Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Doctor, Are You a Gamer?

You read it here first!

Last April, we told you about a study of 33 doctors that showed video gamers make good surgeons, plastic surgeons included. It’s because of all the hand-eye coordination that develops.

On the heels of that study comes yet another, this time of 303 laparoscopic surgeons. The testers (doctors, not gamers) recommend that patients ask an important question before any operation:

“Doc, are you a gamer?”

This is not a shooting or driving game but a laparoscopic surgeon
hard at work operating on the patient across the room. The doc tells
where his surgical tools are -- and what they are doing -- by watching
the screen in front of him.
(Archives of Surgery photo)

Here’s how it all came about: Douglas Gentile, Ph.D., a psychologist at Iowa State University, and Dr. James Rosser, chief of minimally invasive surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, compared surgeons who play video games to those who do not. Results? Gaming docs rule!

“The most important predictor of surgical skills is how often surgeons played video games in the past and how much they currently play,” says Dr. Gentile. “So the first query you should make to your surgeon is how many times he or she has done the operation you are going to have. The next question should be ‘Are you a gamer?’” Read more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tattoos on Face = “I Really Like it Here!”

You’ve heard the expression about wearing your feelings on your sleeve, right?

Sam Bloomfield, 58, who was born on the island nation of Tonga, takes the old saying to the next level. He wears his feelings about his adopted country on his face… bold tattoos, below.

Sam Bloomfield
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer photo)

But it wasn’t always that way.

After Sam arrived in the U.S. in 1976, he found things in the U.S. so much to his liking, he painted his house red, white, and blue. Next, came a blue shingled roof. Then, flags and patriotic streamers seemed to sprout everywhere from his house.

After all that, where else but body art could a guy go, billboards notwithstanding? So Sam found a tattoo artist and told him to get busy. The artist did just that, amassing a bill of $1,500 for patriotic tats.

Currently, Sam’s skin includes somewhere around 100 pieces of skin markings, including the banners of 20 nations. He even bears on his back a yellow “Support Our Troops” tag.

Laser Surgery

But the day may come when Sam returns to Tonga or one of those 20 other nations and wants to be a bit more demur about his love for any one particular nation. If it does come to tattoo removal, Sam will spend a lot more than $1,500 removing the tats. Considering that one average tattoo requires two to five visits to remove, it would appear Sam would be in for somewhere between 200 to 500 visits to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The gross national product of Tonga would about cover the charges.

If you ever want to remove some of your own tattoos, here are three questions to ask a dermatologist or laser surgeon.