UW says its residents want too much pay

Seattle-based University of Washington School of Medicine claims its medical residents and fellows are asking for too much in wages, according to The Seattle Times.

In December, five members of the Seattle City Council wrote a letter to university President Ana Mari Cauce, PhD, requesting she meet the requests of the University of Washington Housestaff Association and raise wages for residents and fellows. In their letter to Dr. Cauce, the city council members said "many of [the UWHA] physicians earn less than our city's minimum wage."

The UWHA is made up of 1,500 physicians "who have graduated from medical school and are working under supervision before practicing on their own," according to the report. The group is not only vying for higher wages, but also new childcare benefits and free parking.

But Byron Joyner, MD, the UW's vice dean for graduate medical education, said UWHA physicians are asking too much. "UW residents and fellows are currently paid between $53,268 and $69,792 per year, which is competitive with other academic medical centers in the United States," Dr. Joyner wrote in a letter in response to the Seattle City Council. "The UW appreciates the dedication and skill of our residents and fellows," he added.

For now, the issue is yet to be resolved. But Amity Neumeister, assistant dean for accreditation in the Office of Graduate Medical Education, said the UW offers residents and fellows other benefits that are not guaranteed at other universities, including a matched-contribution retirement plan.

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