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March 22, 1985

The Economic Environment of Resident Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Health Policy Research, American Medical Association, Chicago. Drs Hough and Bazzoli are now with Health Policy Research Group, Chicago.

JAMA. 1985;253(12):1758-1762. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350360084024

We examined the financial, working, and educational environment of resident physicians, using mail surveys of residents conducted in 1979 and 1983. Variables examined include annual residency salary, fringe benefits, educational debt, moonlighting income, hours and types of work, and perceived problems with the residency programs. Three conclusions are drawn from the surveys. First, the rapid increases in resident salaries prevalent in the late 1960s and early 1970s have been replaced by more modest advances. Second, resident physicians are not indicating great concern about their current financial status. Third, resident physicians work long hours, but teaching hospitals have not increased their use of residents. These findings illustrate the dual nature of residency training: residents are both students and employees.

(JAMA 1985;253:1758-1762)