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June 1, 1970

Salaried Interns

Author Affiliations

Liverpool, NY

JAMA. 1970;212(9):1526. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170220080024

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To the Editor.—  As one who trained back in the "good old days" when interns were paid a negligible stipend, and who now actively engages in the teaching of house officers in both a private and a university hospital, I have heard numerous hospital administrators voice complaints similar to those delivered in the editorial, "What Price Interns" (211:1369, 1970), on the increasing cost of house officers. I believe these are largely unjustified.Senior physicians often comment that "when I was an intern we got $25 a month." However, in 1939 the average income of physicians was approximately $4,000 a year, while in 1967 it ranged from $32,000 to $50,000 plus, depending on one's specialty. If we as practicing physicians can live in affluence I do not see why our junior colleagues should not be paid wages commensurate with engineers, chemists, and others in their age group. This also does