Thursday, August 28, 2008

Surgeons and Video Games



Recent studies show that video game playing can be associated with surgery skills. Certain types of video games can truly have beneficial effects, improving a surgeon’s ability to problem solve as well as to finish the surgery more quickly than a surgeon who has not played video games before. Some people say that playing video games can even make a surgeon smarter by enhancing their ability to be more precise in the actions they take and help them to perform with lesser errors.
One study found that gamers who participate in the very popular multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft used their problem solving skills, such as testing, modeling and they found that these gamers even used math improving their scientific thinking.
In one article, I found that that one study involving thirty-three laparoscopic surgeons who had played video games before were actually 27% faster during the surgeries they performed and they made 37% fewer mistakes than those surgeons who had not played video games. (Source link: American Psychological Association).

Who knew video games could help a surgeon’s performance? Not that I think there should be a mandatory video game course in medical school, but perhaps something similar to a virtual testing skill course will be available sometime in the near future. BTW, plastic surgeons use endoscopic skills in breast augmentation using the transaxillary (armpit) technique, in browlifting, and in mini-tummy tucks. Guess all that Pac-Man and Donkey Kong as a kid pays off.

1 comment:

  1. I guess I can't nag my fiance too much about playing hours of video games..well, maybe I can and I still will, but at least I know that some of those $50 games can help your brain-somewhat.

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