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  • Should Residents Be Considered Students or Employees?

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case Mayo Foundation v. United States, 09-837. They are deciding whether residents should be considered students or employees. At issue is an 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding an IRS rule that deems resident physicians as ineligible for a "student exemption" to the Social Security and Medicare systems (FICA) tax because they work full-time.

    Mayo Clinic officials want the court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling and restore the student exemption for medical residents. The Obama administration said that Social Security taxes for medical residents can be as much as $700 million a year.

    Last month, AMSA and the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare filed a friend of the court brief with the Supreme Court. 

    More than 100,000 resident physicians - doctors who have graduated medical school and received their M.D. or D.O. degree -- are working in teaching hospitals across the country as they acquire the on-the-job training required for certification in their medical specialty (for example, pediatrics or surgery). Resident physicians are known for their extremely long work hours, including 80 hour work weeks and on-call shifts of 24-30 consecutive hours, and for the round-the-clock services they provide ...

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