Why is July a Dangerous Time to Get Sick?

For years, the medical community half joked and half advised to avoid getting sick during the month of July because that is the time that new interns and residents start working.  Now, there is hard data to back that up.

Recently, California researchers found a 10% spike in deaths due to medication errors.  The spike occurs in July of each year and only in the counties with teaching hospitals.  The researchers looked at data from 1979 – 2006 in their study.

The researchers hope that this study will encourage greater supervision of new residents and increasing education about medication safety.  In the meantime, if you get sick this July and seek treatment at a teaching hospital, make sure that you bring an advocate with you and double check all medication before taking it.