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Video games improve Surgeons' skills

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Feb 2007 15:06 User comments (9)

Video games improve Surgeons' skills According to a study published in the February edition of Archives of Surgery, Surgeons who regularly play video games are generally more skilled at performing laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopy involves controlling surgical instruments through a small incision or body opening, where the Surgeon is guided by a TV screen. The study found that regular gamers made fewer errors, performed faster and performed better in a surgical skills test.
33 doctors from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York participated in the study. The 9 doctors that had at some time played video games at least 3 hours per week made 37% less errors than 15 doctors who had never played video games. They also performed 27% faster and scored 42% better in a surgical skills test.

"It was surprising that past commercial video game play was such a strong predictor of advanced surgical skills," said Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile. Dr. James Rosser of Beth Israel, said, "Video games may be a practical teaching tool to help train surgeons," but the authors don't recommend that this research should be used to allow younger children and students to play games too often.

"Parents should not see this study as beneficial if their child is playing video games for over an hour a day," Gentile said. "Spending that much time playing video games is not going to help their child's chances of getting into medical school." Video games have been linked to aggressiveness, poor grades and are often used as a substitute for proper exercise.


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9 user comments

119.2.2007 15:23

Guys: Re: Whether or not video games improve the dexterity and operative skins in Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery, I can tell you, without a doubt, that statement is true. The less computer literate the surgeon is, the lower his surgical skills and dexterity are. I am a Gyn surgeon that requires extensive dexterity skills with a plethora or hi-tech equipment. "Game" skins allow me to concentrate on the surgery in very small recesses that could not possibly be reached in MACRO. I forget the equipment and concentrate on the surgery goals at hand......just like a great gamer does.

New to this forum and enjoy it. Thanks for all of your input. I continue to learn from you. BTW, I did not intend any gender slams with my greeting. BEST, JJP

219.2.2007 16:00

welcome to the forum! really so it does help...a better gamer makes a better surgeon thats crazy...but makes sense!! :) hahaha

319.2.2007 21:44

Haven't I heard this somewhere....

420.2.2007 6:44

yeah, being an avid gamer wince my little days, i've notice the skills i learned from games i've loved over the years coming into every day situations. being driving, to shooting, to anything, playing games helped my logic out for these tasks and more.

520.2.2007 12:10

An idea came to me while reading this article. Maybe they should re-invent the Operation board game as a video game and that could also help surgeons out.

620.2.2007 22:40

I heard these same stats from the below clip:

History of Computer Graphics

This was filmed sometime in 2004 I beleive, just before the release of The Sims 2.

This clip is 2 hours and 19 minutes, but it is pretty interesting to watch.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Feb 2007 @ 22:42

721.2.2007 6:48

i watched something like that. is it a documentary? cuz i think my dad got it from netflix. maybe it was on tv, i dont know.

821.2.2007 9:55

Wasn't there a similar study a few years ago that tested surgeons playing Super Monkey Ball - or whatever the game was - on how precise their skills were compared to the ones that didn't play before the gimmick test? Anyway, it has been somewhat proven and tested that those who did play, tended to get better scores and such compared to those that didn't. I'm glad it's gaining some ground, and when we compare this to recent studies like how fps games can imporve eye coordination, it's nice to see this is gaining a ground of its own compared to a few years ago when it was obsolete to think about such a thing.

923.2.2007 9:56

i should ask my dad, he is a doctor and plays video games

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