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Is the July Effect real?


New hospital resident

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Have you heard of the July Effect?

The name is unofficial — and there is disagreement as to whether it actually exists, statistically speaking — but it stems from the fact that most newly graduated residents enter the hospital in July. The Effect, then, would be the medical error rates that supposedly increase during July as these new residents tackle a difficult learning curve during their first days in the hospital.

Medical literature has shown conflicting reports about the July Effect, but a 2010 article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and a 2011 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine both found evidence of it.

In an opinion piece published in the New York Times, Theresa Brown writes that she has personally witnessed this effect during her career as an oncology nurse.

Have you witnessed evidence of the July Effect during your career? Does the statement “Don’t go to the hospital in July” hold any validity, in your experience? Let us know in the comments.

New York Times


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