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'll bet video-game players are better drivers, too.)
I assuming the study picked adequate controls, though it's possible that non-video-game playing surgeons operate on harder cases, or work longer hours. What really encourages me is the following:
Beth Israel is now experimenting with applying the findings. Rosser has developed a course called Top Gun, in which surgical trainees warm up their coordination, agility and accuracy with a video game before entering the operating room.
"It's like a good football player," Rosser said, "you have to warm up first."
Exactly! Surgeons should play video games before laparoscopy. Pediatricians should warm up with a game of tag every morning before seeing kids. Psychiatrists should simply ride the subway. And Internal Medicine? They should walk back and forth around their house, asking the furniture and house plants to hurry up with those results.
UPDATE: I'd rather comment on the video game study than today's other popular new study. The comments at this site are really... on the ball... suggesting that it's not the deed but the impulse that's protective.