Surgeon capabilities predicted by video play

Surgeons who play video games may be more skilled than those who do not.

Luddites, take note!

The scientific way to state the reality is this:

There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon's capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery in the study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery.

The reason for the correlation between playing video games and performing surgery is that both involve manual dexterity (and probably hand-eye coordination).

I can recall Barbara Brennan telling a class that playing piano is good food for the mind, because it assists in left- and right-hemisphere coordination. For those who think that's energetic hogwash, maybe this study will give pause. Whether the link is energetic, biological, or both, the link exists.

Laparoscopy and related surgeries involve manipulating instruments through a small incision or body opening where the surgeon's movements are guided by watching a television screen.

Video game skills translated into higher scores on a day-and-half-long surgical skills test, and the correlation was much higher than the surgeon's length of training or prior experience in laparoscopic surgery, the study said.

Out of 33 surgeons from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York that participated in the study, the nine doctors who had at some point played video games at least three hours per week made 37 percent fewer errors, performed 27 percent faster, and scored 42 percent better in the test of surgical skills than the 15 surgeons who had never played video games before.

Of course, this is no excuse for missing one's homework while developing avatars on Second Life.

One of Woody Allen's characters refuses to do his homework because he is worried that "the universe is expanding." A precocious, dexterous, thumb-wielding, joystick-zooming surgical training teen should not be given a pretext for a homework avoidance strategy.

Otherwise, 'Why Johnny Can't Read' will become 'why Johnny can't win Battle Conflagration IX with his opposable thumbs ... and therefore can't get into medical school.'
Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen offers general corporate legal services, litigation consultation, and expertise in health law with a unique focus on alternative, complementary, and integrative medical therapies.

Michael H. Cohen is Principal in Law Offices of Michael H. Cohen and also President of the Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine (also known as the Institute for Health, Ethics, Law, Policy & Society), a forum for exploration of legal, regulatory, ethical, and health policy issues involved in the judicious integration of complementary and alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, herbal medicine) and conventional clinical care. The most recent published book by Michael H. Cohen on health care law, regulation, ethics and policy pertaining to complementary, alternative and integrative medicine and related fields is Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion. This is the fourth book in a series, following Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Legal Boundaries and Regulatory Perspectives (1998), Beyond Complementary Medicine: Legal and Ethical Perspectives on Health Care and Human Evolution (2000), and Future Medicine: Ethical Dilemmas, Regulatory Challenges, and Therapeutic Pathways to Health Care and Healing in Human Transformation (2003).

Health care and corporate lawyer Michael H. Cohen has also been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales as a Solicitor (non-practicing), adding to Bar membership in four U.S. states.