The purpose of this policy is to define the basic procedures and assigned responsibilities to efficiently address house staff training experiences following a disaster.


This policy applies to all UCLA-sponsored ACGME accredited residency and fellowship programs (“UCLA Program”) in all clinical learning environments.


Disaster: A disaster is an event or series of events (including a natural disaster, a human generated disaster, or an internal disaster), causing significant alternation to the residency experience at one or more UCLA Programs.


  1. Within UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (“DGSOM”), a declaration of Disaster will be made only by the appropriate UCLA Department of Disaster and Emergency Preparedness in accordance with UCLA’s Disaster and Emergency Preparedness policies.
  2. If the Disaster occurs in a non-UCLA but affiliated site of training, the UCLA GME Office will work with that site of training to determine whether a Disaster declaration has been made based on the policies of that site of training.
  3. When warranted and after consultation with the Graduate Medical Education Committee (“GMEC”), if possible, the Associate Dean for GME and Designated Institutional Officer (“DIO”) will notify the ACGME to make a formal declaration of extraordinary circumstance for particular programs or the entire institution according to ACGME policies and procedures. This information will be posted on the ACGME website. This formal declaration under ACGME policies creates significant flexibility for trainees to transfer to other institutions.


UCLA Health and the DGSOM strive to provide a stable educational environment for resident trainees. If an event of a Disaster, the UCLA GME Office and/or GMEC will take the following steps:

  1. As soon as reasonably possible, the GME Office will:
    • Gather data and information from facilities and the UCLA Programs regarding the extent of damage and the impact of the disaster on the short-term (days/weeks) and long-term (weeks/months) function of individual programs and/or sites of training.
    • Work directly with the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences, the Office of the Dean, and UCLA Health leadership, as may be appropriate, to determine the short-term and long-term impact on clinical operations at sites affected by the disaster.
    • Consult with the University of California Office of the President. In particular, seek the assistance of the UC Committee on Graduate Medical Education to ensure that our colleagues at the UC Health Sciences campuses are informed, and when applicable, working for a common solution for University of California residency training programs systemwide.
  2. The GMEC will hold an emergency meeting after the Disaster, if possible, to review the available information regarding the impact of the Disaster on clinical operations and UCLA Programs. In some instances, extenuating circumstances surrounding these disasters may dictate a need for immediate decisions and preliminary planning. In such cases, the GME management team, (DIO/Associate Dean for GME, the GME Director, and the Institutional GME Program Administrator) can serve as a GME Executive Committee. All information and actions taken by the GME Executive Committee in these situations will still be reported to the GMEC as soon as possible.
  3. The GME Executive Committee, with GMEC consultation, will meet regularly as necessary to continue its assessment of the situation and to make decisions regarding UCLA Programs. The GME Office will continue to provide administrative support to all affected UCLA Programs during this period.
  4. Issues to be reviewed, assessed or acted upon by the GME Executive Committee include:
    • Patient safety
    • Safety of house staff, faculty and staff
    • Supply of available faculty and house staff for clinical and educational duties
    • Extent/impact of damage to the physical plant/facilities
    • Extent/impact of damage to clinical technology and clinical information systems
    • Extent/impact of damage to communication technology (e.g., phones, pagers, intra/internet)
    • Changes in the volume of patient activity in the short-term and long-term
  5. If the GME Executive Committee determines that a UCLA Program or the institution cannot provide an adequate educational experience for a resident because of the disaster, both individual UCLA Programs and the institution will work to:
    • Temporarily relocate a resident to a site of training within the institution or to a current local affiliate training site.
    • Arrange a temporary transfer for a resident to another program until the institution can provide an adequate educational experience for the resident. In so far as possible at the time of the transfer, the program will inform the resident being transferred regarding the minimum duration of the transfer and the anticipated total duration of the transfer.
    • Assist the resident in a permanent transfer to another program/institution.
  6. Continuation of financial support in the event of a Disaster will be dependent on the short-term and long-term impact on each UCLA Program and the institution overall. Also, such support will be dependent on current policies and contracts related to reimbursement, disbursement, and/or other financial support for resident salary and benefits.
    • For residents temporarily relocated to an affiliated training site, UCLA will work with the site to sustain resident salary and benefits.
    • For residents temporarily assigned to a program at another institution, UCLA will work with the University, CMS and the receiving institution to provide resident salary (according to the UCLA stipend schedule) through the end of the current academic year. Some benefits (e.g., health insurance, etc.) may need to be coordinated with the temporary training site based on distance from Los Angeles.
    • As soon as possible prior to the end of the PGY contract, the UCLA Program will inform the resident of his/her status within the UCLA Program for the next academic year.
    • For residents permanently transferring to another institution, UCLA will not cover salary and benefits.
  7. If the UCLA Program closes permanently, some transitional funding may be provided by UCLA to the accepting institution. If the UCLA Program is not permanently closed but a resident decides to permanently transfer to another institution, the costs of salary and benefits will be covered by the accepting institution as of the date of transfer.
  8. The DIO will contact the ACGME as soon as possible to provide an update on the disaster and initial steps taken by the institution and the GMEC.
  9. The DIO will continue to communicate with the ACGME regularly as needed to provide updates on any additional program or institutional issues—for both the short and long term. The DIO will contact the ACGME with regard to final plans to reconfigure any programs.
  10. Residents are covered by the UC Regents’ self-insured professional liability program with respect to acts or omissions by the resident that give rise to a legal claim of negligence, provided those acts or omissions occurred during the term, and in the course and scope, of the resident’s employment with UCLA.




ACGME Requirements: Institutional GME Policies and Procedures IV.M



Effective Date: 11/26/2007

Revised: March 23, 2020