Despite repeated state and federal labor board decisions over the past two decades that have declared residents to be employees with the right to organize, some hospitals continue to insist that residents are students and should be denied that voice. Case in point: Beth Israel Medical Center and Elmhurst Hospital Center, both a part of the newly merged Mount Sinai Health System. During extensive labor board hearings in 2013 and 2014, the Mount Sinai tried to prevent residents from being able to vote whether to join CIR. The hospitals argued that residents take exams and don’t make patient care decisions because they work under an attending.
Elmhurst and Beth Israel residents rose to the challenge to defend the work that housestaff do and testified about the patient care decisions that residents make everyday.
The labor board that heard the Elmhurst case decided in the residents’ favor, and ordered that an election be held. And on March 27, residents voted to join CIR. Residents at Beth Israel are still awaiting the labor board’s decision. CIR members across the country have shown support for their colleagues at Elmhurst and Beth Israel by exposing the myth that residents are students. View their photos (and some of our other favorite doctors) at doctorsnotstudents.tumblr.com.