By: Jackie Glodener
An unpublished German study found that over 70 percent of doctors listen to music during surgery. One of the lead authors of this study, Dr. Claudius Conrad, saw how the different roles in the OR affected doctors’ musical choices. Dr. Conrad, a liver surgeon with doctoral degrees in musical philosophy and medicine, says that sometimes anesthesiologists and surgeons disagree on the type and volume of music played in the OR. Whereas anesthesiologists prefer classical music, surgeons prefer more upbeat, energizing tunes. Additionally, anesthesiologists must be able to hear alarms and other signals coming from machines that monitor patient status . The study mentions some conflicts between surgeons and anesthesiologists about the music.
Dr. Grigorian, a neurosurgeon from Macon offers his perspective. During an operation, he prefers to listen to Coldplay, classic rock, or nothing at all in the OR. Dr. Grigorian says he prefers silence for when he really needs to concentrate: “I’ll start with music, and when it comes to a really intense part of the surgery, I will shut off the music and the lights so I can really focus.” He says every surgeon has to choose what makes them the most comfortable- whether that is rap, classical music, or total silence. Dr. Grigorian also made the point that you have to recognize the different types of procedures. For instance, some surgeries do not require enormous concentration, whereas some intense orthopedic surgeries with hammers and drills or microscopic surgeries would require much more focus and would be best performed with no music. “In the end, it all depends on what kind of surgeon and what part of the surgery they are performing,” concludes Dr. Grigorian.
Although some people might say that music can be a distraction in the OR, I personally couldn’t imagine performing an 8 hour surgery in silence. There is no clear answer on the matter, but through all this, the safety of the patient should be considered most important.