Joanelle Bailey, MD
Regional VP New Jersey/D.C.
CIR has been invaluable in helping residents reap the benefits our contract has given to us, even when our employer has not honored their end. The most exciting thing I have been involved with through CIR is speaking at a Newark City Council meeting on behalf of other residents in order to inform our community of some events at Rutgers.
I have learned that coming together as a group of residents from different specialties is much more powerful than any individual specialty, even when dealing with issues affecting only a small number of residents of a particular specialty. Additionally, I have learned that we, as physicians, have a voice in the community and can make a difference politically, even when it feels as though we are too busy to do so.
I would love to help CIR expand into nearby hospitals with residency programs that are not currently part of a union. I think the more numbers we have, the louder our voice will be heard. To be a more effective national voice for residents, I think CIR should devote more time to issues of social justice.
I believe that organizing and advocacy are our biggest opportunities to make a difference on the national level. Involving more residents locally and in the administration will allow our union to grow nationally. Additionally, getting involved in social justice issues that affect our communities and some of us personally is an important voice for the interns, residents, and fellows. Excellence for our patients, our training and our healthcare system cannot be achieved without justice for all those involved in the US healthcare system.