Liver Transplantation Anesthesiology Fellowship

Program Overview

Why do a Liver Transplantation Anesthesiology Fellowship at UCLA?

  • The UCLA Liver Transplant program was established in 1984 by Dr. Ronald Busuttil. At that time, UCLA was the only liver transplant center west of the Mississippi River. Over 6500 liver transplants have been completed to date at our center.
  • In 2020, we did 172 liver transplants, and in 2019 we did 168 liver transplants.
  • Our fellows participate in 40-60 transplants per year.
  • Our patient outcomes are better than expected in critically ill patients with high MELD scores.
  • We do specialized cases including pediatrics, combined cardiothoracic surgery – liver transplant, multivisceral and intestinal transplants.
    • In 2020, our pediatric liver transplant volume rose 27.3%. Over 1060 pediatric liver transplants have been completed at our center to date.
    • Our combined cardiothoracic surgery – liver anesthesia volume continues to increase per year, with over 30 combined cases to date.
  • Fellows receive training in transesophageal echocardiography and experience for basic certification.
  • Our robust clinical research program allows fellows to start or augment their academic career.
  • Our team is involved in national transplant organizations allowing for job opportunities locally and nationally.
  • The salary reflects a blended role as fellow and staff anesthesiologist, with the additional ability to moonlight.
  • Fellows learn from our fantastic team of internationally recognized leaders in liver transplant anesthesia, department leaders, and anesthesiologists recognized for clinical and teaching excellence.
Liver Transplant Anesthesia faculty team smiling.

For questions or to submit an application, please contact our fellowship director:

Christine Nguyen-Buckley, MD
[email protected]

Fellowship Goals

Drs Christine Myo Bui and Courtney Scott with masks.
  • The primary goal of the one-year liver transplantation anesthesiology fellowship is to prepare fellows for an academic career that focuses on the perioperative care of high-acuity abdominal organ transplants (liver, small bowel and multi-visceral) and non-transplant surgery for patients with hepatic/pancreatic/biliary disease.
  • The fellow will gain experience in TEE image acquisition and interpretation, a key requirement for basic certification in echocardiography.
  • The research goals will focus on research in transplantation, transfusion and coagulation monitoring. The fellow will be given time to attend the annual International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) perioperative (one-day) meeting accompanying the ASA annual meeting, and the ILTS International Congress (2½-day meeting). Educational echo, blood bank, and liver transplant ICU rotations supplement operating room learning.
  • The fellowship is not regulated by the ACGME/RRC. Thus, regularly scheduled time working as an attending in the main operating room will be included. Given that the participant will be providing some clinical services as an attending, their salary as a fellow will be supplemented to reflect this blended role.
  • The focus for the first portion of the year will be on autonomy and in the second portion of the year, the focus will shift to include increased resident supervision and the acquisition of teaching skills.

Our Fellows

Meet our Liver Transplantation Anesthesiology Fellow Physicians

Year Fellow Residency Post-Fellowship Employment
2022-23 Ruth Bickett-Hickok, MD  University of Michigan   
2021-22 Hai Pham, MD, MS UCSF Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT 
  Mansi Sheth, MD  University of Michigan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 
2020-21 Courtney Scott, DO Mayo Florida Mayo Florida, Jacksonville, FL
  Colby Tanner, MD UCLA UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
2018-19 Elaine Boydston, MD Mount Sinai UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  Jeieung Park, MD University of British Columbia

Vancouver General Hospital / University of British Columbia Hospital,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

2017-18 Govind Rangrass, MD Washington University
in St Louis
University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL
2016-17 Christine Nguyen-Buckley, MD UCLA UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
2014-15 Brent Ershoff, MD, MSCR UCLA UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

A Sample of Academic Work Produced by our Fellows:

Liver Transplant Fellowship in an operating room.
  • Bui CCM, Tanner C, Nguyen-Buckley C, Scovotti J, Wray C, Xia VW. Combined Cardiothoracic Surgery and Liver Transplantation Versus Isolated Liver Transplantation. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020 Aug 26:S1053-0770(20)30846-6. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2020.08.051. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32951998.
  • Wong-Lucio P, Moreno-Franco P, Canabal J, Lowman P, Scott C, Croome K, Chadha R. Post-Cardiac Injury Following Liver Transplantation for Budd-Chiari Syndrome. Prog Transplant. 2020 Dec 4:1526924820978594. doi: 10.1177/1526924820978594. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33272084.
  • Boydston E. International Liver Transplantation Congress 2019. ROTEM Values Vary Among Liver Transplant Recipients According to Etiology of Liver Failure and MELD Score.
  • Park J. International Liver Transplantation Congress 2019. Early postoperative myocardial injury is associated with perioperative cardiovascular complications after liver transplantation.
  • Nguyen-Buckley C and Wong M. Anesthesia for Intestinal Transplantation. In: Anesthesiology Clinics. Elsevier 2017
  • Nguyen-Lee J, Nguyen-Buckley C and Bagdagsarjana A. Liver and Gastrointestinal Pharmacology. In: Hemmings H and Egan T. Pharmacology and Physiology for Anesthesia. 2nd Elsevier 2017