July 1 marks the beginning of the academic year for medical students, when the annual influx of new interns begins at hospitals. Many experts believe that July is therefore the riskiest time of the year for hospital patients, who are susceptible to the mistakes of new medical staff.
A study of this trend concluded that “the July medical-training period is associated with between 1,500 and 2,750 accelerated deaths every year.”
Medical students must deal with their new responsibility of working with patients, and acclimate to the nuances of their assigned hospital and a demanding work schedule. Overworked interns’ long hours and extended shifts may also be responsible for the high rate of accidents that occur when they join a medical staff.
* Finding Dulcinea July 2, 2008