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April 11, 1980

Employment Status of House Staff-Reply

JAMA. 1980;243(14):1421. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300400011007

In Reply.—  I take issue with Dr Challoner's assertion that house staff members have been classified as students "all along." House staff members have been classified as employees in several individual states, including Michigan, New York, California, Illinois, and others, for many years. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, and state and local governmental agencies treat residents' salaries as earned income. As National Labor Relations Board member John H. Fanning has pointed out, part of section 2(12) of the National Relations Act was specifically designed to cover house staff.As educators and practitioners, we should be supportive of our colleagues in specialty training. The role of a house officer is entirely different in scope and responsibility than that of a medical student. House staff members earn a moderate salary in exchange for educational opportunities. However, to claim that this salary is not earned income is to