Video game playing surgeons perform better.

I’ve had two different people send this to me so I thought I should get around to posting about it. Seems a recent study found that surgeons who play video games regularly are benefiting from improved accuracy and efficiency while on the job.

ABCNEWS.com : Surgeons Who Play Video Games Err Less

All those years on the couch playing Nintendo and PlayStation appear to be paying off for surgeons. Researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.

“I use the same hand-eye coordination to play video games as I use for surgery,” said Dr. James “Butch” Rosser, 49, who demonstrated the results of his study Tuesday at Beth Israel Medical Center.

Rosser said the skill needed for laparoscopic surgery is “like tying your shoelaces with 3-foot-long chopsticks.”

“Yes, here we go!” said Rosser, sitting in front of a Super Monkey Ball game, which shoots a ball into a confined goal. “This is a nice, wholesome game. No blood and guts. But I need the same kind of skill to go into a body and sew two pieces of intestine together.”

Who knows? It may be wise to ask your surgeon if he’s a video gamer before deciding to undergo any laparoscopic surgeries in the future. grin

Thanks to both John and Brooks who sent this news item to me.

4 thoughts on “Video game playing surgeons perform better.

  1. I’m sure this is nice, but how long will it be before somebody defends a malpractice suit on the grounds that his client had earned enough points for a free life, and shouldn’t be liable? :-D

  2. I would just be worried that the surgeon might get confused right in the middle of working with a laser and try to zap everything in my body cavity, screaming, “KILL ‘EM ALL!!!”

  3. I believe that there is some merit in this.

    Some time ago I attended a demonstration of a device developed by a Brit. One used a joy stick to center a spot of light back-projected onto a strip of frosted glass. I don’t recall the technical term, but some sort of second order tracking error was built into the system. The inventor claimed that the device developed the same skill set that required by fighter pilots. (Of course he mentioned the Battle of Britain several times.)

    He claimed that the Royal Navy used his device to qualify (surface ship) gunners. They had to test frequently and had to acheive a minimum score in order to stand watch as the trigger man.

  4. Wow, so if I ever decided to get out of sales, at least I stand a chance of being a successful surgeon!

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