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Program Leadership

Wang

Tommy Wang, MD, FAAP
Program Director

Dr. Tommy Wang is program director for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Wang completed his undergraduate training at UC Berkeley. Before attending medical school at Albany Medical College, he worked at NASA studying the effects of gravitation on physiology. He joined UC Irvine in 2005 as a pediatric resident, then chief resident. He currently teaches residents as an attending hospitalist at CHOC Children's Hospital. In his spare time, he plays intramural basketball with the pediatric residency team and sings karaoke.


UC Irvine pediatrician Dr. Daniel Kang

Daniel Kang, MD, FAAP
Associate Program Director

Dr. Daniel Kang is an associate program director for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Kang completed undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University and initially pursued a career in middle school sciences along with graduate studies in Education. He then attended the University of Maryland for medical school. He completed pediatric residency training at UC Irvine and served as chief resident. He currently works closely with residents as a pediatric hospitalist, as well as providing simulation experiences for procedural competency. His other primary focus is in developing the individualized curriculum. In his free time, he enjoys pretending to be a foodie and trying new restaurants.

Jennifer Lusk

Jennifer Lusk, MD, FAAP
Associate Program Director

Dr. Jennifer Lusk is an associate program director for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Lusk received her medical degree from Georgetown University. After finishing residency training at CHOC, she served as chief resident. She now works as a pediatric hospitalist at CHOC, and remains heavily invested in residency training and education, receiving multiple faculty teaching awards. She is the chair of the Clinical Competency Committee, providing guidance on resident performance. She also holds multiple positions in hospital administration. 

Dr. Michalik

David Michalik, DO
Associate Program Director

Dr. David Michalik is an associate program director for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Michalik received his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences. He completed a pediatric residency at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, followed by a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Childrens Hospital of New York at Columbia University Medical Center. He is actively engaged in clinical research projects involving viral infections, particularly Rotavirus, Varicella Zoster virus and HIV. In his free time, he backpacks and surfs.

Taylor

Candice Taylor, MD, MPH, FAAP
Associate Program Director

Dr. Candice Taylor is an associate program director for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She is also a Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor and general pediatrician with the UCI School of Medicine and UCI Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center. She is from Southern California and completed undergraduate training at UCLA and graduate training in the UCLA School of Public Health. She completed medical school at the Keck School of Medicine at USC and subsequently returned to UCLA for pediatric residency and served as a chief resident. She then went to NYU/Bellevue Hospital Center to complete an academic general pediatric fellowship with a focus in primary care research and clinical investigation. Since joining as faculty with the UCI School of Medicine in September 2013, she has received recognition as a pediatric fellow with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, an Orange County Champion Provider on the topic of obesity with the California Department of Public Health, and a Super Doctors’  Southern California Rising Star. Prior to joining the UCI-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program as Associate Program Director she also served as Director of the Patient-Centered Clerkship in the UCI School of Medicine. Her public health and research interests include physical activity promotion, early childhood obesity prevention, and disparities in health. As Associate Program Director her areas of focus include the promotion of primary-care and community-engaged training opportunities, advocacy, and diversity in medicine. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her two sons, dancing, playing basketball, and writing poetry. 


Becky Schneider

Misha Khalighi, MD
Chief Resident

Dr. Misha Khalighi is a chief resident for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She earned a degree in neuroscience at the University of Michigan and went to medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. Her passions include music, hiking, food (particularly pizza), and trying to get through the Game of Thrones books. She has a strong interest in resident and medical education and will be applying for pediatric sports medicine fellowship this upcoming year.

Jenna Timboe

Pina Patel, MD
Chief Resident

Dr. Pina Patel is a chief resident for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She attended UC Irvine for both her undergraduate and medical studies. She will continue on to a pedatric cardiology fellowship at UCLA after chief year. As chief, she plans on enhancing resident educational conferences and career pathways. As for hobbies, she enjoys hiking, any and all beach activities, cooking and eating brunch, and traveling.

Keerti Nangia

Shruti Vora, MD
Chief Resident

Dr. Shruti Vora is a chief resident for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She completed her undergraduate training at UC Berkeley. She completed medical school at Keck School of Medicine of USC. She is looking forward to working with and teaching medical students and residents as chief. When she's not at work you can find her watching classic Hollywood movies and trying new LA restaurants with her husband.

Hung Yen

Hillary Zieve, MD
Chief Resident

Dr. Hillary Zieve is a chief resident for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She attended the University of Southern California where she received her bachelors degree in Biochemisty and minored in Medical Anthropology. She received her medical degree from UC Irvine School of Medicine. She is passionate about primary care, preventative medicine, and more specifically pediatric obesity management, nutrition, and healthy weight loss. She enjoys spending time with family, friends and her 2 dogs, Lucy and Linus. She likes staying active by hiking and going to Crossfit.


Veronica Melendez

Veronica Melendez
Residency Coordinator, UC Irvine

Veronica Melendez is the residency coordinator for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She received her bachelor's of science degree in healthcare administration from Cal State Long Beach. Mrs. Melendez was a pediatric residency coordinator at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach before becoming a residency coordinator for both the UC Irvine and UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric residency programs 2010. She likes to read, dance, play sports and spend time with her family.

Shara Riley

Shara Riley
Residency Coordinator, Miller Children's

Shara Riley is the maternal child health residency coordinator for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She has worked at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center in its graduate medical education office and previously served as coordinator for the Internal Medicine Residency Program. She has held multiple positions in graduate medical education before joining Pediatrics. She enjoys running, raising her son, reading and writing.

Maria Espitia

Maria Espitia
Residency Coordinator Assistant

Maria Espitia is a residency coordinator assistant for the UC Irvine-CHOC Pediatric Residency Program. She joined the program in 2014, bringing with her a variety of corporate and office management skills. Previously, she served as human resource assistant and accounting assistant at USA National Title Co. She enjoys shopping for great deals and spending time with her family.

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