General interest for all you fellow doctors
A prospective study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (ACS is located here in Chicago, across the street from Northwestern (University) Memorial Hospital) says that surgeons should learn a lesson from athletes and musicians…and warm-up before they go to work.
The researchers found that when surgeons took part in a series of exercises before operating, they performed better in surgery simulations. Here's the abstract from PubMed
Effect of short-term pretrial practice on surgical proficiency in simulated environments: a randomized trial of the "preoperative warm-up" effect.
BACKGROUND: Surgery is a skill-driven discipline. While other high-stake professions with comparable cognitive and psychomotor skill requirements often use warm-up exercises for achieving better proficiency, the effects of such practice have not been investigated sufficiently in surgical tasks.
DESIGN: Subjects performed standardized exercises as a preoperative warm-up, after which the standardized exercises were repeated in a randomized order. In a variation to investigate the generalizability of preoperative warm-up, the experimental group was allowed to warm-up with the standardized exercises, after which a different task (electrocautery simulation) was performed. To investigate the effect of warm-up on fatigue, participants were involved in eight sessions (four before night call, four after night call), after which the tasks were repeated. Results were analyzed using ANOVA to plot differences between warm-up and followup condition.
RESULTS: All outcomes measures demonstrated statistically significant improvements after all of the post-warm-up exercises (p < 0.01), and were seen in all groups with differing experience levels. In addition, the simple warm-up exercises led to a significant increase in proficiency in followup electrocautery task for the experimental group when compared with the control group (p < 0.0001). There was also significant improvement in performance of the fatigued group to approximately baseline performance (p < 0.05), although they were not able to reach their optimal potential performance.
CONCLUSION: Preoperative warm-up for 15 to 20 minutes with simple surgical exercises leads to a substantial increase in surgical skills proficiency during followup tasks.
I helped my neighbor this week blow the snow off his driveway because his chest was healing from being cracked open in surgery. This past fall he had a 9-hour vascular operation which started around 11pm (for torn aorta)...we had been out to dinner together, called ambulance to the restaurant, all night with him at the hospital, etc. His surgeon had to be exhausted after working the whole day prior, and probably had a full day of office appointments the following day. The following weekend, the surgeon flew to Hawaii for the Iron Man competition...the guy was in shape. I'm guessing the doc probably did some exercises throughout the night to keep himself going.
P.S. I'm not really a doctor...but, you already knew that. 'Cmon, don't be goofy...it's the internet!
Post Edited (Casey59) : 2/4/2011 10:13:20 PM (GMT-7)