20 February 2007

Is Your Surgeon a Skilled Video Player?

He should be.

In fact, there is now a suggestion from a respected surgery journal that playing "video games may be a practical teaching tool to help train surgeons."

In the published study, researchers tried to put credence to anecdotal observations from junior surgical residents that those who scored high at shooting alien spaceships in video games were also excellent in doing laparoscopic surgery.

For the uninitiated, laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique wherein a very small incision is made while surgeons work long instruments (called what else but the laparoscope) and a camera inserted into the abdomen. The surgeon performs the operation while looking at a video terminal to see the insides of the abdomen and performs whatever operation is needed. There are many advantages to this procedure for patients like less pain, smaller incisions, shorter hospital stay, less infection risks, and reduced blood loss. You can read more on laparoscopic surgery here.

The published study found out that:
"Surgeons who had played video games in the past for more than three hours per week made 37 percent fewer errors, were 27 percent faster, and scored 42 percent better overall than surgeons who never played video games," the study authors wrote.

"Current video game players made 32 percent fewer errors, were 24 percent faster and scored 26 percent better overall than their non-player colleagues," they added.

[Washington Post, 19 Feb 2007]

If they offered video games in Surgery subjects in medical school here, I think there would be more skillful and proficient surgeons in the future.

I think credit should go to Dr James Rosser who started this video game-surgical skill association with his Top Gun Laparoscopic Suturing Program.

Bottomline: An excellent video player will probably be an excellent surgeon, and a good surgeon can be better if he scored high in playing video games.

3 reactions:

ann said...

Pakuhanin ko nga ng medicine si Joshua ko...hahaha! (just kidding)

bayi said...

So, are you a good video game player? Knowing you, I think you are! :) Whenever time permits, of course!

Dr. Emer said...

ANN: Huwag ka nang magbiro, pakuhanin mo na ng medicine pag college na. ;-)

BAYI: Soulmate is always the better video player. *LOL*