Does Music Soothe The Savage…Surgeon?

Can it be that music has effects on mankind never before imagined? Read on for some strains, perhaps of a Stradivarius and perhaps just a bit of conversation.

Would anyone ever imagine that Whistle While You Work, the theme song of The Seven Dwarfs, might shed new meaning onto a group of busy surgeons? A study published in the American Journal of Medicine says, yes indeed; not to that particular song, but to the concept of music having an important function in the operating room. It is the mood that music helps to create, whether the surgery is long or short. Watch out for love songs, especially if you are about to part with a gall bladder or other significant body part. The consequences could be unexpected.

The original study, which was conducted about ten years ago, involved fifty male surgeons. Each was randomly assigned to either no music, Pachebel’s Canon, or their own choice of music. For those doctors who were given their own choice of music, the highest performance rating, as indicated by cardiovascular reactions, occurred. The soothing classical composition came in second and no music came in last.
Now the trend is for each surgeon to bring his or her own music (almost like BYOB) or their patient’s choice of music into the operating room. (Perhaps small concerts and recitals will become a part of Operating Room procedure in the near future?). In any case, most doctors seem to feel that the music blots out all background noises as well as helps to set the tone and/or pace for certain procedures.

What do YOU think about this? And is Mick Jagger available next Tuesday?

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About Marjorie Dorfman

Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University School of Education, she now lives in Doylestown, PA, with quite a few cats that keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non-fiction writing in the last decade. Many of her stories have been published in various small presses throughout the country during the last twenty years. Her book of stories, "Tales For A Dark And Rainy Night", reflects her love and respect for the horror and ghost genre.