UNM Physicians to Rally for Fair Contract Amid Crisis-Level Physician Shortage



UNM Currently Offering a Pay Increase of Only 2% After 5 Months of Bargaining

Albuquerque–With the cost of living skyrocketing in Albuquerque and an alarming statewide physician shortage, University of New Mexico resident physicians and fellows will come together outside the University of New Mexico Hospital on October 4 to demand living wages and essential benefits from the university. Represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIRSEIU), the about 700 physicians are the primary doctors patients see at UNMH, the state’s only teaching hospital, level one trauma center, and dedicated children’s hospital, and a lifeline for patients from across the state and region.

Struggling to get by on some of the lowest resident physician salaries in the southwest, while working as many as 80 hours a week, the physicians say UNM must agree to a fair contract in order to attract and retain great, diverse doctors–which is critical to quality care for New Mexico’s diverse patient population. 

“Many of us chose to do our residency at UNM because we wanted to be in New Mexico, caring for the vulnerable communities across the region who rely on this hospital–but we are losing great doctors because they can’t get by financially and put down the roots that would make them more likely to stay,” said Dr. Effie Berry. “New Mexico should be a place where everyone has timely access to amazing care, regardless of their income or other barriers. As a publicly funded healthcare institution, it’s time for UNM to live up to its values and fulfill that promise by supporting residents now.”

WHAT: University of New Mexico resident physicians and fellows will hold a “unity break,” where they will call on UNM to agree to a fair contract that will support the physicians, their families, and the future health of the state. There will be a brief speaking portion. 

WHERE: Outside UNMH on the Northeast Corner of Stanford and Lomas. 

WHEN: On Wednesday, October 4 from 12-12:30PM. 

WHO: Resident physicians and supporters, including State Representative and 1199SEIU Executive Director Eleanor Chávez. 

In addition to living wages, the physicians are demanding vacation benefits in line with other regional residency programs, diversity and improved non-discrimination language, and other core benefits. 

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 30,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.