UCLA slashes medical residents' promised housing stipend

Medical residents told the Daily Bruin they only received a fraction of the $5,000 housing stipend that administrators at the Los Angeles-based David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA assured them they would receive.

Medical school officials sent medical residents and fellows an email in February stating they would be provided with a $5,000 after-tax stipend to offset their housing costs. However, officials reportedly told residents in an August email one day before their paychecks arrived that the amount would be less than the promised $5,000. When residents received their paychecks on Aug. 31, the stipend amounted to $3,800 after taxes, according to the report.

UCLA Health, where residents typically conduct rotations, still advertises the $5,000 after-tax stipend on the website for its children's hospital.

Medical residents may be constrained in any legal efforts they may take over the situation, as the medical school's contract does not contain any provisions regarding their housing stipend.

One emergency medicine resident told the Daily Bruin he believes the medical school administration was not able to honor the full $5,000 commitment due to a financial miscalculation, and they did not intend to act with any ill will toward residents.

"There doesn't appear to have been any ill intent [on the administration's part]," the resident said to the Daily Bruin. "I'm hopeful that once [administrators have] had the time to review numbers thoroughly, they will rectify the mistake."

A UCLA Health spokesperson told the Daily Bruin officials are looking into the situation, but cannot access individuals' financial records because of the organization's new payroll system.

"We have had an inquiry from the union representing these employees and we are looking into the request," the spokesperson said.

To access the full report, click here.

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