karl_lembke (karl_lembke) wrote,
karl_lembke
karl_lembke

Video games make for better doctors

Reuters has a piece that deals with an interesting correlation:
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.

Out of 33 surgeons from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York that participated in the study, the nine doctors who had at some point played video games at least three hours per week made 37 percent fewer errors, performed 27 percent faster, and scored 42 percent better in the test of surgical skills than the 15 surgeons who had never played video games before.
"It was surprising that past commercial video game play was such a strong predictor of advanced surgical skills," said Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile, one of the study's authors.
It supports previous research that video games can improve "fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, visual attention, depth perception and computer competency," the study said.

Interesting. However, beware the temptation to equate correlation with causation. It might just turn out that surgeons who have better skills in these areas enjoy video games more, and are more likely to play them.
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