CIR has allowed my colleagues and me to be advocates for our patient’s and ourselves. Through resident created CIR committees such as the LGBTQ People in Medicine and Black Physician Recruitment Committee, my hospital has made efforts to address the needs of these committees through new hospital task forces and more expansive faculty hiring. CIR has also had many wins over this past year including more partnered activities with GME, a wage increase and the concept of wellness included in our benefits package.
Being a member of CIR, I have directly seen how our voices as residents are stronger when we stand together for a common goal than fighting for our patients’, colleagues and our own rights alone. CIR also provides a much needed sense of community especially in a physically exhausting and mentally taxing environment such as residency/fellowship. CIR reminds me that I’m not alone, that we are all in this together, and we need to continue to stand together in the face of adversity.
I think CIR does an amazing job connecting residents within their own hospital however, there is sometimes a disconnect between “Regional” CIR and “National” CIR. I think this upcoming year, we should strive to provide an outlet for residents to connect nationally in order to discuss issues affecting their hospitals, patients, and their contracts (I.e. implementing what has been beneficial at other chapters, what has not worked at other chapters etc).
Being in an open shop environment in FL, we have to work to get and keep every member as a part of our union. However, we have combatted this by making CIR a part of the culture at Jackson. This has been through leadership training with our delegates and reps, activation and encouragement of our members, and persistence in making changes within our hospital. I hope to share these techniques with other leaders in order to keep CIR strong in the face of recent political attacks.
During the current political climate, unions are under attack nationally. It is our time to stand together against these attacks not only for ourselves but also for our patients. Many patients work in the service industry and are union members themselves. Being a part of CIR and strengthening my union allows me to connect with and further support my patients’, their careers, and their families.