The ‘July effect’ has just ended in the United States and it is currently ‘August Killing season’ in the United Kingdom. These months not only signify the start of residency/internships for recent graduates, but the academic year-end for numerous medical trainees. It is a time when new physician trainees enter the workforce, others are promoted and the experienced depart. It has been suggested that this clinician turnover, which occurs at academic teaching hospitals, has a negative effect on the health and wellbeing of patients. Published in July in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a systematic review of 39 articles explored whether the ‘July Effect’ exists and how it impacts patient care. The study demonstrates increased mortality and decreased efficiency patterns during the changeover months. It also highlights the need for intervention to ensure that the ‘July Effect’ is minimized, ensuring optimal care year-round.

Full article (requires access to RCSI Library):
PMID: 21747093

Title: July Effect: Impact of the Academic Year-End Changeover on Patient Outcomes
Authors: Young JQ, Ranji SR, Wachter RM, Lee CM, Niehaus B, Auerbach AD
Journal Title: Annals of Internal Medicine