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Welcome message from the residency program director

Dr. Shannon Toohey
Dr. Shannon Toohey

Thank you for your interest in our UC Irvine Health Emergency Medicine Residency Program. The clinical strength of our graduates is second to none. You will leave our residency program being able to handle anything that comes through your emergency department doors.

There are several reasons why our residents are so well trained.

The diversity of our patient population provides experience in a vast array of disease presentations. We are a level I trauma center, comprehensive stroke center, burn center, cardiac receiving center, and cancer center. As a tertiary care center, we are able to provide the best care for those who need it most.

One of the most important features of a residency program is the number of patients you will see over the course of your training. When looking at programs it is important that you consider both the size of the hospital and the size of the residency program. With 50,000 patients per year and 25 total residents in the program, our residents see a high volume of new, undifferentiated patients on every hour of every shift. The efficiency of our department guarantees that you make the most out of your residency experience. Our faculty members provide one-on-one mentorship and teaching to our residents. You will always present your patients to a board-certified or board-eligible emergency physician.

You will be supervised by expert emergency department attending physicians, rather than by your fellow residents. Our faculty members are the leading world experts in ultrasound, disaster medicine/EMS, wilderness medicine, injury prevention, simulation, medical education, clinical informatics, and ED operations.

Our robust curriculum emphasizes the most relevant information to prepare you for the EM boards. One conference day each month takes place at our world-class simulation center. We incorporate small group, team based, case-based, and asynchronous learning into our curriculum to provide you with the most robust EM conference.

We are also committed to training our residents as researchers. Each resident has a faculty mentor to provide one-on-one guidance. The department also has an in-house biostatistician who provides practical research support to the residents. Our monthly journal club makes our residents informed consumers of medical literature.

As part of our educational agenda, we encourage our residents to take an active role in organized emergency medicine. You are the future of our specialty. Without your active involvement in the political decision-making of our profession, we run the risk of having decisions made for us rather than by us.

In keeping with this goal, we provide membership to all major EM organizations [SAEM, AAEM/RSA, and ACEP/EMRA]. Our interns attend the MammothEM  conference each year. Our third-year residents attend the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Annual Meeting.

Our resident benefits include: an educational stipend to attend meetings or purchase educational materials; meal allowance; an annual faculty-resident retreat; three class-specific retreats; travel support to two educational conferences, and textbooks and iPads for our Schoology© asynchronous learning modules.

Join us and become a leader in the most exciting and dynamic medical specialty, one that allows you to do the most good for the most people, in the least amount of time. 


Shannon Toohey, MD, MAEd
Director, Emergency Medicine Residency Program