This whole thing about a portion of the fast food workers demanding to be paid $15 per hour and the right to unionize (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/09/04/fast-food-restaurants-strike-mcdonalds-wendys-burger-king-taco-bell/15058943/) has been dominating the news for the past day or two. As tons of posts have already pointed out, for an 80 hour work week, resident pay equals out to around $14 or $15 at most hospitals. I don't think that the fast food workers will get $15 per hour anytime soon, but let's say that it actually happened - that would put hourly salary for working at a fast food restaurant on par with that of a resident physician working in a hospital. Now equal pay for equal work is a major workforce issue that I agree with; men and women who do the same type and amount of work should be paid equally without regard to gender. Residency is one example where equal pay for equal work actually exists; residents of the same year at the same hospital make equal salaries regardless of gender. However, does the idea of equal pay for equal work transcend gender and into careers at large? I would say that working at a fast food restaurant and working as a resident are egregiously not equal work, yet if fast food workers' salaries increase to $15/hour, they would be at equal pay. Assuming that lower level residents function at the same level as a PA or NP (PGY-3 and above function at a higher level in my experience), and a PA or NP makes lets say $75-90k per year, this would violate equal work for equal pay. NP/PA's would do the same work as residents yet get paid drastically higher salaries. After seeing the comments posted from the article on The Atlantic about whether we should pay junior doctors higher salaries, I know there will be cries from the general public of "well residents cost the hospitals money because they have to have their malpractice insurance covered and they can't bill for procedures" and "they aren't even real doctors, they get paid to train!" etc. etc. But let's be honest, residents are vital to the medical system. If one day all the residents in the US decided to walk out and not show up for work, academic hospitals would come to a grinding halt. So should residents and NP/PA's be paid the same amount for equal work?