July effect research: What studies say about spiking hospital deaths (VIDEO).

Is It Really More Deadly to Go to the Hospital in July?

Is It Really More Deadly to Go to the Hospital in July?

The state of the universe.
June 3 2015 2:22 PM

Is the “July Effect” Real?

What researchers say about the supposed spike in hospital deaths when new doctors start over the summer.

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You’re a critically ill patient headed to the hospital on July 5. Do you really face a greater risk of serious medical error—or even mortality—than someone who entered the hospital only one month earlier?

According to medical lore, the “July Effect” occurs when freshly graduated medical students start at hospitals in early July. Is there any data to back that up? The video above explores the research on the widely discussed phenomenon.

Andrew Bouvé is an Emmy-nominated freelance video producer and motion graphics artist. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Jeffrey Bloomer is a Slate video producer and associate editor.