Print 22 comment(s) - last by littlebitstrou.. on May 26 at 10:02 AM

New research suggests that Surgeons who play video games prior to surgeries fare better than Surgeons who do not

A new study suggests that surgeons who get their daily dose of video games before a surgery commit fewer errors during surgery. Surgeons who warmed up by playing video games like Super Monkey Ball for 20 minutes immediately prior to performing surgical drills were faster and made fewer errors than those who did not, according to a study at Beth Israel Medical Center New York conducted by Dr James "Butch" Rosser.

The research involved 303 surgeons that participated in a medical training course which included playing video games and focused on laparoscopic surgical procedures (Use of a tiny video camera and long, slender instruments inserted through small incisions). Doctors performance was measured on "cobra rope," a laparoscopic training exercise used to teach how to sew up internal wounds.  The results of this research indicated that doctors who played video games before the cobra rope drill completed it an average 11 seconds sooner than doctors who did not. Errors made during the training lengthened the total time taken to complete the task; this indicates that faster finishers also made fewer mistakes.

According to Dr. Rosser who has been playing video games since the days of "Pong" tennis, his ultimate goal is to lower medical errors that amount to 100,000 deaths each year by giving surgeons training tools similar to flight simulators used by pilots. Now a good question to ask before going under the knife would be "Doctor, are you game for surgery" while handing the surgeon a PSP or nintento for warming up.

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shouldn't the title read
By Sazar on 5/25/2006 5:24:01 PM , Rating: 3
Video GAMERS make better doctors?

I would be loathe to go to a hospital with a video game operating on people ;)

RE: shouldn't the title read
By shadowzz on 5/25/2006 5:26:34 PM , Rating: 1
No, these surgeons who play video games are better than surgeons who don't -- it's the video games that are making the surgeons better (according to this study anyway).

Correlation != causation and all that.. to me it seems as though people who would *want* to play video games just have a more inclined mental ability and comfort to operate via a television screen anyway.

RE: shouldn't the title read
By Scorpion on 5/25/2006 5:45:25 PM , Rating: 4
I thought it has long been known that certain video games help increase eye-hand coordination. This study doesn't really tell me anything new, other than applying an already known characteristic of playing video games to surgery.

If doctors are operating instruments via a controlled monitor, rather than by direct sight, it simply makes sense that they would need good eye-hand coordination when observing the procedure through a display screen.

This all seem pretty common sense to me.

RE: shouldn't the title read
By Xavian on 5/26/2006 2:02:24 AM , Rating: 2
you better believe it. Ever since i started playing video games ive noticed my hand-eye co-ordination and reactions in general improve substantually.

So i can definately see how it can improve surgeon's skills, reactions and co-ordination.

RE: shouldn't the title read
By captchaos2 on 5/26/2006 9:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
So will surgeons be using a Wii to operate on me?

By df96817 on 5/25/2006 5:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's what we need, a medical video game. Sort of like "Operation", except it's like an actual simulator. :) :)

RE: yah
By Tuanies on 5/25/2006 6:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
There is one, its called Trauma Center: Under the Knife for DS. It kicks ass.

RE: yah
By Xavian on 5/26/2006 2:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
Theres also Trauma Center: Second Opinion coming out on the Wii at launch, utilizing the Wiimote as a scalpel, hand and more.

RE: yah
By xit2nowhere on 5/26/2006 12:19:00 AM , Rating: 2
heh, wasn't Postal like that ?

reverse prescription
By Scabies on 5/25/2006 5:12:05 PM , Rating: 4
So if a doctor plays Doom 3 before... and you die... can you (or your survivors) sue iD for malpractice?

RE: reverse prescription
By tuteja1986 on 5/26/2006 2:07:13 AM , Rating: 2
The purpose of the research is to find ways to reduce the number of surgical errors, which cause more than half of the 100,000 deaths each year in the United States due to medical errors, Rosser said.

"If we can use something cheap and over the counter like videogames to help surgeons, then we should be motivated to discover what we should use and how we should use it," he said.

Rosser has been playing videogames since 1972, starting with the Pong tennis game. His favorite games today include Halo 2 and Super Monkey Ball 2.


By Gigahertz19 on 5/25/2006 5:15:54 PM , Rating: 3
..."Other studies show games played on the MAC resulted in surgeons making more mistakes."

By michael2k on 5/25/2006 6:40:43 PM , Rating: 3
Well yeah, Media Access Control makes for a lousy game.

Much more fun and useful to play something like Halo or Doom3 on your MacBook instead.

By fic2 on 5/25/2006 7:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
On an unrelated note - surgeons who play video games before surgery were 100% more likely to be late.


RE: late
By shecknoscopy on 5/25/2006 8:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
This also depends strongly on the type of video game they play. Let's not have them playing RPG's too much, eh?

NURSE: Uh, doctor, I think we're through here. Shall we close him up?

DR. 'CLOUDKICKER': Hold on, hold on... I'm pretty sure there's an item hidden near his spleen. Let me just search here a little while longer...

In general, I'm thinking games with little dialog. I have a hard enough time understanding my doctor without it being hastily translated from Japanese.

New Games
By dice1111 on 5/25/2006 6:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
This is going to spur a whole new genre of video games.


Doctor Sonic the Hedgehog
Sold Gear: Snake under the knife
Mortal Kombat Surgeon ->(in deep voice) "FIX HIM!"

Etc, Etc

Jack Thompson
By Samus on 5/25/2006 6:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
JT eat your heart out....or rather, when you have a heart attack (fatass) you'll wish you didn't have sergeon who's hand shake like a poor Michael J Fox

The ultimate surgeon?
By bobsmith1492 on 5/25/2006 9:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
They could make the ultimate surgeon by having a kid practice surgery games from the time he's little and condition him to win every time; then, at some point, slip in a real patient, and the guy would never know the difference; you'd never have to worry about him getting nervous before a surgery.

Anyone read Ender's Game?

By The Battōsai on 5/26/2006 1:00:21 AM , Rating: 2
if u die

its really 'game over'?

Imma doctor
By tk109 on 5/26/2006 3:34:33 AM , Rating: 2
Sweet I'm going to go try some surgery on my cat!

Super Monkey Ball
By Mudvillager on 5/26/2006 5:07:43 AM , Rating: 2
He should play the original Super Monkey Ball game on the Gamecube, it's far superior to its follow-ups.
In my opinion it's actually one of the best games ever created!

Mr. Jones
By littlebitstrouds on 5/26/2006 10:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
"Mr. Jones this type of brain surgery has a 80% failure rate, but it's your only chance and survival. But I have good news. We just got a brand new Playstation 3."


You're sugery cost $500 but we had to get a PS3 so that'll add $600. "Is that covered by insurance?"

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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