Children’s National Resident Physicians Hold Unity Break for Patient Care, Physician Well-being
Washington, D.C. — Resident physicians and fellows at Children’s National Hospital, represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU), held a Unity Break on the evening of November 15 to bring attention to their ongoing struggle for a fair contract that allows them to adequately care for their young patients without burning out.
“We’re simply asking for what we need to spend more quality time with our patients and to address the concerns of their families,” said Dr. Hannah Kilcoyne, a first year resident at Children’s National. “Children’s National has a responsibility not just to us, but to our patients to meet our demands.”
As one of the region’s leading pediatric safety net hospitals, CIR resident physicians provide care for the region’s youngest, most vulnerable patients. They are dedicated to serving these patients and their families, but are advocating for additional support from hospital administration to ensure providing quality care does not necessitate sacrificing their personal mental and physical health.
Children’s National residents are routinely overworked and underpaid, and their conditions have only continued to deteriorate during the pandemic and its resulting widespread staffing shortages. These doctors are demanding improved safety measures to ensure patients are protected, including patient caps so doctors have adequate time to provide the necessary care.
Despite living in one of the nation’s most expensive regions, their salaries have failed to keep up with inflation. Hospital administration has refused to approve raises that allow residents to make ends meet amid the skyrocketing cost of living and the over $200,000 on average in student debt residents frequently carry.
This action at the Capitol’s primary pediatric hospital follows a historic push for union representation by their 1,200 colleagues at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City earlier this month. Resident physicians across the nation are unionizing in unprecedented numbers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which exacerbated many of the inequities already present in the nation’s healthcare industry.
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 22,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.