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Feb 1, 2004
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I've never heard of unpaid ortho residencies. I seriously doubt that ERAS would even allow it (especially now that they are being sued for "mistreating" residents). I have heard of people not getting paid while doing fellowships. I guess that it's one way to get a program that did not accept you to change their mind. The one person who I know who did an unpaid fellowship did it through Hopkins, and supported himself by moonlighting. As a side note, the fact that you can pay fellows so little to nothing even though many fellowships do not participate in any matching program is a strong arguement against the idea that the match is somehow responsible for artificially keeping resident's salary low.

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SDN Angel
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Mar 6, 2002
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Resident [Any Field]
I've heard of these...are they crazy?! How is a person suppose to pay the bills?!
I haven't heard of them ... but the answer to your question would be the program doesn't care. Loans, trust funds, moonlighting (perhaps) -- anyone setting up such a program is simply getting free labor in exchange for training for a highly desired career.
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7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2002
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There are unpaid ortho research positions as a way to get your foot in the door, but I have not heard of a full 5 year program that is unpaid. The NRMP couldn't do anything about a program offering unpaid positions, nor could the ACGME, but the ACGME only offers some many acredited positions...they do not stipulate that they have to be paid. Technically, no resident in the country is paid, our contracts state they we are not paid for work performed, only given educational stipends.

There are residents out there in some programs ( I don't know about ortho) who are unfunded and unpaid...the feds only fund residents for 1 residency and only for the number of years that the first residency you enroll. So, if you match IM and the switch to GS, you are only funded by the feds for three total years...the program will have to fund you out of their pocket, oryou will go unfunded for the final 2 or 3 years of the GS residency.


1K Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2001
Lactate > 15
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I've heard of these...are they crazy?! How is a person suppose to pay the bills?! Where are these??
I don't know of any, but in the course of discussions on the NRMP lawsuit I opined that competitive specialties like ortho may decrease salaries whereas uncompetitive specilalties may increase salaries if the current rules are thrown out.

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