This anesthesiologist is L.A. County’s highest paid employee. He works 94 hours a week

Photo Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Some county doctors say it’s a microcosm of larger staffing issues playing out across the county’s hospitals, which are a safety net for hundreds of thousands of poor and uninsured patients. The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents county doctors, nearly went on strike over the winter holidays, arguing that meager benefits had caused hospitals to hemorrhage staff. Unable to replace them, some doctors say, hospital leaders are leaning too heavily on a handful of staffers to put in extreme hours.

“It’s a sign of mismanagement, honestly,” said Chris Ige, a regional administrator for the union, pointing to coverage gaps in the county’s jails and clinics that force some doctors to do extreme amounts of overtime.