Video games for Surgeons?

We wish we had more time for video games,
but we did when we were "growing up" - before we were surgeons.

by Calvin Lee, MD with contributions from Tammy Wu, MD
Pac Man, Frogger, Space Invaders, and Simon games can be played below

Dr. Calvin Lee is a Board Certified General Surgeon in Modesto, CA, U.S.A
Dr. Tammy Wu, is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Modesto, CA, U.S.A


Their Plastic surgery office is Surgical Artistry, Inc:  Plastic Surgery Modesto (209) 551-1888

Picture of Dr. Calvin Lee and Dr. Tammy Wu - Surgical Artistry, Inc., Providing Plastic Surgery to Modesto, California
Operating is not a game, but skills learned from games can be applied to surgical skills. 
(Dr. Lee on the right, Dr. Wu on the left)

Plastic Surgery Modesto
(209) 551-1888


Surgical skills developed from playing video games?

Surgery is not a game at all.  In fact, many times it can be dealing with life or death situations.  But there are skills which can be developed early on in one's life through video games.  This is how I always felt as a child.  I even gave my parents this argument.  Now that I'm an adult, I still feel the same way about the benefits of playing video games.  However, as in medicine, too much of a "good thing" can be "bad."  For example, if video game-playing takes the place of sleep, athletic endeavors, and academic pursuits - that's "too much."

Dr. Tammy Wu and I, while on vacation in Taiwan, had a discussion where she said that she played Pac-Man as a kid and was very good at it.  This prompted me to create this web page, so that she could demonstrate to me her skills.  I put this webpage together so that Dr. Wu could play video games while on vacation.

I believe that there are basic cognitive, visual, and motor skills learned from playing video games which can be applied to surgical maneuvers and surgical situations.  For example, when I do laparoscopic procedures - there are skills needed to translate the activity on the video screen to procedures in the actual human body.  One has to put themselves "into the action" on the screen.  That is one of the things that video games accomplish:  It puts "you" into the screen itself.  Other skills involve spatial orientation, timing, and planning.  Thus, some of these video game skills translate into what we do at work as surgeons.  Video games are not such a bad thing after all.  To reminisce, I've placed some of our favorite video games on this web page.  And.... Yes, Dr. Tammy Wu is better than me at Pac Man.

I didn't write these classic games embedded below.  They are the work of Paul Neave - a very talented programmer who has allowed the placement of these games on this website.  Feel free to visit his website:  Neave Games.

Perhaps you can find this web page again by searching:  "video games for surgeons" or "surgeon video games."  We hope you enjoy this page as well.

Although video games may build skills which may be applicable to being a surgeon, it is surgical knowledge which governs those skills.  In other words, knowing when to operate and when not to operate is more important and even harder to learn than the motor dexterity skills, so spend a lot more time with those books.


Pac Man - Dr. Tammy Wu's favorite!


Plastic Surgery Modesto
 
Pac Man (above).  Modesto Plastic Surgery page


 

Frogger

Help the green guy cross to the other side (the green guy could be a surgeon in scrubs?)

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Frogger (above).  Modesto Plastic Surgery page


 

Space Invaders!

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Space Invaders (above).  Modesto Plastic Surgery page


 

Simon - a Memory Game

A favorite of Dr. Calvin Lee's

The idea of the game is a simple one, as Simon likes to say.  Follow the pattern of lights and sounds for as long as you can remember them.  The lights show up faster the more sequences you correctly recall.

Plastic Surgery Modesto

Simon (above).  Modesto Plastic Surgery page


 

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Once again:  do remember that although video games may build skills which may be applicable to being a surgeon, it is surgical knowledge which governs those skills.  In other words, knowing when to operate and when not to operate is more important and even harder to learn than surgical motor/mechanical skills, so don't neglect your your book-work (studying).   Enough games.  Now, back to work!

 


A picture of Dr. Tammy Wu, right (age 3) and her older brother -
video games weren't quite around at that age, but soon thereafter.


Dr. Tammy Wu's younger brother (Dr. Andrew Wu - Radiologist),
who is very adept with video games, computers, and photography.
I know this is somewhere in the US.  Where is this?

 

- Tammy Wu, MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Modesto, California, USA
 Placed on the internet on August 10, 2009
Tammy Wu, MD 2009, all rights reserved.

- Calvin Lee, MD
Board Certified General Surgeon
Modesto, California, USA
 Placed on the internet on August 10, 2009
Calvin Lee, MD 2009, all rights reserved.

Essay written while on vacation in Taipei, Taiwan, Summer of 2009. 
 

 

The Modesto Surgeon Family
Dr. Tammy Wu & Dr. Calvin Lee in
their Modesto office, 2008

 


Plastic Surgery Modesto
(209) 551-1888

This is part of a series of essays written by Dr. Tammy Wu, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in Modesto, CA, USA

Visit our other Plastic Surgery and Modesto related web pages

 

Disclaimer:  This website is not intended to create a physician patient relationship.  There is no specific targeted medical advice here.  Please see your physician in person.  This disclaimer also applies to our other websites with generalized information:  Plastic Surgery Modesto CA, Plastic Surgery Modesto, Cosmetic Surgery, Surgical Artistry Modesto Vein Center, Acupuncture Modesto, Veins Modesto, How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon, Breast Augmentation Modesto, Breast Augmentation FAQ, Tummy Tuck FAQ, Botox in Modesto.  Web design by Calvin Lee, MD.

Tammy Wu, MD Plastic Surgery Modesto Essays