By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Being involved in the training of young doctors, there is a predictable cycle of their growth and development.

In about a week seniors in medical school will go through what is known as the match and find out what where they will continue training in internship and residency.  It is in July when they start out as newly minted physicians ready to start seeing patients for the first time which is why the general public views midsummer as a high-risk period for hospital errors nationwide.

The notion that medical errors rise and patient outcomes suffer during this period even has a name — the July effect. Certainly it would seem to make sense, but this is also a time where those who teach these rookie physicians need to provide diligent backup and support. Now new research comparing ICU outcomes in midsummer with the rest of the year suggests the July effect may be more urban legend than reality. According to the report, patients in this setting do just as well as other times during the year.