Doctors rock out in the operating room
August 15th, 2011
07:41 AM ET

Doctors rock out in the operating room

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

Confession. I listen to Lady Gaga in the operating room.

Except when I do a facelift.

Contrary to popular belief, the operating room is not a quiet, intense place where all you hear is the beeping of the anesthesia machine and an occasional grunt from the surgeon. Most ORs are filled with music - classical, country, pop, rock, heavy metal, even hard-core gangster rap.

The few studies that have analyzed the effects of music in the OR found that music generally has a positive influence on a surgeon’s performance. President Bill Clinton must have known this when he requested music by Jimmy Buffett and Lyle Lovett for his tendon repair surgery in 1997.

Does it matter what type of music your surgeon plays? Apparently.

A study published in "Surgical Endoscopy" last year found that classical music affected surgeons more positively than hard rock or heavy metal. Another study published by "Surgical Innovation" named hip-hop and reggae the music that most benefited surgeons’ performances.

It probably comes down to taste, with surgeons finding comfort and inspiration working to the music they like to hear. And music doesn’t just affect doctors.

Multiple studies indicate that patients dig music, too. They appear more relaxed, require less anesthesia and recover quicker when physicians play tunes in the OR.

And a study published in "Injury" in 2008 found that nearly 80% of operating room support staff believed music had a positive effect on their work as well.

Or course, there’s always a flip side.

I have spent time in a few operating rooms where I believe the music created a negative impact.

I once worked with an orthopedic surgeon whose massive boom box blared Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” at the decibel level of a jet engine while he pounded a rod into a patient’s leg bone with a large surgical hammer.

I also know a surgeon who plays hard-core rap laced with graphic curse words guaranteed to shock, offend and annoy the nurses. This music doesn’t relax anyone in the OR.

Instead, it puts everyone on edge.

Probably the worst offender I’ve come across was a surgeon I worked with in residency who repeat-played the same CD by Phil Collins all day long. To this day, I’d rather poke my eyes out with a dull pencil than listen to “Sussudio” ever again.

So what kind of music do I play in the operating room? Depends.

I try to match the music on my iPod to the surgery I perform. For procedures that demand high intensity and concentration, like facelifts, I play softer, acoustic music, such as the Indigo Girls or Billy Joel.

For surgeries that can be more repetitious and physically-demanding, like liposuction, I put on faster music that energizes me, such as Lady Gaga or '80’s hair bands. For everything else, I go with my main man, Jimmy Buffett.

Bottom line, in my operating room, to relax me and my staff, boost morale and relieve the monotony of repetitive surgeries, I turn up the music.

One exception: That sensitive time when the nurse wheels the patient into the operating room, right before the patient falls asleep.

Patients often arrive in surgery nervous and scared. This is when I turn the volume down and play music that creates a calm, soothing environment. Best to avoid certain songs during this sensitive transition into unconsciousness.

I would hate to have the last song my patient hears before going under be “Let It Bleed,” “Take My Breath Away” or - God forbid - “Don’t Fear The Reaper.”

Follow @CNNHealth on Twitter.

soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. 우리카지노



    January 29, 2021 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Free Vbucks



    January 30, 2021 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Free V bucks



    January 30, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. online dating sites free chat

    online dating free https://freedatingsiteall.com

    January 31, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Buy Real Facebook Photo Likes

    There's noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made sure good points in features also.


    January 31, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Wesley

    wah keren! terima beri sharenya


    February 1, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Gerald Kiehl

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    February 1, 2021 at 05:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. togel sidney

    Hi Beautiful article


    February 1, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ena Dreier

    what is some fun online sites to blog on and make fun posts besides facebook and tumblr?


    February 2, 2021 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Coin Master Tips

    I have a hosted WordPress blog. For some reason, my blog posts are being sent out to followers of another blog. The other blog owners uses Blogger. We can figure out why or how this is happening?.


    February 4, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 4, 2021 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. denizli escort



    February 5, 2021 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Game Tips

    No matter what I do with my Joomla homepage, I can't take the giant Joomla banner off of the top of the screen and replace it with my own. Does anybody know how to do this?.


    February 5, 2021 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mersin escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 5, 2021 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Game Info

    What blogs do you read for information on the candidates?


    February 6, 2021 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Coin Master Tips

    How do I make firefox show at the top of my start list?


    February 6, 2021 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. www.gu8.pw

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 6, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Cleveland Orabuena

    Great site to read. Worth the time. Do YOU know a College Student? More help with their written assignments needed than ever before. Tell them about Essays Unlimited. They can solve this problem.


    February 6, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. https://j-website.net

    This is something New !


    February 7, 2021 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. www.iskenderunescort.xyz

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 7, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. zortilo nrel

    My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post's to be precisely what I'm looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content available for you? I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome web log!


    February 7, 2021 at 06:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Game Tips

    Just want to share something. I need to submit my blogs to blog sites with so many people reading blogs. That's what I need most..


    February 7, 2021 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Fortnite Tips

    I was wondering if I could use the ebay logo as a picture in one of my blog posts about ebay. Can I do so with any web site as long as I'm not claiming to be that company?.


    February 7, 2021 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. iskenderun escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 7, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. adana escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 7, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    best i have ever seen !


    February 8, 2021 at 06:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Game

    How do I copyright my site?. How do I use a pic from other sites, if I hapened 2b blogging on something relating to that pics?.


    February 8, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. vasúti szállítmányozás Europa-Road Kft.

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.


    February 9, 2021 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. comprar cuchillo cebollero 3 claveles

    Your style is so unique compared to many other people. Thank you for publishing when you have the opportunity,Guess I will just make this bookmarked.2


    February 11, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Bestproxies

    Only wanna input that you have a very nice web site, I enjoy the design and style it really stands out.


    February 16, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Rashad Anglada



    February 16, 2021 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. malatya escort

    malatya escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 16, 2021 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Olen Pizira

    How about often great machines nowadays? The provide all kinds of life stuff and bring fun to your workplace. We are very proud to be among these times, free of claims of future dissemenation and abysmal grief.. Enjoy your days as you see today.


    February 18, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. agen live casino

    Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I
    may come back yet again since I saved as a favorite it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help

    February 18, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Leon Espejo

    How about these fast mp3 player nowadays? The provide all kinds of music lifesupport and bring fun to your job. We gotta be very proud to be among these times, free of claims of future mp3 sound dissemenation and many good times listening to mp3s.. Enjoy your days as you see today – youtube to mp3, converter will help get the music.


    February 18, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 10vina.com

    Hi, just wanted to say, I enjoyed this article. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!


    February 19, 2021 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. network marketing success tips

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share ideas.
    Great site, keep it up!

    February 24, 2021 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. idnplay.com

    Hey there! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after reading
    through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
    Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be book-marking
    and checking back frequently!

    February 25, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. photography

    After I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!


    February 26, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. imfbet

    I think the admin of this web page is genuinely working hard in favor of his website, for the reason that here every stuff is quality based information.

    February 27, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. muzeum

    I every time spent my half an hour to read this weblog's content daily along with a mug of coffee.

    February 28, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. ClarkTauts

    zo9qv 9zkaq au83

    March 1, 2021 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Kaleigh Veach

    Wonderful blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I'd really like to be a part of community where I can get responses from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!


    March 1, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. vicibox

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your
    useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly return.

    March 1, 2021 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Name Change Consultants

    Very nice write-up. I definitely appreciate this website. Thanks!


    March 2, 2021 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. buy bonus

    Bonus buy slots are online slots where you can pay a premium in exchange
    for instant access to their main bonus feature; usually the free spins round.
    Also known as "feature buy"

    March 2, 2021 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Name Change Lawyers Hyderabad

    Very neat article.Really thank you! Really Cool.


    March 4, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Legal Name Change Hyderabad

    Hello.This article was extremely motivating, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this issue last Saturday.


    March 5, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Maryln Locker

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. At all times go after your heart.


    March 6, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Joker 123

    Great weblog right here! Additionally your web site loads up very fast!
    What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate hyperlink to
    your host? I want my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

    March 11, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.