I am a resident at UW.

There are many ways in which being a resident is different from having a normal job. I think there is little public sympathy for residents because people assume doctors should just keep their heads down in residency and not complain, because eventually we will make a good living.

To put it in perspective, my overtime is $7.50 total for working 12 hours long, and $13 total for working more than 24 hours in a row.

We are not a heroes, we are just working jobs taking care of our patients, like many of our colleagues who work by our sides as nurses, PA's, and medical assistants. Unlike them however, we cannot leave our jobs because of pay or working conditions, or work somewhere else before those years are over, or we will never be able to work as doctors.

It is the promise that things will get better that keeps us going; promises can't pay bills though. Like everyone else in Seattle, rents go up, things cost more, and our average of $190,000 in medical school loans are in repayment NOW. We can't put our lives on hold until then- many of us have families and children to care for now.

The new contract for the 1,400 residents and fellows of UW Medicine is a proposed pay cut after inflation. If I didn't have a union, like most residents, I would have no choice but to sign it.

For all the work we do in caring for our patients: we deserve better, and our families deserve better.


in solidarity, @1! I'm so sorry you have to trudge through this awful system to then graduate and have something like $700k in debt. it is no longer affordable to pursue medicine, and people just don't get it (just like the commenter jackkay). medical and dental programs are already losing ##s due to this.


Sounds like trying to live in Seattle on a nurse’s salary. Granted the hours are different, but it’s a 3-4 year commitment for most of the residents. These guys deserve a raise to be sure, but it’s difficult to see that happening when nursing staff is paycheck to paycheck with zero childcare, zero maternity leave and zero meal reimbursement. Haven’t seen any Stranger coverage of UW or HMC’s pickets for better nursing contracts.

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