The July Effect: Why You Shouldn't Get Sick Next Month

   By drodriguez  Jun 27, 2011

There’s never a good time to be sick, right? But a new study shows that July may actually be the worst time. CNN’s Anthony Youn, M.D. reports about the study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that shows a 10 percent spike in teaching hospital deaths in the month of July all due to medical errors.

The reason for the heightened death rate, or “The July Effect," has to do with the fact that medical students usually graduate in June and begin their residency training in July. This makes for a pretty inexperienced staff during this summer month.

Dr. Youn tells the story of his first month in residency training and how he came very close to ending a patient’s life while operating a defibrillator on the wrong spot before a nurse corrected his mistake. Youn explains how the nurse helped, “She grabs my hands and moves the paddles to a different spot on the patient’s chest. One more second and I would have shocked his liver.”

Do you think new doctors should have a more gradual entrance into a hospital setting? Or, is it more beneficial to their training to be thrown into action right after med school?


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Fawn77 by Fawn77 | TIPP CITY, OH
Jun 27, 2011

They really do need more training. This past year someone was talking about taking their son to the Dr. for his throat, the dr. looked in and said his tonsils look good the mother didnt say anything she went home with a prescription. Couple weeks went by her son wasnt any better, she took him back the dr said she didnt know what was going on thats he might need his tonsils out but ill write you a different prescription. The mother looked at the dr and said ok i didnt say anything the last time and your saying his tonsils look good but might need them out but if you look again he has already had them out. So yes they really do need more training its our lives we put in their hands. This is very scary.

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Jun 27, 2011

I think residents need more training...I've seen this in action and it's really scary.

jerseygirl1 by jerseygirl1 | MAPLEWOOD, NJ
Jun 27, 2011

I had my second baby in July and the residents seemed clueless. I could really tell that they were overwhelmed and they weren't certain of what they were doing. I think their delay in doing some things resulted in my son getting sick and ending up in the NICU for a week. He is totally fine now, but I just wish they had more training and had been more ready.