At teaching hospitals across the country, July 1 generally marks the first day on the job for medical school graduates beginning their residencies. While teaching hospitals do their best to create a safe and seamless transition, studies have raised concerns about the “July effect” – the suspected link between the start of the residency period and increased risks of surgical complications and medical errors.
Every doctor needs real-world experience and training, but your health and safety shouldn’t be sacrificed in the process. Consider these three questions before scheduling a summer surgery to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
3 questions to ask before having surgery in the summer
1. Will your surgery take place at a teaching hospital?
If your surgery will be performed at a teaching hospital, there’s a good chance some of the doctors involved in your care will be in training. Ask whether medical students or residents will take part in your procedure and clarify the role they will play in your care. If you’re not comfortable with the answers to these questions, look into transferring to a hospital or surgery center that doesn’t use residents.
2. Could this procedure wait?
Is the surgery elective or safe to put off? Is there a noninvasive treatment you could try first? Consider seeking a second opinion before making your final decision. While you should never delay a critical procedure, exploring alternative treatments may help you avoid a summer surgery. Ideally, you should aim to schedule your procedure in the first half of the year, giving the residents time to become familiar with their new roles.
3. How experienced is the doctor performing my surgery?
If your procedure can’t be delayed and a teaching hospital is your best option, you’ll want to be sure the most experienced doctors are responsible for your care. Confirm the names and backgrounds of each member of your surgical team, as well as their duties and level of involvement during your procedure.
If you or a loved one suffered complications following a surgery or medical procedure, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can find answers to your questions and help you seek justice for your injuries. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
This website is not intended to provide medical advice. Patients should consult with a trained medical professional before making a decision to delay or forgo surgery or other medical procedures.