US doctors are granted the right to form unions
- By: Scott Gottlieb
For the first time, doctors in training in the United States have been granted the legal right to form workers' unions to negotiate salary and working conditions.
The US National Labor Relations Board opened the door to the unionisation of medical residents at American teaching hospitals by giving house staff the right to bargain collectively. By ruling that residents at private hospitals have the right to unionise under federal labor protections, the National Labor Relations Board strengthened the hand of doctors in training, potentially shifting the economic underpinnings of the nation's teaching hospitals.
The ruling by the US National Labor Relations Board changes a precedent of 23 years that has held that medical residents, interns, and fellows are primarily students, denying them collective bargaining rights. There are about 100 000 medical trainees in the United States, all of whom have completed four years of medical school but are required to