Why you should never go to the hospital in July
June 22nd, 2011
01:00 PM ET

Why you should never go to the hospital in July

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor. 

Do not get sick in July. Why? You might die.

A 2011 study published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine reported a 10% spike in teaching hospital deaths during the month of July due to medical errors. We call this spike “The July Effect” and we attribute it to the influx of new interns and residents.

Typically, medical students graduate in June and begin their first year of residency training — internship — in July. This group of eager new interns invades the hospital to learn, care for patients, and make medical decisions. One problem. They don’t know what they’re doing.

Like most interns, I arrived with four years of medical school under my belt, an M.D. after my name, and virtually no practical knowledge of medicine. Although I wore the long white coat of a doctor, I kept my pockets packed with condensed medical manuals that we called our “peripheral brains” to make up for the lack of knowledge held in my actual brain. Thank God for these manuals. Otherwise I would have been part of “The July Effect.”

My first night on call. I walk down a dimly lit hallway toward my call room, the only sound the intermittent beeping of a heart monitor. Suddenly, a loud siren rings overhead. A nurse rushes out of a room right in front of me.

“Call a code!” she yells to a secretary. The nurse looks in my direction and asks, “You’re a resident, right? I need you to run this code!”

I look left, right, and behind me.

Gulp. She’s talking to me.

“OK,” I say, hoping that she hasn’t noticed that my voice has leaped an octave.

The truth is, I’ve just finished orientation, which included a course in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, but I have not spent a minute reviewing the manual. Confession: I’m not feeling all that confident.

I rushed with the nurse into the patient’s room. I see on the cardiac monitor that the patient is in ventricular fibrillation, the heart rhythm that immediately precedes death. Squeezing an oxygen mask, a nurse stands above the patient’s head. A second nurse runs medications into an IV.

“What should we do, doctor?”

My mind goes blank. I have absolutely no idea.

I pull out my “peripheral brain,” flip to the section on “ventricular fibrillation.” Aha! Got the treatment. Cardioversion - commonly called electric shocks.

[By cardioversion, I'm using a general term for restoring a heart to its correct rhythm. ]

“Get me the paddles!” I say, my voice rising.

The nurse shoves the paddles into my hands and sets the power to the appropriate level.

“Clear!” I yell, and place the paddles on the patient’s chest.

“STOP!” the nurse screams.

She grabs my hands and moves the paddles to a different spot on the patient’s chest.

One more second and I would have shocked his liver.

“Clear!” I yell again, and press the defibrillation button.

The patient jerks slightly and for an instant the heart monitor goes wild. Then it completely stops. We stand still, staring at the monitor for what seems like minutes, awaiting his new cardiac rhythm.

Beep… beep… beep.


He’s saved.

I let out a breath of relief.

Within seconds, several residents enter the room and take over for me. I gladly step aside. I go back to my call room, both exhilarated that I’ve saved a patient’s life and freaking out that I nearly made a mistake would have cost it. I’ve learned my lesson. I pull out my heart book and study it cover-to-cover until dawn.

Everyone - even doctors, especially doctors - have to learn and train in order to become proficient. Interns start out as rookies, not seasoned veterans. Experience takes time.

So if you have to go to a hospital in July, treat the new interns with patience and respect.

Then check with your nurse to make sure they know what they’re doing.

soundoff (2,421 Responses)
  1. 먹튀검증

    Iím impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.


    May 20, 2021 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 토토사이트

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the website is extremely good.


    May 20, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Nicolas Daniel

    Hi , I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbled upon it on Yahoo , i will come back once again. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and help other people.


    May 20, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Keenan Ibarra

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for your provided information.


    May 20, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Hazel Mays

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!


    May 20, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Isaiah Strausz

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs


    May 20, 2021 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sattaking

    Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.
    It's great to come across a blog every once in a while
    that isn't the same out of date rehashed material.
    Excellent read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    May 21, 2021 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ออร์แกนิค

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my subscribers would value your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e

    May 21, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 21, 2021 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 사설토토

    Great blog you have got here.. Itís difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    May 21, 2021 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. crusher parts

    Learn more about plating on steel, its advantages and prospective applications. Contact Hard Chrome Specialists for layering solutions for steel in , MD and beyond.


    May 21, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Inger Imeson

    I don't know about you guys but I am obsessed with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/08/livery-of-the-week-blue-panorama-airlines/


    May 21, 2021 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 먹튀

    I really like it when people come together and share ideas. Great site, stick with it!


    May 21, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this website needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!


    May 21, 2021 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 사설토토

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the website is also really good.


    May 22, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. gyratory crusher liners

    Manganese is similar to iron in its chemical as well as physical residential properties, but it is harder as well as more fragile. Manganese is possibly one of the most flexible component that can be included in copper alloys.


    May 22, 2021 at 05:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. cyclomune

    cyclomune eye drop cyclomune eye drop

    May 22, 2021 at 05:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 먹튀검증

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should publish more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people don't talk about these topics. To the next! Cheers!!


    May 22, 2021 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 메이저놀이터

    Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
    give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your
    blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?

    Thank you!

    May 22, 2021 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 토토사이트

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your website!


    May 22, 2021 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. 먹튀검증

    Good write-up. I definitely appreciate this site. Keep it up!


    May 22, 2021 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 토토사이트

    An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you need to publish more on this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but usually people do not speak about these subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!


    May 22, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 먹튀검증

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve visited your blog before but after looking at some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím definitely delighted I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!


    May 22, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. chloroquineorigin

    https://chloroquineorigin.com/ hydroxychloroquine coronavirus buy chloroquine phosphate tablets quineprox kratom chloroquine chloroquine malaria prophylaxis

    May 23, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. brimonidine

    combigan coupon brimonidine tartrate

    May 23, 2021 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. chloroquineorigin

    clonidine hcl https://chloroquineorigin.com/ – buy aralen aralen uk aralen phosphate chloroquine phosphate https://chloroquineorigin.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. cone crusher parts

    Likewise known as carbon steel, this product is among one of the most typical choices you'll locate for bearings The 52100 bearing steel is a high carbon, low alloy steel which contains chromium. These functions make chrome steel a excellent option for many general applications looking for thin section bearings.


    May 23, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Tyree Macioce

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs


    May 23, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. air pro vaporizer

    Best Head Shops In Colorado Springs, Colorado14mm bong bowlSmoke shops have long been part of the culture of the West. We have simply intensified the experience for our Colorado Springs, CO neighbors and visitors..


    May 23, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 먹튀검증

    This website really has all the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    May 23, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 토토사이트

    Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to this web site before but after looking at a few of the posts I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím certainly happy I came across it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    May 23, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 먹튀검증업체

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to revisit once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    May 23, 2021 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Soosteemocush

    best price usa tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/ – tadalafil price walmart tadalafil cost walmart tadalafil drug https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. cement mill liners

    Lawrence SLS 14 Manganese Steel is just one of the toughest steels readily available


    May 23, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. cyclosporine

    buy cyclosporine uk cyclomune 0.1% eye drops

    May 23, 2021 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. chứng minh tài chính du học

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article.

    Many thanks for providing this info.

    May 23, 2021 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. tausAffessy

    where to order tadalafil tablets cheap generic cialis for sale cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil price walmart https://tadagatadalafil.com/ – where to buy cialis without prescription

    May 23, 2021 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. cyclomune

    cyclomune 0.1% eye drops cyclomune eye drops 1%

    May 23, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Unitmerienepeft

    https://tadalafilww.com/ tadalafil generic cheap cialis pills for sale cheap cialis pills for sale where to order tadalafil tablets

    May 24, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil online with out prescription [url=https://tadalafilol.com/ ]buy generic cialis online with mastercard [/url] tadalafil blood pressure cialis without prescription buy cialis pills

    May 24, 2021 at 06:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. brimonidine

    buy generic brimonidine combigan uk

    May 25, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Unitmerienepeft

    tadalafil drug prescription tadalafil online buy tadalafil https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 출장 안마

    Hello! I simply want to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you have got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your site for more soon.


    May 25, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 출장마사지

    Great article. I'm experiencing some of these issues as well..


    May 25, 2021 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Soosteemocush

    https://cttadalafil.com/ best price usa tadalafil tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil dosage canada generic tadalafil

    May 25, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 출장안마

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this page.


    May 25, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. avana

    avanafil 200 buy avana online

    May 25, 2021 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 출장마사지

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    May 25, 2021 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. avanafil

    avanafil 200 avana 100 mg

    May 25, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Opera & music

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    May 25, 2021 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41

Leave a Reply to avana


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.