The ‘July Effect’: How Do I Know if My Doctor is Safe?

By Peter DePaolis

If you plan to undergo a medical procedure this month, or if you end up in the hospital, you should be aware of the ‘July effect’.

This phenomenon involves errors made by medical providers due to the influx of new interns and residents that begin working at facilities during July. According to a column published by Dr. Anthony Youn for CNN in 2011, one medical journal reported a 10 percent spike in teaching hospital deaths during the month of July due to medical errors.

“Typically, medical students graduate in June and begin their first year of residency training — internship — in July. This group of eager new interns invades the hospital to learn, care for patients, and make medical decisions,” Youn wrote. “One problem. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

To attempt to avoid becoming a victim of medical malpractice, our attorneys suggest asking providers about experience and/or credentials. If you believe that a doctor, intern or resident is too inexperienced to work with you, seek a different provider. It is your right as a patient to request a doctor whom you feel comfortable working with.

Keep in mind, inexperience could contribute to the following medical malpractice events:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • A failure to conduct suitable medical tests
  • Wrongful death
  • Medication and pharmaceutical errors
  • Surgical errors
  • A ‘never event’ (when items are left in patients, arteries are severed or the wrong organs or limbs are worked on by a doctor during surgery)

In addition to asking your provider about his or her background, there are online databases at the state and local level where you can look up background information, including details about education, experience and licensure.

Working With an Attorney Following a Medical Malpractice Event Due to the “July Effect”

If you have been injured or had a loved one killed due to medical malpractice, speak to our Maryland attorneys about pursuing litigation.

We can investigate any event or series of errors made and determine if negligence played a role in your case. You may be entitled to damages for your pain and suffering, as well as future rehabilitation and treatment costs.

Have a safe weekend! Follow our social media sites for medical malpractice news.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.