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Study Confirms That New Doctors Commit More Medication Errors

We have posted several stories over the summer involving the increase in medical errors related to new residents entering hospitals across the country.

New residents, or doctors-in-training, begin their first shift at the beginning of July each year. Research continues to pour out that categorically demonstrates a significant increase in medical mistakes committed by these residents.

For example, the United States National Library of Medicine published the results of a new study which sought to measure this “July Effect.” Specifically, the study examined the number of medication errors that occurred at hospitals across the country in July as compared to other times of the year. The comprehensive evaluation examined over 62 million death certificates over the past 27 years. From that they culled near 250,000 deaths related to medication errors.

The researchers then conducted a plethora of analysis on that data to compare the timing and location of the errors. In summary, they discovered that that July Effect did in fact bear out in all locations that had a teaching hospital where new residents could be found. The errors caused by doctors’ prescribing dangerous medications spiked by 10% in the month when new residents began prescribing drugs to patients.

Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe that all patients deserve to be treated by medical professionals who can provide a reasonable standard of care. It is simply unacceptable for certain patients to suffer debilitating loss merely because they happened to be treated by an inexperienced new doctor-in-training. If you have any concerns about the competence of the medical care that you or a loved one has received, please contact a medical malpractice lawyer today to learn more about your rights. The only way to force those in decision-making positions to change their negligent behavior is to hold them accountable for the preventable medical errors that they continue to allow.