Tunes Help the Hand That Operates on You

Soothing classical sounds improve accuracy, doctor says
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2009 2:00 PM CST
Tunes Help the Hand That Operates on You
Surgeons and nurses are seen inside the operating room at Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.   (AP Photo)

Just like on TV, real surgeons listen to music in the operating room—and it may make them better sawbones. Research by a Massachusetts doc suggests that some soothing Mozart improves accuracy when a surgeon repeats a surgical task. Silence ain’t bad, either—but hearing German folk music issue from one ear and death metal from the other, unsurprisingly appears less than helpful.

The Mozart result is heartening for the researcher, who attributes the benefit to the similarity of a classical music concert and surgery. “You do something delicate that is comparable to a concert,” he tells the Boston Globe. “It’s a situation you want to do the most beautiful music possible, under the most stress.” And he thinks the practice should be codified. “We are already using music, but not in a standard protocol fashion.” (Read more music stories.)

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