Residency

'July effect' true

Residency Program Insider, August 2, 2010

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The urban legend of the “July effect” could be true, in which medical errors spike during the time new residents come on board.

Medication errors at medical institutions rise 10% in July, according to “A July spike in fatal medication errors: A possible effect on new medical residents,” published in the August issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. However, researchers did not find the same increase in error rates in countries without teaching hospitals.

“We found a significant July spike in fatal medication errors inside medical institutions,” states the study. “After assessing competing explanations, we concluded that the July mortality spike results at least partly from changes associated with the arrival of new medical residents.”



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