A lot of people see videogames as the archetypal time-waster. That's silly, and there have been a lot of studies that show why. The latest? Researchers have found that high school- and college-age gamers are better virtual surgeons than medical residents.
Scientists from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston had a hunch that students with a regular videogame diet (high school sophomores who played two hours of games a day and college students who played four) would be primed for virtual surgery tools. They were right. When performance with those tools was measured, the game-playing students did better than a group of residents at UTMB. It was only slightly better, but still. Kinda makes you wonder: Who do you really want poking you with needles, a prim Harvard-educated resident or a slovenly high school kid who spends Friday nights playing Call of Duty?
The study used a machine that replicated surgeries--suture this, pass off that needle, etc. It then measured the users' competency based on how well they did the tasks, including the tension they put on their instruments and their overall hand-eye coordination. The high school students did best, followed by the college group, followed by the UTMB residents.
For something to compare the results to, researchers also had the groups perform simulations without the gaming-type robotic aid used in the first test--an experiment that tested a different set of cognitive traits. The young gamers got trounced by the residents in that field.
This doesn't mean we all need to rush to get our surgeons the latest copy of Halo 4. Most physicians working today, researchers note, weren't trained with robotic surgery tools. But having the same gaming background as the students probably wouldn't hurt, and researchers say we should reconsider how to train surgeons from the Xbox Generation.
Gamers just have more joystick, keyboard and mouse practice time, at Virtual Surgery than MDs. And on a side note, their medical ignorance might make them less nervous, when it comes to mistakes for some.
Ignorance is bliss? I think you are right. The gamers likely don't understand the consequences of a mistake, and are much more experienced with virtual worlds and controllers.
Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein
being a gamer i'm more apt to agree with Robot up there, while i probably have the dexterity to accurately carve someone up the correct way using virtual surgery i have literally no experience what so ever on what is actually inside the human body. it's kinda mushy right?
if they were to trick me into doing it by doing a bunch of simulated surgeries and then pop in a real one somewhere in there without me knowing i think that would work just fine but i don't think i could knowingly carve into someone... unless they're trying to kill me...
to mars or bust!
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I do scuba diving training and find exactly the same thing - young people tend to have no fear and perform most tasks very well, however when they start doing something wrong they don't notice and don't correct for it (like boyancy). Adults tend to be more nervous at all skills but much better at managing themselves and correcting their mistakes. I'm surprised there wan't a control group of non-medical-non-gamers or experienced physicians
A bit 'old news'; I'm afraid.
Butch Rosser has proven this to be true in 2007. In fact, Wii-playing residents scored 48 per cent higher on tool control and performance than those without the Wii warm-up. [The Impact of Video Games.
on Training Surgeons in the 21st Century Rosser, Archives of Surgery, vol 142, p 18.]
Still, this has te be interpreted with caution. Video games may (!) be of use in training surgeons, for aptitudes such as psychomotor skill. But one must realize that to date, no evidence exists that they will become better surgeons, as effect on clinical decision making or surgical performance outcomes has not been proven. See this recent publication in the British Journal of Surgery:( Systematic review of serious games for medical education and surgical skills training; free online pdf via www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bjs.8819/pdf.
The way forward is to develop video games in co-creation between game developers and medical professionals, validating the game while it is being built on content, interval playtesting, and have the medical society 'on board' because it was done rightfully. This is the only way forward to fully capitalize the unbelievable potential of the power of play!
Goes back further than that. I recall reading about doctors playing Playststion (Crash Bandicoot, or something) prior to surgery, which decreased in overall operation time among other things since the doctor was already warmed up mentally and physically. I always assumed it was a bit of a stress relief too.