Please do not get sick in July. Why you ask? Well, you might die. No, we’re not suffering from heat strokes..
In a recent study published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, there was a 10% spike in teaching hospital deaths during the month of July due to medical errors.
This spike, is referred to as “The July Effect” and it’s attributed to well, us — from the influx of all of us starting our residency training (internship).
The reason behind it? As a medical student, you typically graduate from medical school in June and end up beginning your first year of residency in July. To be honest, as eager as we are to invade the hospital, to care for our patients, and to make real medical decisions, there is just one problem. We don’t quite know what we’re doing all the time.
After at least four years of undergraduate education, another four years of medical school, and the letters M.D. after our name.. we arrive in the hospital (at our first job) with virtually no practical knowledge of medicine. At least we have our ‘peripheral brains’ made up of condensed medical manuals to make up for the lack of knowledge in our actual brains.
Everyone — even doctors, especially doctors — have to learn and train in order to become proficient. Interns start out as rookies, not seasoned veterans. Experience takes time.
So if you have to go to a hospital in July, please treat the interns with patience and respect — then perhaps check with your nurse to make sure we know what we’re doing.