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Fellowship Program

Welcome to the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) Fellowship at UC Irvine!

The UC Irvine PCCM Fellowship is a fully accredited three-year program designed to train clinicians to deliver high-quality, skilled care to patients. Our program is based on the principle of graduated responsibility as trainees learn through a variety of clinical, research and teaching experiences.

Ten full-time fellows are currently enrolled in our combined pulmonary-critical care medicine program. We plan on matching four fellows for the 2021-2022 academic year.

We have graduated nearly 100 fellows over the last 30 years. In addition to assuring competency and proficiency in medical care, our goal is to help our fellows achieve independence and confidence in all clinical, academic and educational endeavors, and provides our fellows with career opportunities in academic pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Fellowship Training »

PCCM Fellows have both inpatient and outpatient responsibilities as they rotate through our three main training sites: UC Irvine Medical Center, the VA Long Beach Health System and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. This variety of clinical environments provides a wide range of experience for our fellows.

Fellows initiate and supervise consultative and procedural practices under the guidance of our dedicated faculty, allowing them to emerge from the program with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic respiratory and critical care illnesses.

Mission Statement:

  • The mission of the fellowship program is to train outstanding academic clinicians to provide exceptional and compassionate care to all patients and to be on the forefront of advancements in clinical medicine through an evidenced-based clinical education and involvement in up-to-date clinical research.

Main objectives of the fellowship program:

  • To provide a solid educational experience in general pulmonary and critical care medicine (PCCM) that will prepare physicians to reliably and competently serve their communities.
  • To provide medical students, residents and ancillary health care providers with tools needed to diagnosis, treat and prevent pulmonary and critical care illnesses. A major component of this objective is met through participation in educational endeavors such as lectures, in-services and proactive communication.
  • To enhance the education and understanding of pulmonary and critical care issues by the general public in the context of cultural diversity. Clinical settings provide opportunities to interact with patients from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. We believe that cultural diversity among our medical staff and patients enhances the educational process, opening the minds of our fellows to cultural differences and service-oriented practices.

Our core clinical training includes in-depth exposure to the following fields:

  • Advanced lung diseases including pulmonary hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease
  • Critical care medicine
  • Pleural diseases
  • Thoracic oncology, encompassing early detection, diagnosis, treatment and interventional curative and palliative care as well as end-of-life issues.
  • Interventional pulmonary including EBUS (endobronchial ultrasound), ENB (electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy), percutaneous tracheostomy, and advanced pleural procedures
  • Sleep medicine
  • Pulmonary physiology including cardiopulmonary exercise testing
Research »

Another goal of the PCCM fellowship is to prepare interested trainees for a career in academic medicine. To achieve these goals, fellows identify a research mentor during the first months of their fellowship and begin planning projects.

Research activities should assist fellows in developing skills necessary for patient care, including use of evidence-based medicine, knowledge about hypothesis-driven research methodologies, integration of new technology, clinical and research derived information into patient care plans, as well as outcomes analysis.

Multiple opportunities exist for fellows to participate in clinical trials, retrospective and prospective clinical investigations, case reports, and research-education activities. In addition, fellows may devote energies to assisting with basic laboratory activities.

All fellows are encouraged to present their data at local, national or international forums and to serve as educators through lectures and conferences of medical students and ancillary healthcare providers.

Examples of active research areas include:

  • Antioxidants, sepsis and critical illness
  • Computer-based education, information technology and virtual reality
  • Lung cancer growth and prevention
  • Imaging technologies such as optical coherence tomography and laser-tissue interfaces (in concert with multidisciplinary activities at the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic)
  • Mathematical airway modeling
  • Mechanical ventilation and control of breathing
  • Pharmaceutical clinical trials
  • Pleural inflammation processes and pleural carcinomatosis
  • Quality of life and end-of-life issues
  • Critical care-based bedside ultrasound
  • Diaphragm physiology and pathophysiology in respiratory failure
  • Interventional pulmonary medicine
Educational Activities »

Regular conferences are held during fellowship to enhance and strengthen clinical learning.

Combined Conferences:

  • Weekly core curriculum lectures
  • Monthly combined base conference
  • Annual ultrasound boot camp
  • Weekly Internal Medicine Grand Rounds
  • Simulation center at UC Irvine and Long Beach Memorial

UC Irvine:

  • Bi-weekly multidisciplinary chest conference
  • Bi-weekly chest tumor board
  • Monthly tuberculosis case conference

Long Beach VA:

  • Weekly chest imaging conference
  • Weekly journal club
Our Fellows »

Class of 2021

Tamana Ahmadi:
MD – Eastern Virginia Medical School
Residency - University of Southern California

Brian Dang:
MD – New York Medical College
Residency – University of California Irvine

Walter Gribben:
MD – University of Alabama School of Medicine
Residency - Saint Louis University Hospital

David Kwon:
MD - American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
Residency - University of Nevada School of Medicine

Class of 2022

Priyanka Techchandani:
MD – Drexel University College of Medicine
Residency – University of California Davis

Bert Liu:
MD – Boston University School of Medicine
Residency - University of Southern California

Adie Kalansky:
MD - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Residency – Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati

Class of 2023

Ben Church:
MD - Northwestern University School of Medicine
Residency - University of California Irvine 

Ravi Patel:
MD - University of Miami School of Medicine
Residency - University of Southern California

Ramy Sidhom
MD - University of Colorado School of Medicine
Residency - University of California Irvine

Salary and Benefits »

Annual stipends (as of July 1, 2020) 

  • PGY-4 = $69,743.09
  • PGY-5 = $72,597.06
  • PGY-6 = $75,294.90

Vacation and sick leave — Fellows are offered four weeks of vacation and 12 days sick leave annually.

Health insurance — Fellows are provided with medical, dental and vision insurance, including coverage for their dependents (spouse/children/domestic partner) at no cost. Long-term disability insurance also is provided for fellows.

Professional liability insurance — Fellows are provided with professional liability coverage for all activities that are approved components of the fellowship program.

Licensing Stipend — Each fellow will receive full reimbursement for California medical licensure per academic year.

Educational Expenditure Stipend — Each fellow receives up to $1,500 per academic year for board study materials, conference registration/travel, journals, books, etc., as per Department of Medicine reimbursement policy.

Housing Stipend — Each fellow receives $7,000 per academic year.

Meals —Each fellow receives a meal stipend of $80 a month ($960 a year) for use at the UC Irvine Douglas Hospital cafeteria.

Whitecoats and white coat cleaning- Each fellow will be provided 2 white coats for the whole fellowship. The fellowship will also be provided a service to get their whitecoats cleaned

Application Process »

The PCCM Fellowship participates in the National Residency Match Program (NRMP) and the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Applicants must have completed at least three years of Internal Medicine training (including an internship) at a hospital recognized by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Applicants may register for NRMP online. For more information on the fellowship application process, contact the ERAS Fellowship Documents Office online or at 215-966-3940.

Please submit the following supporting documents to ERAS:

  • Dean's Letter, transcripts and Doctor of Medicine Certificate (diploma) from medical school. (The original certificate must be brought to the interview.)
  • Three letters of reference (one from the residency program director)
  • USMLE step scores 1 and 2 are required; Step 3 must be scheduled
  • CV and a personal statement

International medical school graduates must provide a copy of their visa. Those with permanent residency status or a J-1 visa must provide a current certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.

We thank you for your interest in our fellowship program.

Richard Lee, MD
Division Chief

Rami Khayat, MD
Fellowship Program Director

For more information, contact:

Jillian Meltebarger
Fellowship Coordinator   
Phone: 714-456-5413  
Email: jmelteba@uci.edu