My interest as a psychiatry resident incorporates wellness of all my resident colleagues. This led me to get involved with our union at first and later gave me an opportunity to network with other residents at a regional and national level. Networking with the residents from other hospitals enabled us to negotiate a better contract for us.
I can’t imagine not having a CIR at our Hospital. CIR has helped us improve our workplace environment by calling the labor-management meetings with our hospital management on several occasions. With the help of CIR, we were able to negotiate a better contract which includes two percent increase in our salary for next three years, a designated fund for patient care up to 30,000 USD/year. We were also able to secure a WIFI at our hospital building for residents.
The most exciting thing for me at a personal level is CIR’s Family Health Challenge (FHC). FHC is an eight-week community-based program for 7-11 years old children for developing healthy lifestyle habits. I enjoy the opportunity to work with the kids in school and find it extremely fulfilling. CIR not only provided me an opportunity and experience to network with colleagues at our hospital, region and nationally but is also our collective voice which gives us strength as residents at our hospital, in our region and at the national level.
The use of social media for advocacy work is essential. I would like to involve more residents in our hospital and in our region for outreach. I also feel bringing CIR to other hospitals across the region that will help to increase our strength. Joining other unions across the nation will increase the strength of our union as well. In my opinion, involving social media to show cohesiveness may be another way for us to counter organized labor attacks.
As a CIR Hospital Delegate in 2017, I have continued to work with my fellow colleagues on ongoing issues. We are constantly working on improving work conditions at our hospital in terms of security, which was highlighted by a shooting at our hospital that happened earlier in June 2017 where a doctor was killed and five other doctors were wounded severely. We are working on a CIR supported survey to understand the impact of workplace violence on residents and help develop the multidisciplinary task force to handle it. As a psychiatry resident, I also wish to explore our role in the wellbeing of our colleagues not only at my hospital but also at regional and national levels.