Do videogames help surgeons?

Ah, I knew that all that Frogger and Space Invaders and Tetris action would come in handy someday. Uh, too bad I'm not a surgeon. According to a study from this month's edition of Archives of Surgery, doctors who played videogames performed better on their laparoscopic surgical skills exams in which they have to insert instruments through a small opening and navigate them through the body using a television screen.

The study looked at the performance of 33 surgeons from New York's prestigious Beth Israel Medical Center. The nine docs who played videogames for a minimum of three hours a week made fewer mistakes and worked faster--scoring 42 percent better-- than the 15 who had never even picked up a controller. The study asserts that videogames may help with "fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, visual attention, depth perception and computer competency."

Now that I know the truth, perhaps it's time for me to try my hand at Operation again.

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Cathy Lu

Digital World (US)
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