Resident physician compensation is a hot topic, and hopefully this article will provide readers with a deeper understanding of the complex mechanisms behind compensation, without promoting unfounded claims of exploitation.

Resident physicians make roughly $60,000 per year, which – despite being in the 62nd percentile for American income – reflects an hourly wage of $14.42 for an 80-hour workweek (asamonitor.pub/47erKrl). Take into account four years of undergraduate education, four years of medical school, and an average medical school debt of $200,000, one is left wondering if the compensation is fair. Historically, resident compensation was low due to high job competition. To requite for modest salaries, hospitals often provided food and shelter for their young physicians who seldom left the wards, which led to the term “resident physicians.” In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law – thus making Medicare the new payer of resident compensation. The...

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