Super Monkey Ball finds a place in surgical training

Surgeons with gaming skills perform better than their non-gaming peers, researchers say

A study involving 33 surgeons of varied game-playing backgrounds has revealed that the skills obtained from video games could transfer to a delicate procedure known as laparoscopic surgery.

Twelve surgeons and twenty-one surgical residents from the prestigious Beth Israel Medical Center in New York were surveyed to determine their game-playing habits and skill. Survey responses were compared to how well each participant performed in a simulated surgery skills course.

Of the surgeons who participated in the study, 15 reported to have never played video games, nine reported playing zero to three hours per week, and nine reported playing more than three hours per week at the height of their video game playing.

The latter group of surgeons was found to perform best at laparoscopic surgery, scoring 42 percent better in the surgery skills test than the 15 surgeons who had never played video games. Surgeons who reported playing up to three hours per week followed, scoring an average of 26 percent better than their non-gamer colleagues.

The study was conducted during four months in 2002 and was led by Dr. James C. Rosser Jr, a Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Results will be published for the first time in the U.S. journal Archives of Surgery this month, after an extensive peer review process by the scientific community.

While the relevance of video games in the training of surgeons has been the subject of some controversy among medical researchers, Rosser's results were hardly a surprise for the long-time gamer who the media and his students have dubbed the 'Nintendo Surgeon' and 'Xbox doctor'.

"We all know that in surgery and video games, practice makes perfect," he said. "I think that video games share so much common ground with this new type of surgery, because both are dictated by the world of the screen."

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that was introduced in the early 1990s as an alternative to open surgery. The technique is performed using a tiny video camera and thin operating instruments that are inserted through small incisions in the body.

Surgeons are required to manipulate instruments based on the video feed that is delivered to a television screen. As such, laparoscopic surgery requires a high level of visual-spatial perception skills that Rosser expects can be trained by playing video games.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Liz Tay

PC World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?