Thought u guys would be interested in this article from the Chicago Sun Times...it doesn't have as much information as I would have liked so if you find more on this please post... Suit targets med students' Match Day March 15, 2004 BY JIM RITTER Health Reporter At 11 a.m. Thursday, 24,000 medical students will open what could be the most important letters of their lives. The letters will inform them where they will be doing their residencies, and these placements will help determine the course of their careers. Students have ranked, in order of preference, the teaching hospitals where they hope to do their residencies. Hospitals in turn have ranked the students. A computer will match each student with one hospital. More than 80 percent of students get one of their top three choices. Match Day "benefits students as well as institutions," said Jeffrey Miller, an associate dean of Northwestern University medical school. But a lawsuit is alleging that Match Day exploits students and violates anti-trust laws. Match Day "is part and parcel of a scheme by hospitals to keep residents' salaries artificially depressed," said Chicago attorney Sherman Marek, one of the lead plaintiff counsels. A resident matched to a single hospital is in no position to negotiate salary and working conditions, because there's no other place to go, Marek said. First-year residents wind up working 80 hours a week for about $40,000 a year. That amounts to about $10 per hour for an M.D. who has gone through eight years of college and medical school. Three residents filed the suit; their attorneys are seeking to make it a class action. This would make teaching hospitals potentially liable to pay millions of dollars of damages to doctors. Northwestern and Rush University Medical Center are among the organizations named in the suit. Teaching hospitals deny they exploit residents. While the pay may be low, residents receive invaluable training. "We think of residents as students," Miller said. Hospitals say that if they had to pay higher competitive wages, they might need to reduce the number of residencies, leaving some grads without positions. Marek said medicine is the only profession that does not offer graduates a free job market. Still, many students prefer the system because it makes job hunting easier and less stressful. This is especially true for students who register as couples. Northwestern seniors Manas Jain and Sirisha Maddipoti are getting married May 30. Jain seeks a residency in surgery, and Maddipoti is going into internal medicine. They may not each get their top pick, but at least they will wind up in the same city. "The computer assures us we'll be together," Jain said.