Resident Physicians Demanded Mount Sinai and Elmhurst End Two-Tiered Physician Treatment
Queens, NY — Resident physicians and fellows at the Elmhurst Hospital, represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU), held a rally last night on Tuesday, February 21 to bring attention to what they believe is Mount Sinai’s inequity in the treatment of healthcare workers and to call for a fair contract to benefit themselves and their patients. They were joined by New York State Senator Jessica Ramos and New York City Council Member Tiffany Cabán.
“Across our hospitals, the expectations for us as physicians are the same: We must give the highest quality, compassionate care possible while ensuring that we receive the necessary training,” said first-year pediatrics resident Dr. Alaa Mohamed. “There’s no reason why Mount Sinai physicians at one institution should be paid less because they work in a different zip code.”
The CIR members say that Mount Sinai resident physicians in wealthier, and often private, hospitals are compensated differently for the same work. Elmhurst Hospital in Queens serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the city–including many immigrant, poor, and underinsured patients–and its resident physicians are demanding pay and benefits parity with residents at Mount Sinai Hospital in the Upper East Side.
“I stand in solidarity with CIR members’ fight for quality healthcare for all our neighbors, family, and friends, regardless of their zip code,” said Council Member Tiffany Cabán. “Dr. King called injustice in healthcare the most shocking and inhuman form of inequality. Nearly 60 years later, we have yet to win a distribution of healthcare services and resources that affirms the dignity of all. If there’s anything we should learn from the COVID pandemic, it’s that unequal healthcare means death and suffering. Thank goodness for these courageous CIR members standing up for life, health, and whole communities.”
“As a proud Elmhurst-born baby, I recognize the importance of investing in the needs of all residents, and the communities that they serve,” said NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez. “The demands of the CIR members are not only reasonable but necessary to ensure that Elmhurst residents, interns and fellows as well as their patients receive the quality healthcare they deserve.”
The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest house staff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 24,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.