School of Medicine

Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship

The UC Irvine Health School of Medicine's Hospitalist Program offers two positions annually in our Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship program.

Our Palliative Medicine faculty members are part of the school's Hospitalist Program.

For one year, fellows rotate through several clinical locations for training. Our fellows also take part in interactive daily interdisciplinary team (IDT) meeting/rounds with the palliative medicine team, which includes physicians, advanced practice nurses, social workers, a pharmacist and a chaplain.

Collaborating with IDT faculty members, our fellows learn to identify and address patients’ physical, medical, emotional, social, familial and spiritual needs. 

By the end of the program, fellows are able to:

  • Discuss care goals with patients and their families in an acute care community hospital
  • Work with an interdisciplinary palliative care team to provide consultations in an acute care community hospital
  • Address common ethical and legal issues as a palliative medicine consultant
  • Assist in discharge planning and determination of disposition from the hospital

View more details about our fellowship program below.

Clinical Rotations »

UCI Health


Fellows spend three (3) months of the fellowship year on inpatient consultation services at UCI Health's Douglas Hospital. The 412-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care. Ambulatory and specialty medical clinics as well as behavioral health and rehabilitation services also are available at the medical center in Orange. Our inpatient consult service sees over 1,300 patients a year.

Fellows take part in daily interdisciplinary rounds with the palliative care team, which includes attendings, residents, medical students, advanced practice nurses, social workers, a pharmacist, medical assistants and a chaplain.

Fellows are expected to collaborate with the team to identify and address patients’ physical, medical, emotional, social, familial and spiritual needs. They are responsible for managing patients in an interdisciplinary clinic setting, functioning much like attending physicians. They also are responsibile for the initial patient presentation as well as overseeing the resident and medical student presentations. Fellow also have continuity clinic at UCI Health on either Mondays or Fridays.

Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital


Fellows spend one (1) month focusing specifically on the care of seriously ill pediatric patients at Miller Children’s and Women's Hospital in Long Beach.

While on this rotation, fellows participate in scheduled, formal IDT meetings with nurse practitioners, physicians, nurses, social workers, case managers and chaplains. Fellow are expect to lead the IDT discussions.

Fellows are responsible for coordinating care between specialists, primary care pediatricians and the interdisciplinary team with the goal of providing family-centered care for these children. The fellows follow their patients into home hospice or home palliative care.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian


Fellows spend at least three (3) months on the inpatient palliative care consultation service at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, a large community medical center in Newport Beach.

While on this rotation, they participate in a formal IDT daily meeting that include physicians, an advanced practice nurse, social workers and a chaplain.  Fellows are expected to coordinate intensive whole patient care, family support and teamwork, in partnership with the referring teams. The objective is to meet the needs of patients and their families. The focus of the IDT at Hoag is communication. 

VA Long Beach Healthcare System


Fellows spend at least one (1) month at inpatient hospice unit at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.

Fellows are expected to attend the weekly meeting of the interdisciplinary team, which includes a physician, a nurse practitioner, a social worker, nurses, a psychologist, a chaplain and a recreation therapist. 

Fellows are expected to take on the role of attending physician during this meeting and to help to coordinate an interdisciplinary care plan for the patients in the inpatient unit. 

During this rotation, fellows care for patients in the hospital's inpatient hospice unit. They also participate in new inpatient consultations to determine whether patients are appropriately assigned to the hospice unit.

Fellows are expected to lead the IDT discussion and to coordinate the interdisciplinary resources appropriately.

VITAS Healthcare


Fellows spend at least two (2) months seeing hospice patients through the hospital agency VITAS Healthcare® in Orange County. Fellows participate in two (2) weekly hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT) meetings.

During the first week of rotation, fellows shadow the team physician. In subsequent weeks, fellows take on increasing responsibility for creating comprehensive, interdisciplinary hospice care plans for the patients. About half the patients are in long-term care facilities.

Fellows work under the supervision of the team physician and in conjunction with the team, which includes nurse case managers, licensed vocational nurses, chaplain/bereavement counselors, social workers and home health aides.

The goal is for fellows to take on the role of team physician by the end of the rotation.

Elective Rotation

Fellows spend one (1) month on their elective rotation. Previous fellows have selected the following: international rotation, research, interventional-chronic-ambulatory pain, ethics, integrative medicine, subspeciality away rotation.

Other examples of opportunities include: pediatric hospice/palliative care, pediatric pain management, neurocritical care, and home dialysis. We are open and flexible to meet the request and needs of the fellows.

Please click here for a sample schedule.

Current and Past Fellows »

          July 2018-June 2019

diana          rob

Diana Naderi, MD         Robert Nguyen, MD


         July 2017-June 2018           


             Amrita Sabharwal, MD


          July 2016-June 2017

 matt               ron

Matthew Jannsen, MD     Ronald McCowan, MD


           July 2015-June 2016

asher              kenny

Asher Edwards, DO         Kenneth Kim, MD


          Jan 2015-Jan 2016                 


                   Nicole Shirilla, MD

Faculty and Program Contacts »

            Solomon S. Liao, MD, FAAHPM
            UC Irvine program director


           Vincent D. Nguyen, DO, CMD
           Program director, Hoag CARES at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian


           Chalat Rajaram, MD, FACP, HMDC, CMD
           Medical director, VITAS Healthcare


           San San Wong-Lee, MD
           Section chief, Palliative Care Services, VA Long Beach Healthcare System

How to Apply »

Two fellows are accepted for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship program, which begins in July each year.

Applicants must apply through the ERAS Fellowships Documents Office.

Per the board requirements, we accept applicants from the following specilaties:

    • Internal Medicine
    • Family Medicine
    • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    • Psychiatry and Neurology
    • Anesthesiology
    • Surgery
    • Pediatrics
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Radiology
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Applicants are expected to provide letters of recommendation from:

  • A program director
  • A palliative care or hospice physician

Visa Status:

  • J-1 only

Interview Schedule:

  • Tuesdays from August-October

Early submission is recommended as interview slots may be filled prior to application deadlines.

For more information, please contact: 

Noosha Eftekharian
Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Coordinator
Phone: 714-456-5726homepage