For medical students considering our program

See below for answers to your most frequently-asked questions!

Why we believe UCLA’s anesthesiology residency is the best!

By Judi Turner, MD, PhD

As you consider, revise, and refine your rank order list of anesthesiology residency programs, we want to take a moment of your time to share why we think our residency program is the place you want to be for the next four years. UCLA combines the advantages of:

  • Distinguished faculty members who are current on the latest in techniques and technology, and enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring;
  • Outstanding research opportunities in world-class laboratories and clinical settings;
  • Wonderful residents in the classes ahead of you who will help guide you through the challenges ahead, as well as show you some of the many ways to enjoy Los Angeles;
  • A strong tradition of supporting residents, fellows, and faculty members as they develop their careers – in academic medicine, top private practices, and leadership in state and national professional societies;
  • A climate where you can enjoy sunny days even in midwinter, and you’ll never have to scrape ice off your windshield at 6 a.m.

On our website, you’ll find more information about affordable places to live, research opportunities, community involvement, overseas rotations, and much more. If you have questions, please let us know! We hope to see you at UCLA.

Resident researchers shine in the spotlight

Residents at ASA

UCLA's Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine is a premier destination for resident research. Alumnus Soban Umar, MD, PhD, has been appointed Residency Research Coordinator to oversee the department’s growing cadre of award-winning researchers.  

”I work closely with the residents and the program to identify research opportunities, help find possible mentors, ensure protected research time, and follow up on the progress of research projects,” says Dr. Umar.

Dr. Umar’s work with residents is informed by his own cutting-edge research. He led the cardiovascular research team that published “The Y Chromosome Plays a Protective Role in Experimental Hypoxic Pulmonary Hypertension” in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in September, and co-authored the abstract “Oxidized Lipids: A Critical Role in Pulmonary Hypertension Pathogenesis,” which was selected for “Best of Abstracts: Basic Science” at the 2017 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) conference.

Ever year, our residents made exemplary showings at national conferences. At the ASA, a number of residents are invited each year to present their research and case reports. At the Western Anesthesia Residents Conference (WARC) in Portland, they were awarded both the 1st and 2nd place oral presentations as well as the 2nd place poster presentation. UCLA Anesthesiology residents have also won competitive funding from the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER).

Our residents have scored prestigious journal publications as well. Delara Brandal, MD, one of our 2017-18 Chief Residents, published “Impact of enhanced recovery after surgery and opioid-free anesthesia on opioid prescriptions at discharge from the hospital,” as a first author in the November 2017 issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia. Pamela Chia, MD, as a CA-3 resident, was one of two lead authors of “Autonomic nervous system involvement in pulmonary arterial hypertension,” published in Respiratory Research.

To encourage this track record, the department sponsors the Anesthesiology Resident Research Pathway (ARRP) and Anesthesiology Resident Scholars Program (ARSP). The ARRP is an intensive 11-month research opportunity for approved residents. The ARSP is a competitive 60-month program that includes an additional $10,000 per year stipend, and is intended to train future clinician scientists dedicated to advancing research in anesthesiology.

Perhaps the best testament to the department’s research climate is our ability to retain our resident researchers as faculty. At UCLA, “I was able to get research time that allowed me to present my research at conferences including ASA and WARC, publish my research in peer-reviewed journals and secure funding from American Thoracic Society (ATS) and FAER to start my career as faculty,” says Dr. Umar.  “As a junior faculty, I was offered protected research time and lab space to establish my research. UCLA Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine offered me a unique opportunity to get the best clinical training and research mentorship during residency.”

To learn more about our residents’ research, read about the UCLA Scientific Evening and the ASA Annual Meeting.

Affordable housing in LA?

It’s easy to see the appeal of SoCal’s pricey neighborhoods if you’ve ever binge-watched Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. Apartment-hunting in the same locales on a resident’s salary...maybe not so much fun. Don’t despair. Thanks to Mar Vista and Sawtelle, two low-profile, high-charm neighborhoods within 15 minutes of UCLA, you can enjoy the best of LA without having to sacrifice your whole paycheck.

Mar Vista Farmers Market

Mar Vista

Mar Vista boasts a large concentration of residents ages 19 to 34 with advanced degrees. The diverse, family-friendly area was known as “The Lima Bean Belt of the Nation” in the 1920s. Farmlands eventually gave way to family-owned coffee shops and thrift stores, many of which remain today.

Mar Vista borders Venice on the west and Culver City on the south, two of the city’s most bustling night-life destinations. Mar Vista, on the other hand, beckons residents outdoors. The Mar Vista Recreation Center features soccer fields, a swimming pool, and a hockey rink. Dog owners enjoy nearby Airport Park, which has two dog runs for larger and smaller breeds to play off-leash.

After picking up your weekly supply of avocadoes and fresh flowers at the Sunday Farmer’s Market, you can enjoy a leisurely brunch at Rustic Kitchen, a family-owned spot on Centinela Avenue, or indulge in gourmet scoops at Small Batch Ice Cream, owned by Top Chef’s Brooke Williams.

As Tami Pardee of Halton Pardee Properties told the LA Times, Mar Vista “is a beautiful little place…there are all these little gems in the neighborhood, like the Farmer's Market and the Oasis Healing Center.” Rents for studios and one-bedroom apartments start at $1,500. Families can also take advantage of the area’s strong school system.  


Sawtelle, just west of the 405 freeway, was settled in the late 1890s to provide housing for workers and visitors to the nearby National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (now the VA Hospital). The enclave welcomed Japanese immigrants shut out of nearby Bel-Air and Beverly Hills, and became known as Little Osaka.

In the 2000s, Sawtelle Boulevard’s original nurseries and family markets transformed into what Eater LA calls a “…bustling dining hub rife with noodle shops, boba milk tea, desserts, and karaoke lounges.” UCLA favorites include Hide for affordable sushi and Tsujita for ramen that the LA Weekly calls “a revelation.”

The area has quieter destinations, as well. It is home to the West Angeles Buddhist Temple, known for its Japanese Garden. Enjoy a Saturday afternoon at Rockreation, a community-oriented climbing gym, or the Landmark Theatres, one of LA’s most comfortable art movie houses.

Studios and one-bedrooms also start at $1,500. Venture a bit west of Sawtelle Boulevard and you’ll find some of the most affordable single-family homes on the west side.

To learn more about affordable housing options in Los Angeles, visit UCLA’s Housing Resources.

Residents serve communities near and far

China and Uganda Rotations

Nicole Yin at the Great Wall of China

Each year, select CA-3 residents perform a month-long clinical and educational rotation at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine (SAHZU) in Hangzhou, China, a populous city in the Zhejiang Province in east China. SAHZU is a robust teaching hospital that sees over 60,000 surgical cases each year. Nikki Yin, MD, recently returned from the rotation, and reflected on it in an article for our Global Healthcare Initiatives webpage.

Dr. Yin wrote:  "I was able  to witness first-hand the incredible efficiency and work ethic of the Chinese physicians in taking care of their vast numbers of patients, both in the operating room and in the pain management clinics."  She lived in a city with a UNESCO World Heritage Site, West Lake, hiked along the famous Dragon Well tea fields, and had time to travel to Beijing to climb the Great Wall.

"The generosity and kindness of the Chinese people I met in Hangzhou, and throughout my travels, were genuine and truly remarkable. China has such a long and rich cultural history that could be felt in every aspect of daily life. As a visitor, I could only begin to appreciate it all. I am extremely thankful to our department and program leadership for offering this opportunity. I am also tremendously grateful for the doctors and staff at SAHZU for receiving me so warmly, and allowing me to grow personally and professionally from this experience," Dr. Yin concluded.

Sam Hong, MD, and Sophia Poorsattar, MD, had the opportunity as CA-3 residents to travel to Uganda with Medicine for Humanity to care for women at the Centre for Gynecologic and Fistula Care. Read more about their experiences giving anesthesia in a challenging environment: "Giving anesthesia in Uganda".

Operation of Hope

Faculty member Tiffany Williams, MD, PhD, traveled to Harare, Zimbabwe while she was a UCLA Cardiovascular Fellow for a 10-day mission trip at Harare Central Hospital with Operation of Hope. Dr. Williams’ research focuses on infectious diseases and public health. After the intensity of residency, she was eager to practice in a setting engaged in the questions that inspire her research. In Harare, she performed pediatric anesthesia for cleft palate and lip operations.

How did her trip impact her work once home? “It makes you appreciate our facilities, resources, and the support we have. But it also makes you realize you can do quality care with less, if you’re deliberate and thoughtful,” Dr. Williams said.

Project Lead the Way

Our department has a unique partnership with the California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) to support STEM education through an innovative four-year curriculum developed by Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit organization that trains teachers and provides resources to “engage students, one medical mystery at a time.”

We support PLTW by sending residents to visit classrooms in three local Los Angeles high schools to talk to students about anesthesiology and healthcare careers. Our residents bring “Harvey,” a teaching mannequin, so students can practice endotracheal intubation. They demonstrate how to start IVs, and guide students to identify anatomic structures with ultrasound. This program is now in its third year, and is thoroughly enjoyed by residents and students alike. Last spring, residents and faculty welcomed area high school students and guided them on a tour of our Simulation Center; we plan to continue this as an annual event.

Equity, diversity, and inclusion

Prospective residents learn about UCLA’s commitment to diversity at the annual day-long campus Open House for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). UCLA’s Office of Graduate Medical Education and the DGSOM Office of Diversity Affairs host the event to give prospective residents the opportunity to learn the initiatives that the university and health system employ to promote an inclusive environment. 


Applicants from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine are encouraged to attend, along with everyone who is committed to understanding the implications of race, identity politics, and power while working to improve access to medicine for disadvantaged populations. Future Open House dates are listed on the Office of Graduate Medical Education event calendar. Prospective residents can learn about equity, diversity and inclusion resources on the UCLA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Website. Read More >

Photos, from top:

Dr. Umar accepts the Association of University Anesthesiologists Junior Faculty Award; The Mar Vista Farmers’ Market; Dr. Yin  on the Great Wall of China; UCLA/DGSOM students at traditional "white coat" ceremony.