Research dispels claims about new graduates

THE so-called ‘July effect’ – where an influx of newly trained doctors in US hospitals is said to make midyear the worst time to be a patient – is a myth, a study shows.

US researchers analysed spinal surgery hospitalisations nationwide over an eight year period. 

They found patients undergoing spinal surgery in July had a similar risk of dying, reacting to an implant or postoperative wound dehiscence as those having similar operations at other times of the year.

However they were slightly more likely to be discharged to a long-term care facility and to develop postoperative infection.

“The influx of new residents and fellows in July has a negligible effect on periprocedural outcomes,” the authors said.