Music often plays a role in the intimate — and at times downright complicated — relationships between doctors and patients, according to one of BMJ’s humorous holiday offerings.
Researchers evaluated a 2012 Guardian blog in which readers recommended songs about doctors. In the songs, doctors were generally portrayed as follows:
· Drug dealers (5% of songs)
· Those who engage in inappropriate behavior, typically sexual involvement with patients (a third of songs, although patients were usually the initiators)
· Healers (a third of songs, frequently metaphorical healers of broken hearts)
The authors conclude: “If love is seen as an illness then we can expect doctors to be closely involved.”
The authors of a related editorial report that music is played in operating rooms up to 72% of the time, with classical being the genre of choice. Nearly 80% of surgical staff sing the praises of music’s benefits, including its knack for improving efficiency and reducing anxiety.
The editorialists also provide suggestions for songs to play — and, more importantly, to avoid playing — in the operating room. The Physician’s First Watch writers are all Radiohead aficionados, but we agree that “Knives Out” might add an overly melancholic tone to the surgical proceedings.