Video Games May Improve Surgical Skills

The next time you ask you're doctor for his credentials, ask if he plays video games. In the February issue of Archives of Surgery, a study showed that surgeons who played more video games scored higher on tests assessing their surgical capabilities, and to boot, showed that the correlation was stronger than any correlation to prior experience or the amount of training the surgeon had already received. Who knows, maybe 'Video Games: 101' will become a new required class for medical students around the world.

Playing video games appears to help surgeons with skills that truly count: how well they operate using a precise technique, a study said Monday. 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. 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.