Prospective Residents

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Welcome from the Program Director

It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program. Choosing the correct program for your postgraduate training is a crucial, pivotal moment in your career. It will have a ripple effect on every aspect of your future professional and family life. Our highly competitive program deserves your attention.

The UNLV School of Medicine Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology is a four-year obstetrics and gynecologic residency. We are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Our program has a robust clinical experience with training sites at university, private and military hospital settings including University Medical Center of Las Vegas, Sunrise Medical Center of Las Vegas, Veterans Administration Hospital and Nellis Air Force Base Hospital. Our outpatient clinics include the UNLV Maternal and Fetal Medicine Centers, resident continuity clinic at Women’s Healthcare Center, Fertility Center of Las Vegas, Veterans Administration Hospital, Nellis Air Force Base and private practice settings with local physicians within the Las Vegas community.

Our intention is to recruit a diverse group of passionate physicians for our residency program. We offer a collegial, friendly environment that allows our residents to excel in the practice of compassionate medicine. Our faculty are dedicated to patient care and resident success. We seek residents that thrive in a climate of fast paced patient care requiring collaboration and mutual support. We are a highly competitive match program, due to the reputation and quality of our post-graduate education, including clinical care and academic excellence.

Residents successful within our program thrive with the joys and challenges of diverse patient populations. We have both county, indigent, military, immigrant, and private patient populations. The tertiary obstetrics services at our hospitals have approximately 5000 deliveries per year. The high volume and high-risk nature of our program allows us to comprehensively train Ob- Gyn, Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine residents.

We seek applicants devoted and skillful in teaching, as we embrace our mission to also provide the highest quality clinical rotations for medical students.

Upon graduation our residents have extensive knowledge as well as a vast surgical experience in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. Our current pass rate for the written boards is 100% for the last three years. For further information please feel free to contact us.

John Y. Phelps M.D., J.D., LLM
Professor & Program Director, Obstetrics and Gynecology


1701 W. Charleston Blvd Suite 290
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89102

Please contact us about questions you may have regarding your application to the program and interview.

Administrative Office: 702-671-2300
Residency Program: 702-671-2385
Fax: 702-671-2333

A Welcome from the Department Chair

Dear Applicant,

On behalf of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, I would like to welcome you to the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency. Our goal is to provide the foundation for a successful career in obstetrics and gynecology and our many subspecialties. Medicine is complex and we strive to provide you with the skills necessary to provide excellent care for women. Our approach to training places an emphasis on excellence in patient care, development of critical thinking, advanced technical skills and promotion of an approach to medicine recognizing the need for life-long learning. We do this in a professional environment that emphasizes respect, team building and putting the patient first.

Our residents work at the University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and their associated clinics. We also work with the Nellis air force base faculty and their patients. We are able to provide an experience with a diverse patient population and all of the OB/GYN subspecialties are represented and provide a robust experience for the resident. Although much of the educational curriculum and the associated rotations are set by the ACGME, we are able to individualize each resident’s experience to better prepare them for their career beyond residency. We pride ourselves on the relationship of our faculty with our residents and recognize the importance of mentorship. Career development is fostered with exposure to both academic and community resources, allowing competencies to develop that will be required in their career.

Las Vegas is one of the world’s most famous and unique livable cities, offering something for everyone. For the outdoor enthusiast, Las Vegas enjoys an average of 293 days of sunshine each year. Red Rock Canyon features hiking trails and a thirteen mile scenic drive. Excellent skiing is available at Mount Charleston and southern Utah. The area offers golf, hiking, NASCAR racing, horseback riding, boating and camping and seven national parks within a day’s drive. Las Vegas also offers numerous entertainment opportunities and cultural events including the Art District, Smith Center, Division 1 collegiate athletics, and superb dining experiences. Professional sports are now in Las Vegas and the town has embraced the Vegas Golden Knights with great enthusiasm. The new Raiders stadium is being built on the strip and NFL football is soon to arrive with vigorous ticket sales already being seen. I am proud of what we have to offer the candidate looking for obstetrics and gynecology training. We have a strong and diverse program and am happy to see your interest. Come and take a look at us, you will not be disappointed.

James M. Alexander, MD
Chairman and Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Program Overview


At the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics/ Gynecology in Las Vegas we provide a structured educational experience that prepares residents to go forward and improve the health of women or enter advanced programs for further study.

Our program’s goal -- “to improve all aspects of residency education in obstetrics and gynecology; to promote and maintain high standards for obstetric and gynecologic education and women's health care; and to undertake projects and adopt guidelines to carry out its objectives” -- is .contained in the mission statement of Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG). Our core curriculum follows educational objectives set forth by CREOG.

The objectives reflect a patient-oriented, problem-solving approach with a more definitive delineation of the knowledge base and level of surgical skill necessary to complete a residency in obstetrics and gynecology.

The problem-solving style is based on everyday encounters where physicians are called upon to respond to particular needs of their patients.The basic philosophy of the program is dedicated to providing each resident with a balanced education and training in obstetrics and gynecology. Resident physicians have the opportunity to acquire and develop fundamental knowledge and clinical management skills with progressive professional and physician-patient relationships.

We desire our residency program to produce graduates with the optimum understanding and competency required to practice obstetrics and gynecology in a prudent and professional manner. Gynecologic oncology experience is obtained during the senior years. Special training in family planning and OB/GYN-AIDS patients is available in federal grant supported clinics.

Maternal-fetal medicine and reproductive endocrinology rotations are integral components of the first three resident years. Ultrasonography is a significant component of the maternal-fetal medicine and the gynecology rotations. Genetics and patient counseling skills are learned during the maternal-fetal medicine rotations.

Resident physicians participate in educating third and fourth-year medical students. Students rotate through the department during their third year clerkship in obstetrics and gynecology and their fourth year electives. Residents mentor students and junior residents during daily ward rounds on the obstetrics and gynecology services. Lifetime continued education is emphasized.

Residents have research rotations to learn the basic tools of clinical projects. They are assigned a mentor to assist initiation of clinical or basic research. Third-year residents are required to complete a publishable research project and present the completed research paper at the University Paper Day.



First Year (PGY-1)

The focus of year I is to develop skills needed to effectively manage normal and high-risk obstetric patients. The resident learns to perform deliveries, cesarean sections and manage medical complications of pregnancy. The resident also rotates on these services; one month on the Medical Intensive Care Unit; one month in the Neonatal ICU; one month on Maternal Fetal Medicine for intense training in Obstetric ultrasound; one month of GYN; 3 months of Night Float; Continuity Clinic starts in the first year and provides experience in ambulatory primary and preventive health care.

Second Year (PGY-2)

Education in the second year emphasizes medical and surgical gynecology. Participation in gynecologic surgery and postoperative care is introduced. Several months are dedicated to the gynecology service where experience includes: primary and preventive care, ambulatory problems, ultrasonography, gynecologic surgery, emergency gynecology and management of outpatient women’s health care and one month or Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Several months of “Night Float” gives more advanced exposure to emergency GYN and obstetric patients, always with senior resident and attending guidance.

Third Year (PGY-3)

Subspecialty areas are emphasized this year. The resident evaluates new urologic, oncologic patients. They participate with subspecialty faculty. The resident has two months on the Obstetric service as Senior Resident. Several months are spent on the Oncology Service. Specific rotations are spent on Reproductive Endocrinology and Maternal Fetal medicine. There is a one-month of Elective time where the resident can choose something of their interest. The length of individual rotations can vary depending on service need and resident preference.

Fourth Year (PGY-4)

The senior year is divided equally among all Chiefs. The GYN Chief performs complicated surgical procedures, including vaginal, laparoscopic, laser and pelvic reconstructive cases. The GYN Chief is responsible for all patients admitted to the GYN service. The Obstetric Chief is in charge of labor, delivery and the perinatal unit. The Clinic Chief organizes and directs the Outpatient facility. A Chief Resident will be designated for administrative duties such as schedules, delegation of residents, interaction with hospital administration, and student clerkship rotations.

All four years have their outpatient clinics. The first year is an introduction to the clinic and starting to build their patient base, by the second year they will have their own patients to see on an ongoing basis.


Residents have research rotations to learn the basic tools of clinical projects. They are assigned a mentor to assist initiation of clinical or basic research. Third-year residents are required to complete a publishable research project and present the completed research paper at the University Paper Day in the Spring of their third year.

Program Leadership

Program Leadership

James M. Alexander, MD

Professor & Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

James Alexander
Phone: 702-671-2300
Fax: 702-671-2333

Marsha Matsunaga Kirgan, M.D.

Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Marsha Matsunaga Kirgan
Phone: 702-944-2805

John Y. Phelps, MD, JD, LLM

Professor & Program Director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

John Phelps, M.D.
Phone: 702-671-2385

How To Apply

All first-year candidates are accepted via the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP 2028220C0) Applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Services (ERAS) only.

Selection and Interview Process

  • To be eligible candidates must have graduated from a medical school listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools by the time of their proposed residency start date.
  • Applicants must be a US Citizen, Green Card holder, or be on a J visa.
  • We will not consider an application with more than 2 attempts on the USMLE or COMLEX
  • We require USMLE or COMLEX Steps 1 and 2 (both parts) be passed before we will review an application.
  • We will only consider applications with no more than five years elapsed since last formal training or full-unrestricted license to practice medicine in the U.S.
  • A complete application packet must include the following items posted to ERAS before we will review the application
    • ERAS Application
    • Personal Statement
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Med School Transcript
    • USMLE/COMLEX Scores (Step 1 and 2)
    • Photograph
    • Three letters of reference (one from chair is a plus, but is not required)
    • ECFMG Certificate (if applicable)
  • For interview consideration, documentation and forms must be complete by November 1st of the current year. Please contact the program coordinator at 702-671-2385 for more information.

Selection Process

  • All candidates are reviewed through ERAS. Documents sent through email are not considered part of the application.
  • An Application Review Committee considers ERAS applications for interview selection. They decide suitability of applicants for interview by ranking them based upon academic, personal and reference credentials.
  • Selected candidates are interviewed by the program director, department chair, faculty and PGY 3 residents. Candidates will have "separate time" with residents at a casual gathering the night before their interview.
  • When all interviews are complete, the faculty and residents meet to rank all applicants with final approval by the Program Director. Critical determinants for selection are academic accomplishments, attitude, personal and communication qualities, enthusiasm, interest and knowledge about the program, and experiences and interests outside of medicine.
  • The program utilizes the NRMP exclusively.


  • Interviews days are typically in November and December and run from 7:00 am – 1:30 pm. Dinner with our current residents is scheduled the evening before each interview day. Please plan your travel arrangements accordingly.
  • The program observes the affirmative action/equal opportunity and anti-discrimination policies of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the selection process.