Copyright (c) 2011 Creighton University School of Law
Creighton Law Review
ARTICLE: THE NON-NEGOTIABLE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT - DIAGNOSING THE EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS OF MEDICAL RESIDENTS
Creighton Law Review
44 Creighton L. Rev. 705
Robert N. Wilkey+
The recent debate concerning healthcare reform is wholly void concerning the ongoing employment plight of medical residents, who comprise a substantial percentage of the United States healthcare workforce. According to the National Resident Matching Program's ("NRMP") Results and Data Report, in 2009, there were approximately 25,185 medical residency positions for both first (PGY-1) and second (PGY-2) year medical residents within the United States. 1 Additionally, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education ("ACGME") reports that in 2009-2010, there were approximately 8,914 total United States medical residency programs and 111,386 total available United States medical resident positions. 2 Despite the significant number of medical residents enrolled in thousands of Graduate Medical Education ("GME") programs, medical residents continue to be at a severe disadvantage with respect to employment rights and other corollary issues involving negotiation, due process, sexual harassment, discrimination, unlawful termination, and wage and hour matters. As Stephen L. Cohen, a physician and journalist observed,
[medical] residents typically work longer hours than any other professionals on the planet. In seven days, they are expected to cram in as much as 100 hours of work, and a single shift can last as long as the average mortal's entire workweek... Potentially abusive practices occur in other specialties too. The JAMA [Journal of the American Medical Association] survey indicated that 93% of doctors-in-training experienced at least one incident of harassment or verbal abuse and more than half reported episodes of being belittled or humiliated by ...
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