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It’s true: Doctors make more mistakes in the summer

No one wants to think about the possibility of something going on during surgery, or while they are staying at the hospital. Medical malpractice is frightening to consider, but mistakes do happen.

 

The July effect

It is not as though more people are discovering they came down with an illness or breaking a bone in need of surgery. Instead, it is that more doctors with less experience are just stepping up to the plate. July is, as California researchers found, dangerous due to the increased number of newly-graduated medical students starting their rotations at hospitals.

The study suggests that the danger of medical malpractice could increase at rates from 8 percent to 34 percent in the month of July, depending on the hospital.

What if the surgery cannot wait?

Not all surgeries can wait until each new doctor gains the experience necessary to avoid medical malpractice. However, there are a few things you can that may help ensure safety in surgery, including:

  • Request an experienced surgeon: Just because you are at a hospital where residents and new M.D.’s are roaming, does not mean you need to let them operate on you.
  • Have your surgery at a non-teaching hospital: Teaching hospitals are wonderful for teaching new residents how to be doctors. However, this could increase the likelihood of malpractice, especially in the summer. If you want to be extra cautious, scheduling the surgery at a hospital where new residents are not present may be beneficial.

Finding out that you need surgery can be frightening, especially in the summer months. With new residents circulating hospitals, it would be wise to make sure you have an experienced doctor on your side so that no accidents happen.

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