Retrospective cohort study: adverse events at the start of the year
Undesirable events among trainees are more common at the beginning of the academic year
- By: Nick Dunn
There is a time of year when most of the junior staff in hospitals are new in their job, even though they are at various stages in their training programme. In the United Kingdom this period is usually in August, when new graduates start their first or second trainee job and other trainees arrive at the hospital. In the United States, it is July. It has been suggested previously that this period may be associated with relatively poor care of patients, because of the doctors’ inexperience. Overall, the evidence on this matter appears inconclusive.123 The authors of this paper saw an opportunity in the anaesthetic department of a hospital in Australia to test the null hypothesis that the adverse event rate associated with anaesthesia during the new doctors’ early period after arrival at the hospital does not differ from the adverse event rate later on.
They carried out a retrospective