Virtual operations to make real surgeons proficient

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London, Jan 18 (UNI) It may not sound good to you specially if you are to go under the knife soon but it is true that more and more aspiring surgeons are honing their skills on computer games.

A study has found that students become more proficient at making the delicate and smooth movements needed in surgery after playing certain computer games.

Mark Marshall, director of simulation and training at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Centre, in Phoenix, Arizona, asked eight trainee doctors to spend an hour playing games on a console before performing surgery using a software system that recreates, a human body in 3D and monitors surgeons' hands as they operate electronically.

By recording the precision of the trainees' hand movements, Marshall's team could judge how good each was at a variety of procedures that would be used in real operations.

The researchers found that the students scored better at practice operations after playing games on Nintendo's Wii console, an effect attributed to the wireless controllers used to direct the onscreen action, New Scientist reported.

''Our trial shows this improves the skills of the surgeons when they are told to pick exercises within the games. It makes their training much, much quicker. How long depends on the surgical speciality, but usually it's somewhere between four to six years, Mr Marshall said.

However, researchers said it was crucial for the trainees to be given particular exercises to focus on while playing the games, and that not all games helped hone surgery skills.

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