Playing video game is good for laparoscopic skill
Tue - December 30, 2008
During the suturing course, doctors be a part of several drills to demonstrate their ability to manage surgical tools remotely. While using nondominant hand, for example, they manipulate the tools to decrease a pea right into a tiny cup with a small opening. The course ends with the surgeon's conducting a clinical task, suturing within the body on the simulated body cavity. The 21 residents and 12 attending physicians who took part in the recording game study first filled out questionnaires on their knowledge about video games, surgical specialty, years of surgical experience, number of laparoscopic cases, sex and hand dominance. Then they played games, and lastly, took the suturing course. Dr. Andrew Lo, 43, an over-all surgeon at Beth Israel with 11 years of experience of the operating room, took the course and took part in the research. He had played game titles attending college, however nowadays the only gamer in his house is his 14-year old son. Dr. Lo, who performs 2 to 3 laparoscopic procedures a week, said he was not surprised that gaming experience could help improve surgical skills.
''Watching the screen and then doing things as opposed to seeing it directly, it is a different sense of spatial relationships,'' he explained. Because gaming can improve hand-eye coordination, Dr. Lo said, ''people who play lots of video games may have a slight advantage.'' The study does not ultimately show whether gaming experience causes a doctor to be a better surgeon, said Dr. Douglas Gentile, the director of Research for that National Institute on Media and also the Family in Minneapolis, who tabulated the results and is one of the study's authors. ''Can you really improve surgical skills by looking into making them play game titles?'' he explained. ''There continues to be more to be known relating to this issue.'' In the meantime, Dr. Lo said, playing a video game for 25 minutes before an elaborate laparoscopic operation is probably not a poor way to warm-up.