July may signify a few things outside of healthcare: summer time, barbecues, and Independence Day. In the hospital setting, July has a very different connotation: it means the most lethal month of the year. Why? New interns. Brand new interns. It is to be expected: there's only one way for a medical student to become a doctor: trial by fire and that's what intern year is about. And July is the first month of that year. In fact, on June 2015, one Boston hospital eliminated July from the calendar and saw a 3,000% decrease in mortality as a result. Surprisingly? Not at all.
- If you're a patient, tough it out at home. Or at least wait until the fall. Or better yet, winter.
- If you're a resident, fellow, or attending supervising these interns, again, stay home, wait until the fall. Or better yet winter.