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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

New Medical Staff Might Be Bad For Your Health

Published September 28, 2009 9:04 AM by Elizabeth Puliti
Starting a new job in emergency medicine? You may want to be extra careful on your first day. Research from Imperial College London states that the death rate is higher among patients admitted to English hospitals on the first Wednesday in August--the day new grads typically start their first day of work.

Specifically, the death rate among patients was 6 percent higher on this day than patients who were admitted the last Wednesday in July. From 2000 to 2008, scientists analyzed approximately 300,000 patients who were admitted to state-run hospitals across England on those two Wednesdays.

The researchers controlled for patients' age, sex, socioeconomic status and secondary medical problems, and found the odds of dying to be 6 percent higher for those admitted on the Wednesday in August. However, the odds among medical admissions (patients who were not suffering from cancer and did not require surgery) were 8 percent higher. The findings were published in PLoS ONE.

An article in Time that referenced the study reported, "An influx of new medical staff, in other words, just might be very, very bad for your health."

Do you agree?


I remember working in an acute care hospital and the first of July was the day of dread. All the new interns and residents arrived. They arrived loaded with attitude and no experience. Thanks goodness the bulk of the attending MDs were very upfront about telling new arrivals to listen to the incumbent nursing and rehab staff (particularly on the neuro floor). I believe the senior nurses and PTs were primary in preventing incidents from the new doctors. That being said, I think they should have come in the door knowing to ask and respect the allied professional staff rather than have to be told by the attnedings.

Dean Metz September 30, 2009 6:20 AM
Newcastle upon Tyne

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