Don’t get sick in July

Speaking of relaxation…This is the time of year when many people take some time off—maybe go on vacation—and unwind a little.

Let’s hope the health benefits from all that relaxation help keep you out of the hospital—especially in July!

You see, July is the month when newly graduated medical and nursing students go to work in hospitals for some on-the- job training. And it’s when experienced hospital staff begin to take off on summer vacations.

This might sound like paranoia, but it’s actually a full-blown medical phenomenon. It’s called the “July effect.”

And in a recent issue of the respected medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine, one astute researcher likened it to having rookies replace veteran football players during “a high-stakes game, and in the middle of that final drive.”1

One problem, for example, is that new doctors, un-tempered with their own experience, allow themselves to be intimidated by government-tainted views of adequate pain relief (a problem I presented last summer in the very first issue of Insiders’ Cures). So while the seasoned “pros” are away, patients are more likely to linger or die in agony due to inadequate prescription of effective, opioid pain killers.

But it’s not just painkillers. Inexperienced doctors have trouble administering appropriate dosages for all kinds of drugs. They also spend more time hemming and hawing over which lab tests to order and when…when and which specialists to consult…and whether a patient needs to be transferred to intensive care or another service in the hospital.

Yes, it’s good for doctors to be thorough and to be certain of their professional medical decisions. But not at the expense of precious time that some patients simply don’t have.

So, again, unless you absolutely have to go to the hospital this month—DON’T. Let the “newbies” get some experience—

and confidence—under their belts first.

Besides, as I mentioned above, summer is the perfect time to try out the benefits of a “nature cure.” One that includes relaxation, sleep, clean air and water, healthy physical activity, and sunshine—and as far away as possible from the modern hospital!

During the 19th century, these approaches cured about half the people half the time. No drugs—or hospitals—required.


1. “‘July Effect’: Impact of the Academic Year-End Changeover on Patient Outcomes: A Systematic Review,” Annals of Internal Medicine 2011; 155(5):309-315