Listening To AC/DC Improves Surgeon Operating Skills

16 March 2023 | 10:15 am | Mary Varvaris

"If ya’ think you wanna get a midday tan / Try keeping SPF at hand / It’s a short stop at the doc if you wanna chop a mole."

(Source: Supplied)

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NextMed Health Founder and Chair Daniel Kraft, M.D. and Shawna Butler, RN debuted Highway To Heal this week, an AC/DC inspired, clinically-based album of tunes that’s been designed to improve surgeons’ operating skills.

The album will launch next month on the world's first AI-powered healthcare radio station, Lifesaving Radio. The radio station arrives with its own AI DJ, Angus, to personalise the listening experience, Digital Music News reports.

“We are excited to bring Highway To Heal and Lifesaving Radio to the medical community — rock stars in their own right,” Kraft commented in a press release. 

“This project brings to life research validating that AC/DC’s music elevates efficiencies in the operating room. It also leverages AI in a unique and engaging way that gives surgical teams a truly customised OR experience — all in support of improving health outcomes.”

The release of Highway To Heal also coincides with AC/DC’s 50th anniversary, and with reimagined song titles like It’s A Short Stop At The Doc (If You Wanna Chop A Mole), You Sewed Me All Night Long, and Back Is Cracked, we doubt that the album will only resonate with surgeons.

The reimagined It’s A Long Way To The Top includes the melanoma-referencing lyric, “If ya’ think you wanna get a midday tan / Try keeping SPF at hand / It’s a short stop at the doc if you wanna chop a mole.

In an April 2022 study on the effects of music on laparoscopic surgery, researchers at Germany’s Heidelberg University found that when AC/DC played, surgeons were faster and more precise, with the time needed to make a precision cut dropping from 236 seconds to 139 seconds.

On the other hand, The Beatles Let It Be and Hey Jude also resulted in faster cutting, but only at lower volumes. The higher the volume the more beneficial effect of the music diminishes for soft rock music. 

Lead researcher Cui Yang commented, “For hard rock music, the positive effect was especially noticeable when the music was played in high volume. It is possible that music with high rhythmicity could provide a tempo to keep up the speed of the performance and thus enhance task performance.”

Preview the Lifesaving Radio VIP experience here.