Medical interns, residents and fellows at Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital presented a Resident and Fellow Bill of Rights to senior faculty as they advocated for improvements in working environment and physician well-being, Wed., Oct. 16, 2019


Senior physicians at Yale New Haven Hospital were in the middle of presentations during a recent meeting of the graduate medical education committee when a group of interns, residents and fellows interrupted.

At the front of the room, they unfurled a banner painted with the words “Doctors Are Humans Too.”

The group of training doctors then presented staff with what they called a Resident and Fellow Bill of Rights.

“Establishing what we have as rights as people — I mean as doctors, but as people, because we are people — I think it came to us as a group because it made sense, because if we’re going to help people, we have to take care of ourselves,” said Dr. Walker Keenan, a psychiatric resident.

The document outlines requirements for working conditions and patient safety, diversity, respect and equity, living wages, fair evaluation, supervision and mentorship, workers’ health care needs and more.

The initiative at Yale New Haven Hospital comes as health care providers across the country work to increase awareness about the high rates of depression, burnout and suicide in the industry. Meanwhile, studies predict that the United States is on course for a shortage of physicians in the next decade as health care demands increase and an aging population grows.

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