For anyone in medicine, particularly those of us who teach, July 1 is a very special day. It’s the day new interns start and, therefore, the day everyone else in training moves up a year in the hierarchy.
New residents train at teaching hospitals and for this reason many people think that these hospitals are not as safe or as experienced as others. To clear this common misconception, here are the top four reasons to be treated in a teaching hospital.
- For patients, be reassured that the care you get in July and throughout the year is only made better by having these young doctors involved in your care. Recent studies have shown that there is no “July effect”. It’s just as safe to be in a teaching hospital in July as other months.
- But it’s not just that it’s safe; it may be in your best interest to be treated in a teaching hospital. When doctors get sick, they usually choose to go to teaching hospitals… for good reasons. Most studies show no difference in outcomes between community and teaching hospitals. Because medical students and residents are being taught on a daily basis, there is more reason for everyone to be up to date on the latest new discoveries and treatments.
- Additionally, most of the research to provide new ways to treat patients is performed in teaching hospitals.
- Finally, there is an advantage to having a team involved in your care. There are more physicians seeing you and thinking about what you need, and more people who can potentially sit down and talk to you, providing the comfort that is so important to those who are ill.
–Dr. Mary Brandt, Associate Dean of Student Affairs