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Article
February 16, 1990

It's OK to Get Sick in July

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Virginia/ Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond

Medical College of Virginia/ Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond

JAMA. 1990;263(7):994. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440070082038
Abstract

"I want a real doctor, not an intern, taking care of me!" said my elderly friend as we discussed the relative merits of having her hip surgery performed at the university hospital rather than at the community hospital—this, despite the fact that she knew that I was the director of the internal medicine residency program at the same teaching hospital. This distrust of medical academia reaches its annual peak in July, when anyone living in the shadow of a teaching hospital knows that he or she will be "done in," physically or financially, by new house staff freshly arrived from medical school graduation if he or she should have the misfortune of getting sick in the summertime. While we like to think of the fear of this "July phenomenon" as a vestige of a previous era in medical education, the possibility that physician inexperience may impose additional burdens on patients

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