Integrated/Independent Vascular Surgery Training Program

Program Description

The USC program in vascular surgery offers a six-year (5 clinical, 1 research) integrated residency as well as a two-year (5+2) fellowship for those residents who have completed a residency in general surgery. Surgical training is conducted at the Keck Medical Center, Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, and at community hospitals located in the San Gabriel Valley.

The integrated track provides a progressive learning experience for the first or second graduate year (PGY 1-2) residents, which focuses on core elements that are relevant to vascular surgery. The PGY 3 resident experience includes core general surgery, vascular diagnostics and vascular medicine. Upon completion of PGY 3, the vascular surgery resident spends a year of focused research in areas of interest to vascular surgeons. The research year is very flexible which allows the resident to design an experience commensurate with his/her long-term career goals. This is followed by PGY 4-5, where the resident masters the knowledge and skills necessary to be an expert vascular and endovascular surgeon. Integrated PGY 4-5 participants are considered senior residents in the program. PGY 4 is focused on providing an in-depth endovascular and noninvasive vascular laboratory experience that is enhanced by clinical experiences at participating hospitals, where the resident performs a broad array of vascular surgery. PGY 5 is structured around open vascular surgery, ambulatory care and managing the inpatient care at participating hospitals.
For residents who go through the independent track, the goal of the program is to provide the resident with the knowledge, skills and professional behavior necessary to be an expert open vascular and endovascular surgeon. PGY 6 is focused on providing a thorough and in-depth endovascular experience that is enhanced by clinical experiences at participating hospitals, where the resident performs a broad array of open and endovascular vascular procedures. PGY 7 is structured around open vascular surgery, ambulatory care, vascular diagnostics and inpatient care at participating hospitals.

Program Overview Video


The Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy was established in 1995 with two dedicated vascular surgery faculty. The Division has grown to include twelve faculty who provide vascular and podiatric surgical services at six hospitals in the greater Los Angeles area. Embedded in the Division are two beacon programs: USC Comprehensive Aortic Center and the USC Limb Preservation Center which is part of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA).

The USC Comprehensive Aortic Center oversees the regional aortic transfer program which brings close to 300 patients per year to Keck Medical Center with acute aortic syndromes including type A and B dissections and ruptured aortic aneurysms. Complementing this large aortic experience, is a clinical research program which includes an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) program for branch and fenestrated endograft treatment of aortic aneurysms and dissections, participation in numerous aortic device trials and collaborative research with the Viterbi School of Engineering.

The objective of the USC Limb Preservation Center/SALSA is to eliminate preventable amputation in people with diabetes. The program is a collaborative clinical and research alliance that is dedicated to advancing care of the diabetic foot and preventing lower extremity amputations. The Center brings more than 1000 patients per year to our clinics from the Los Angeles region and around the world. Division faculty who are part of the Center are leaders in the American Limb Preservation Society (ALPS) and the Society for Vascular Surgery. DFCon, the largest annual meeting in the world dedicated to limb preservation is co-sponsored and organized by Center/Division faculty.

The above beacon programs, the excellent vascular and podiatric surgical faculty and the strong collection of unique hospital experiences, provide the resident/fellow with an outstanding clinical experience in vascular surgery. The independent USC program in vascular surgery was accredited by the Residency Review Committee in Surgery on July 1, 2000. The integrated program was granted approval in October 2010. Both programs are fully accredited and conducted through the Department of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Our program offers a robust educational curriculum. Integrated residents are initially fully immersed in the comprehensive general surgery curriculum when rotating on their core general surgery rotations. Residents during the first three years participate in the general surgery surgical simulation program, which includes protected time every week for simulation training. This simulation curriculum is differentiated by year of training and includes a PGY1 intern boot camp and progressive PGY2 and PGY3 procedural based training.

Once residents have progressed to senior status (PGY4, PGY5) and joined with the independent vascular surgery fellows the educational curriculum is focused on vascular surgery and disease. This includes weekly teaching conferences giving the residents the opportunity to go through the critical thinking necessary to adequately prepare for complex vascular cases. In addition, there are regularly scheduled journal clubs and weekly interactive didactics that mirror the major vascular textbooks. Residents also have monthly sessions in our simulation center which includes unrestricted fresh tissue dissection that gives the opportunity for preparation for open vascular exposures and procedures.


The USC vascular division is involved with every major ongoing clinical trial of advanced aortic endovascular devices.  We are currently a leading enroller in the WL Gore TAMBE trial and Thoracic Branched Endograft trial, as well as being a pilot site for the ARISE (ascending aortic stent graft), and the Terumo Relay Branch (dual arch branch) trial.  We were the nation’s leading enroller for the recently completed BEST-CLI trial.

In additional to national trials our division is a prolific contributor of outcomes-based research and innovative technique papers.  Some of the particular areas of research interest of faculty members include limb salvage, advanced endovascular aortic repair, aortic dissection, vascular trauma, treatment of mycotic aneurysms, TCAR, complex hemodialysis access management, and angiosome-based lower extremity revascularization.

Our division has been awarded numerous research grants including a recent R01 grant.  We collaborate with the Department of Engineering on several translational research projects and medical device projects.  Our division has podium presentations at every national, regional, and local vascular meeting as well as at national and international surgical society meetings and trauma society meetings.  Applicants with a strong interest in research will have no shortage of mentorship and projects to work on during their training.

Fred A. Weaver, MD, MMM
Professor of Surgery
Chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy

Steven G. Katz, MD
Professor of Clinical Surgery
Program Director General Surgery Residency, Huntington Hospital

Vincent L. Rowe, MD
Professor of Clinical Surgery
Program Director Vascular Surgery Integrated and Independent Residencies, Co-Director USC Limb Preservation Center/SALSA

David G. Armstrong, PhD, DPM
Professor of Clinical Surgery
Co-Director USC Limb Preservation Center/ SALSA

Sukgu M. Han, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery
Co-Director of The USC Comprehensive Aortic Center

Gregory A. Magee, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery
Director of Vascular Surgery Research

Christian J. Ochoa, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
Associate Program Director Vascular Surgery Integrated and Independent Residencies

William M. Lee, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of the USC/Verdugo Venous Center

Kenneth R. Ziegler, MD
Assistant Professor of Surgery
Chief of the Vascular Service at LAC+USC MC

Miguel F. Manzur, MD
Assistant Professor Surgery

Laura Shin, PhD, DPM
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery

Tanzim Khan, DPM
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery


Keck Medical Center

Keck Medical Center (KMC) includes a 401-bed university-affiliated teaching hospital as well as the 60 bed Norris Cancer Institute. KMC is located on the Health Sciences Campus which includes the USC Keck School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy. In any given year, over 18,000 outpatient and inpatient procedures are performed at KMC. As a tertiary/quaternary referral center for California, Nevada and Arizona, KMC provides care for the most acute and complex medical and surgical problems. In 2020, Keck Medical Center was number 18 in the US News and World Report hospital rankings. Both The USC Comprehensive Aortic Center and the Limb Preservation/SALSA Programs are located at KMC.

At any given time at KMC there are two senior vascular surgery residents/fellows as well as a PGY3 and PGY1 surgical resident. The senior residents/fellows are responsible for daily management of the vascular surgery service which includes a high percentage of patients requiring complex and re-do vascular surgery procedures. Vascular surgery faculty also perform a wide range of endovascular procedures, including aortic stent grafts, percutaneous angioplasty/stents and diagnostic angiography. The residency team is also fully integrated into the activities of The USC Comprehensive Aortic Center and Limb Preservation/SALSA programs. KMC has an active ICAVL accredited noninvasive vascular laboratory directed and managed by USC vascular surgery faculty.

LAC+USC Medical Center

The new LAC+USC Medical Center (“County”) opened its doors in 2008 and sits adjacent to the historic General Hospital building in an area just northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The facility encompasses 1.5 million square feet, with 600 inpatient beds and 132 Emergency Department beds.
A few unique features of this hospital are listed below:

  • One of the busiest level 1 trauma centers in the nation and treats over 28% of trauma victims in the region
  • Employs approximately 1,000 interns and residents, 3,000 nurses at all levels, and trains several hundreds of students in various healthcare professions
  • Physician/Surgeon attending staff are faculty of the University of Southern California
  • Prides itself on serving any patient that comes through its doors regardless of socioeconomic or insurance status

The senior vascular resident along with a PGY3 and PGY1 resident manage a busy vascular service with a broad spectrum of vascular disease, including patients with atherosclerosis, embolic/thrombotic disorders, arteritis and traumatic vascular injuries. The service is fully integrated with the Division’s podiatric surgery faculty as well as the vascular medicine service of LAC+USC Medical Center allowing for comprehensive care of the vascular patient.

Huntington Hospital

At Huntington Hospital, the senior resident/fellow is exposed to a large volume of open reconstructive and endovascular procedures. The resident team consists of a PGY 1 and PGY 2 or 3 surgery resident along with the vascular resident/fellow. The hospital has an active emergency room and is a Level II Trauma Center. As the major provider of acute care services in the west San Gabriel Valley, a diverse experience in vascular conditions of an urgent and emergent nature is available. Huntington Hospital has a busy noninvasive vascular laboratory in which the USC vascular surgery faculty participate.

Methodist Hospital of Arcadia

Methodist is a 348-bed community hospital located in the San Gabriel Valley with a busy emergency room and stroke center. At this site trainees will encounter a high volume of cases centered on dialysis access and peripheral arterial disease, giving the trainee the opportunity to fine tune the basic and fundamentals of vascular surgery.

USC/Verdugo Venous Center

The outpatient center is home to our venous program which manages ambulatory venous disease. Residents/fellows have the opportunity to learn the techniques necessary to perform all the current techniques for minimally invasive management of venous disease. Integrated within the center is an extension of our noninvasive vascular lab. Additionally, the center is located adjacent to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital that has an active wound care center.

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Rancho Los Amigos is both an acute care and rehabilitation hospital in the DHS LA County health system. The limb preservation program is staffed by our podiatric faculty, who operate at this site for limb salvage surgical procedures. The LAC+USC vascular team works closely with the limb preservation staff at Rancho to help create a multidisciplinary limb preservation program with a focus on functional outcomes. Interfacility transfers occur frequently between the two sites to address circulatory disorders versus musculoskeletal impairments at the respective sites.


Integrated Vascular Surgery Residency Training Program

PGY 3 6/24 – 7/30 7/31 – 8/27 8/28 – 9/24 9/25 – 10/22 10/23 – 11/26 11/27 – 12/31 1/01 – 1/28 1/29 – 2/25 2/26 – 3/25 3/26 – 4/22 4/23 – 5/20 5/2 – 6/23
Vascular
LAC
Vascular
LAC
Vascular
LAC
ACS (A) Vacation ACS(B)
LAC
Surg Onc
LAC
Vascular
Keck
ACS (A) CV Consult ACS (A) Transplant
Keck
PGY 2 6/24 – 7/30 7/31 – 8/27 8/28 – 9/24 9/25 – 10/22 10/23 – 11/26 11/27 – 12/31 1/01 – 1/28 1/29 – 2/25 2/26 – 3/25 3/26 – 4/22 4/23 – 5/20 5/21 – 6/23
GI/Gen Surg ACS (A) ACS (C) VAS
Keck
HBS/MIS Cardiac
LAC
Cardiac
LAC
Vascular
Keck
Vascular
Keck
Cardiac
LAC
SCC
Keck
ACS (D)
PGY 1 6/24 – 7/24 7/25 – 8/21 8/22 – 9/18 9/19 – 10/16 10/1 – 11/13 11/14 – 12/11 12/12 – 1/8/18 1/09 – 2/05 2/06 – 3/05 3/06 – 4/02 4/03 – 4/30 5/01 – 5/28 5/29 – 6/23
Vasc
Keck
CTS
Keck
Night
Keck
HBS
Keck
Thoracic
Keck
CTS
Keck
ICU
LAC
Burn
LAC
Vascular
LAC
ACS (B) Colorectal
Keck
Vacation Plastics
Keck

Independent Residency Training Program Rotation Schedule

#
Resident July/August Sept/Oct Nov/Dec Jan/Feb March/April May/June
(5+2) Fellow LAC Keck Keck HMH Keck LAC
Early Specialization Track Fellow Keck HMH Keck LAC HMH Keck
Integrated Resident HMH Keck LAC Keck Keck HMH
(5+2) Fellow Keck LAC HMH Keck LAC Keck
General Surgery – PGY 5 Elective Rotation LAC

The Integrated Cardiothoracic Training Program at USC is currently accepting applications for two residents per year and accepts application through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). You must also register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).

Our requirements for application include:

  • Common application form
  • Personal statement
  • Medical school transcripts
  • MSPE/dean’s letter
  • Letters of recommendation (minimum of three)
  • Photograph
  • USMLE transcripts
  • ECFMG status report – foreign graduates only

Friday, December 4, 2020
(All interviews will be virtual)
Mitzi V. Clendening
Residency/Fellowship Administrator
Division of Surgical Education
Department of Surgery
1520 San Pablo Street, Suite 4300
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: (323) 442-7824
Fax: (323) 442-6887
Email: mitzi.clendening@med.usc.edu
Vincent L. Rowe, MD
Vascular Surgery Program Director
Email: vincent.rowe@med.usc.edu