Carl Berdahl

Carl Berdahl
Affiliated Adjunct Physician Policy Researcher
Off Site Office


M.S. in health care policy and management, UCLA; M.D. in medicine, Yale University; B.A. in music performance, UCLA; Residency in emergency medicine, L.A. County + USC


Carl Berdahl (he/him) is an affiliated adjunct physician policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Also an emergency physician and health services researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his primary research objective is to improve the quality and safety of emergency care by designing better care processes and pathways.

Berdahl has studied imaging utilization patterns in emergency departments in Canada and the United States as well as the accuracy of imaging pathways to diagnose appendicitis. He has also investigated patients' health outcomes after being discharged from the emergency department to inform continuous quality improvement activities. Other research interests include digital health, informatics, physician documentation, physician payment, and pay-for-performance programs.

Berdahl plans to focus his future research endeavors on optimizing dissemination and implementation in emergency medicine, improving diagnostic accuracy, and measuring the impact of federal health policies on quality and value of care. He is also interested in working with health systems and government stakeholders to identify and address gaps in social needs for vulnerable patients.

After obtaining his B.A. in music performance from UCLA, Berdahl completed medical school at the Yale School of Medicine and then emergency medicine residency at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. He then attended fellowship in the inaugural class of UCLA's National Clinician Scholars Program and obtained a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from UCLA's Fielding School of Health, which included a concentration in Implementation and Improvement Science.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Emergency Physician, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Health Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor, UCLA

Previous Positions

Fellow, UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program, 2016-2018

Honors & Awards

  • Academic Excellence Award, Emergency Medicine Residents' Association
  • Fellow in Diagnostic Excellence, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


English, Spanish