For Over 30 Years

Aggressive Personal Injury
Legal Representation

blog home Medical Malpractice What’s “The July Effect”?

What’s “The July Effect”?

By Grant Law Office on July 2, 2017

Medical students take their first steps as interns each July, by beginning work at teaching hospitals all across the country. As with many other cities, Atlanta, Georgia, has a number of these institutions. Interns at teaching hospitals have very little experience in diagnosing and treating the illnesses and injuries of their new patients. This has become the basis of a long-standing joke among professionals in the medical field. “Don’t get sick in July,” you may hear a seasoned doctor say in good humor, but are there serious threats to patients being treated by inexperienced medical interns?

Studies conducted by a number of sources have determined that the month of July does not bring a spike in misdiagnosis or mistreatment of most patients. The lack of evidence of mistreatment during the month of July has given the so-called July Effect little validation over the years.

More recently, however, Harvard Medical School, Stanford University Hospitals, the University of Southern California, and the RAND Corporation have published studies claiming that high-risk patients are, in fact, vulnerable to improper treatment by our country’s medical interns.

Harvard’s professors, however, assure worried patients that it is very uncommon for even a young physician to make a mistake that results in death. But severely ill patients, who have precarious health, can suffer devastating complications from slight errors or lapses in judgment.

Harvard and its affiliates cited evidence of this after assessing more than 1,400 cases. Through the course of their studies, they determined that high-risk patients, such as heart attack victims, have a 5% greater risk of death if they are treated at teaching hospitals in the month of July. And though they determined that regular patients being treated at teaching hospitals have a lower annual risk of death than at non-teaching hospitals, fatalities in teaching hospitals jumped to the same numbers as other institutions during the month of July. Furthermore, they determined that institutions with the highest numbers of trainees saw the biggest difference in patient outcomes between the months of May and July.

So what does this mean for you? If you, or a loved one has suffered serious complications or death under the care of a medical intern at a training hospital, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice claim. Claims like this should always be undertaken with the care and knowledge of a qualified lawyer. If you have any questions about the July Effect, or medical malpractice claims in general, please contact the qualified attorneys at Grant Law Office.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.

We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.

Phone: (404) 995-3955

Our Results

Wrongful Death Day Care Case

View More

Firm News

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

Kim Grant participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, walking over 60 miles over three days and raising ...

Habitat for Humanity

Kim and Wayne Grant have worked on two Habitat for Humanity Houses and look forward to working on more ...

Grady Hospital Volunteer Work

Kim Grant has donated volunteer hours in Atlanta, including rocking babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Grady ...

Read more news

Our Blog


The Dangers of Convenience Store Negligent Security

Negligent security is a term used to describe a property owner or manager’s failure to provide adequate security…


How an Electric Shock Can Damage Your Heart

High-voltage electric shocks can cause long-term damage to the body and potentially cause death. The damage caused by…


What if Someone Crashes into You Because They Were Tailgating You?

Tailgating is the act of following another vehicle too closely. It is considered to be a dangerous driving…

Read more news

Grant Law Office Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by Grant Law Office, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee on the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation.

© 2023 Grant Law Office - All rights reserved.

Photos by Carroll Morgan - Buckhead On-Site Photography | Website Design and Legal Internet Marketing by: SLS Consulting Scholarship
*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000.


What you need to know about the 2-year statute of limitation law

Worried that the 2-year statute of limitations is rapidly approaching on your serious injury or medical malpractice case? Contact us and we can talk to you about the Judicial Emergency declared by the Supreme Court of Georgia and how it affects the statute of limitations for your case (in a good way.) Please call or email us through our web contact form and we would be happy to discuss your case.

Schedule a free consultation