emergency Medicine, LGBT+ community and minority populations, Global Health, EMS, and Wilderness Medicine.
Hobbies: My cat (Kaa), traveling, trying new things, learning languages - Portuguese and some Spanish, roasting coffee, wine tasting, breweries, playing piano, NYT crossword, snowboarding, golf, rock climbing, inline skating, going to the beach.
Why UCI? I was initially drawn to UCI because of location, but the program's commitment to diversity and inclusion, especially support of LGBT+ community, and my conversations with residents and faculty were the aspects that ultimately made UCI my #1 choice.

Isai Lopez, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Patient Education & Communication and Underserved Patient Outreach
Hobbies: Hiking, weightlifting, snowboarding, video games, disco, and funk music
Why UCI? Incredible attendings and residents who give off a warm and welcoming vibe which creates a safe yet fast paced learning environment. Also surrounded by great patient population that will allow me to continue using Spanish to help and teach my community!

Roy Almog, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Point of Care Ultrasound, Wilderness Medicine, Device development, and Sports Medicine
Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, surfing, hiking, SCUBA, playing saxophone/guitar, woodworking, and cooking.
Why UCI? Primarily, it was the way in which residents and attendings treated each other as family and enjoyed showing up to each shift to work shoulder to shoulder with one another. More than this, it was the overall attitude and compassionate manner in which patients were treated in the UCI emergency department. Added with desire and attention that attendings placed in medical education, I was thrilled at the opportunity to train at UCI in emergency medicine.

Carina Mireles-Romo, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Social Emergency Medicine and Health Policy & Advocacy
Hobbies: Dancing, live music, volleyball, group workout classes, exploring new talent on YouTube, cooking, traveling
Why UCI? The culturally diverse population of Orange County and the opportunity to treat patients from medically underserved communities at a county-like academic program. Opportunity to continue to mentor aspiring physicians. To work with a genuinely caring leadership team. Oh! And the ability to escape to the beach or the hills at any time!

Campbell Belisle Haley, MD
Tufts University, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Ultrasound, Medical Education, ED Pain Management, and Medical Spanish
Hobbies: Hiking, skiing, beaching, sports, and spending time with my dogs Chaco and Greta
Why UCI? I got the impression from all of my interactions that the faculty and residents are so tightly knit and can always count on each other. I also loved the idea of a small program in Southern California where I could explore a new place while learning how to be a great Emergency Physician!

Glenn “Jamie” Collins, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Education and Wilderness Medicine
Hobbies: I love to rock climb, whitewater raft, and run on the beach with my dog, Cleo! In non-covid times, I also love going to concerts and checking out local breweries.
Why UCI? UCI has the most kind and caring faculty, and it was obvious during each shift how invested they are in the education of the students and residents. UCI being an academic center that acts as the county hospital gives the best of both worlds: underserved patient population and the chance to learn from our specialist colleagues.

Alex Dang, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Critical Care and Ultrasound
Hobbies: Basketball, working out, traveling, eating new food, caffeine
Why UCI? Great people, amazing attendings and residents, good mix of county/academic/community

Class of 2025 »
class of 2025
Class of 2025 (left to right)

Savannah Tan, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Medical Education, Ultrasound, & EMS
Hobbies: Working on attaining Yelp elite status, reading, painting, taking care of house plants
Why UCI? I am a UCI medical student and wholeheartedly enjoyed the training I received in the UCI ED, working with all the residents and attendings.

Andy Hsueh, MD
Loma Linda University, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Healthcare Reform/Physician Advocacy & Studying Effects of Social Determinants of Health and Testing Interventions
Hobbies: Working with animals (fish/reptiles or furry critters), weightlifting/boxing, watchmaking, tennis, fishing, traveling, and sketching/art.
Why UCI? Phenomenal faculty/team experience during my away rotation with amazing people, large, underserved population to help serve, and close proximity to family and friends (15 min drive)!

Christina Cantwell, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Medical Education
Hobbies: Cycling, being outside, exploring the farmer's market, aimlessly wandering around REI, and spending time with my husband.
Why UCI? I wanted to stay at UCI for residency for its people, first and foremost! The attendings and residents are dedicated to collaborating and taking time to teach on even the busiest of shifts. The relatively smaller size of the residency program also made the department feel close-knit, making shifts fly by because you get to work with your family. Besides the training, my husband and I wanted to stay in Orange County because of its proximity to the beach, mountains, and desert, plus sunshine therapy year-round!

Tyler Rigdon, MD
California University of Science & Medicine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Medical Education, Wilderness Medicine, and Organized Medicine
Hobbies: I equally enjoy a night in as much as a night out. I love playing board games with family and friends or exploring a new brewery or coffee shop. I joined the triathlon team in college, and I continue to love to stay active through biking, hiking, or really anything that gets me outdoors!
Why UCI? Too many reasons to count- I was first exposed to the amazing UCI crew as a scribe working at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, many of whom became the first inspiration for my passion for EM. I was fortunate to do my away rotation here as well, which truly cemented my thoughts- it has an incredible mix of different training sites, academic opportunities, and amazing people. I knew I would flourish at this program.

Sophia Spann, DO
Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
Professional Interests: Ultrasound, Medical Education, EMS, Wilderness Medicine
Hobbies: Anything ocean related. I love to surf, swim, and be at the beach. Spending time with family. I really enjoy writing and try to take time every week to work on a short story.
Why UCI? My interest in Emergency Medicine actually began at UCI during my undergrad years. I joined the Emergency Medicine Research Associate’s Program (EMRAP) and fell in love with the department faculty, workflow, and camaraderie. I was fortunate enough to audition at UCI during my fourth year of medical school and knew it was the place I wanted to train. The togetherness in the department is so tangible. Very full circle for me!

John Brazil, MD
California University of Science & Medicine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Critical Care, Wilderness Medicine, Global Health, & Disaster Medicine
Hobbies: Spending time with my wife and 1-year-old daughter and anything that will get me outside – Free-diving and spearfishing, rock-climbing, surfing, hiking, fly-fishing.
Why UCI? The opportunity to train at a county-like academic institution and serve an underserved community was what set UCI apart for me. I loved the leadership, faculty, and residents that I interacted with and the icing on the cake was the ultrasound training, simulation curriculum, chance to mentor medical students, and 3-year format.

Tien Lu, MD
University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Social Emergency Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, Global Health, & Ultrasound
Hobbies: Backpacking with my dog, climbing, surfing, snowboarding, singing, and watching anime!
Why UCI? Truly happy close-knit residents and caring faculty, a diverse patient population that will allow me to speak Vietnamese to serve my community, and amazing location for surfing, climbing, and snowboarding!

Mark Slader, MD
University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Medical Education, Ultrasound, & Leadership
Hobbies: Ultimate frisbee, disc golf, playing or hiking with my pup, and spending time with the loved ones.
Why UCI? The faculty and residents at UCI EM are so incredibly welcoming and supportive, and I wanted to continue learning from UCI’s experts in medical education and ultrasound.

Susan Siraco, MD
Saint Louis University, School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Palliative Care Integration into Emergency Medicine, Medical Education, Simulation, and Social Emergency Medicine, especially language services
Hobbies: I enjoy bread making, watching UFC, reading contemporary American novels, Lagree fitness, and trying new restaurants.
Why UCI? UCI was my #1 choice because of the diverse patient population (especially the opportunity to serve a large Spanish speaking population) and the balance between academics and strong clinical training. I really love how the faculty are so caring and invested!

Class of 2026 »

Class of 2026

Class of 2026 (left to right)

Bryan Kift, MD
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Professional Interests: I'm excited to explore my passion for emergency medicine and all that the specialty has to offer during my time at UCI.
Hobbies: I really enjoy anything that gets me outside! You can usually find me surfing, hiking, camping, or getting overly competitive playing yard games.
Why UCI? After rotating here as a medical student, it became clear UCI created a supportive learning environment that would push me to become a strong physician. The faculty and residents were amazing and a driving force in my decision to train here.

Austin DeJong, DO
Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Professional Interests: EMS, wilderness medicine, critical care
Hobbies: Surfing, skiing, running, and generally any activity on the water or in the sun. House music. Trying new sushi spots.
Why UCI? UCI has always stood out to me as it is a well-recognized academic institution, a busy level I trauma center, and is located near the California coast. I was lucky enough to rotate at UCI as a medical student and found the faculty and residents to be incredibly enthusiastic, confident, and ultimately a group of people that I really enjoyed spending time with.

Ian Lopez, MD
California University of Science & Medicine School of Medicine
Professional Interests: I want to be a strong, well-rounded emergency physician. I want to continue to find new and creative ways to serve the underserved and underrepresented communities of southern California. I want to be involved in advocacy and support for patients and doctors alike.
Hobbies: Soccer, Beach Days, TV, Guitar/Piano, Board Games, Leisure sports, Breweries, Movies, Camping, Travel. Anything that involves buddies!
Why UCI? Since before medical school, UCI was always in my mind as a center for excellence and support in the community. When I had the opportunity to rotate there as a medical student, I was blown away not just by acuity and volume of patients they see but, more importantly, by the culture of support, comradery, and excellence that they had cultivated in the department. 

Sixian (Chloe) Wang, MD
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Professional Interests: Health policy, Healthcare reform, Global health
Hobbies: Dance, acoustic guitar, board games night with friends, and karaoke enthusiast. I like calligraphy and am an avid fan of fountain pens. I'd love to travel more and make it to as many UNESCO sites as possible!
Why UCI? Incredibly welcoming and supportive faculty and residents with phenomenal clinical training! Looking forward to serving a diverse patient population and exploring how health policy could intersect with a career in EM.

Antonio (Tony) Tapia, MD
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Professional Interests: Social EM, sideline/sports medicine, and mentorship. In the future I would love to be involved with sideline game coverage or large events coverage! Street medicine has been a passion of mine since starting in undergrad and is an experience that I would like to continue throughout residency. Furthermore, I enjoy teaching and, in the future, would love to be at a point where I could do this for others, whether it be pre-meds, medical students, or anyone!
Hobbies: Watching sports and playing pick-up games as often as I can! My favorite teams to watch (in order of causing me most to least pain) are Raiders, Dodgers, and Lakers. When not watching sports, I love going to concerts, festivals, and anywhere with live music of almost any genre (still working on country music)! Feel free to reach out if in need of music recommendations.
Why UCI? Born and raised in Long Beach, initially the thought of being able to practice medicine in the neighborhoods that raised me was what drew me to UCI; however, interview day was what solidified it all. Hearing all the banter and laughter amongst faculty and residents in between interviews, I knew it was truly a family here. Even over zoom I could tell it was genuine, and I knew I wanted to be part of it, all while receiving an amazing academic experience along the way.

Xenia Ivanova, MD
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Professional Interests: Geriatric Medicine, Social Emergency Medicine, Ultrasound
Hobbies: I enjoy playing tennis, hiking, going to concerts, playing boardgames and dungeons and dragons with my friends, reading sci-fi/fantasy books, spending time with my cats.
Why UCI? I wanted to train at a program with a diverse patient population including many underserved patients, and a program with a mix of academic/county/community elements. The faculty and residents that I interacted with were all very warm and welcoming. And I get to be closer to friends and family in California!

Carson Dangberg, MD
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Professional Interests: As an EMT and working EMS for the Fire Department before medical school, I am interested in all things pre-hospital medicine, including EMS, event medicine, wilderness medicine, and tactical medicine. I'm also interested in ultrasound and the utilization of bedside ultrasound in new areas, like in EMS.
Hobbies: There's nothing better than playing with and walking my dog Duke, who is an absolute love bug. Also, I love anything that gets me outside: golfing, snow skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and even gardening. I also love BBQing on my Traeger and cooking all sorts of delicious meals.
Why UCI? -

Michael Valdivia, MD
University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
Professional Interests: My professional interests and goals include using my background as a first generation URiM physician in promoting diversity equity and inclusion within medicine. I would like to strengthen my ability to achieve this goal of mine by pursuing a medical education fellowship and working within an academic institution.
Hobbies: I love to visit science or natural history museums while traveling and collecting enamel pins as souvenirs. During the warmer months you can catch me camping with friends/family and enjoying nature.
Why UCI? It is impossible not to think of UCI when considering a strong academic emergency medicine program committed to serving the marginalized patient population of Orange County. I believe UCI strives to recognize the social determinants of health within the community while providing quality, culturally competent care. Through the mentorship provided by the phenomenal faculty at UCI, I can achieve my dreams.

Adam Sauer, MD
California Northstate University School of Medicine
Professional Interests: EMS, Wilderness Medicine, LGBT+ and unhoused community care.
Hobbies: Outdoor enthusiast, road trips, all things dogs, wine tasting, piano, songwriting & music production (recently wrote a song for a vodka commercial), true crime podcasts, and intellectually stimulating reality shows like the Bachelor or Bachelorette!

Why UCI: I was initially attracted to UCI's great reputation and location, but it was the strong connection I felt during the interview with the attending physicians and residents that ultimately won me over. It is evident UCI has very strong social and professional networks that facilitate amazing learning opportunities and life experiences. I am so excited to start this next chapter of my career with UCI!

View our residency alumni ›