#NewsSpeak: Black Wednesday

We would like to welcome all the new trainees to the NHS and to Barts-MS. #NewsSpeak #BlackWednesday

Today is the first Wednesday in August, the day when newly trained doctors start working for the first time and all the existing trainees rotate to a new hospital and/or a new position.  We would like to welcome all the new doctors to the NHS and to those working as part of the Barts-MS team.

Unfortunately, the press have labelled this day a Black Wednesday, which is referred to in the USA as the July effect. These terms refers to the phenomenon of a perceived increase in the risk of medical errors and surgical complications that occurs in association with the time of year in which medical school graduates begin their new jobs. It has also often been referred to in the past as the the killing season.

We would urge all trainees to read the BMA’s advice about Black Wednesday and to not let the press get to you. 

Rachel Clarke. Black Wednesday’? Don’t let yourself be smeared. BMA 2 Aug 2016.


…… Certain sections of the British press love an excuse to bash doctors. You can guarantee that tomorrow — the first Wednesday in August — at least one shopworn hack will recycle the tired phrase ‘Black Wednesday’ in reference to the alleged risks to patients of entering hospital on day one of new doctors’ careers.

……. It’s tough enough taking those first tentative steps as a fledgling doctor — overwhelmed with imposter syndrome, convinced you’ll be found out — without newspaper headlines undermining you. I well remember a few years back the sting of the Daily Mail blaming new doctors themselves for the apparent increase in hospital deaths during August: ‘Black Wednesday: Today junior doctors will start work — and cause A&E death rates to increase by SIX per cent.’

One thought on “#NewsSpeak: Black Wednesday”

  1. Thanks for letting us know. I was unaware of this. Good luck junior doctors and I really hope they get the time to read this blog.

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