As Resident Physicians Struggle with Housing Costs, State Senator Dr. Pan Joins in Urging UC Davis to Include Housing Stipend and Complete Contract


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As Resident Physicians Struggle with Housing Costs, State Senator Dr. Pan Joins in Urging UC Davis to Include Housing Stipend and Complete Contract
Davis Health is Only UC Contract Left Unresolved, Jeopardizing Future Physician Recruitment

Sacramento– On Wednesday, State Senator Dr. Pan (D-6) joined current and former interns and resident physicians at the University of California Davis Medical Center for a virtual town hall urging hospital administration to finalize contract negotiations. After a year of good faith bargaining amid a global pandemic, over 600 interns and residents at UC Davis have yet to receive a fair contract. A stream of the event can be viewed here.

Senator Pan, a physician and former UC Davis Pediatrics program director, condemned the hospital’s unwillingness to negotiate, stating “When UC Davis isn’t able to negotiate a fair contract, it says you are on your own when it comes to housing and personal needs, even as you are meeting the needs of patients. I am proud to stand with you, and urge the leadership at UC Davis to quickly and immediately come to an agreement with the residents and CIR on a fair contract.”

Over 70 people attended Wednesday’s virtual press conference, including CIR members from other UC hospitals. In addition to Senator Pan, speakers included Dr. Anokh Singh Sohal, Dr. Arunima Kohli and Dr. Zola Chihombori Quao.

Dr. Zola Quao, a current PGY-3 Psychiatry Resident at UC Davis Hospital, moderated the town hall event and discussed the inequities caused by negotiation stalls. “We are the only UC without a contract and without a housing stipend. We need a fair contract to begin to tackle the issues of equity and inclusion within residency programs. If we do nothing, UC Davis will be excluding talented physicians from our hospital and patients simply because they are not valued by their UC employer and cannot afford housing in Sacramento.” 

The Sacramento region saw rents jump 7% in the last year, with the area surrounding the UC Davis campus particularly impacted. Resident physicians at UC Davis report spending 40% of their salaries on housing. 

Dr. Arunima Kohli, a former UC Davis Family Medicine resident who left the University after graduating, expressed her disappointment with the institution for failing to meet the basic needs of its interns and residents and its potential to impact recruitment. “We organized precisely because of this lack of respect, and Residents are still dealing with an administration that just doesn’t want to listen. We have had to fight to achieve the most basic of rights. The more UC Davis continues to show that it does not respect its most vulnerable physicians, the more people will leave when they finish their training.”

Contract negotiations between UC Davis interns and residents and the hospital administration will continue October 1, 2020. 

The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest housestaff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 17,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.