Are There More Errors in Hospitals in July?

Are you more likely to get hurt in the hospital in July?  This article from the New York Times says "yes," if you are in a teaching hospital.

The Times  article references to a paper published earlier this month in Annals of Internal Medicine,.  The paper examines previous studies of the "July effect," and while the analysis found inconsistencies among nearly 40 studies examined, the data produced by the largest and best-designed ones indicated that patient death rates in teaching hospitals increase by 8 percent in July.  Those studies also reported longer hospital stays, more drawn-out procedures and higher hospital charges in July, when 20 to 30 percent of the more experienced doctors-in-training leave and a class of newly minted doctors starts working at teaching hospitals.

Those of us who do medical negligence work know that this article makes sense.  The massive shift of medical students and residents in our teaching hospitals every July 1 is bound to lead to errors.

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