The surgical room is not so scary as we are used to think, and whoever has had the experience of being in one, can tell you something interesting. It is pretty obvious that surgeons love listening to music while they operate. Ninety percent of surgeons listen to music during surgery, according to a survey conducted by streaming giant Spotify and Figure 1, a knowledge-sharing app for healthcare professions. Don’t think they are putting Mozart on, though! Surgeons actually prefer listening to rock songs, at least the majority of them. Now imagine this scene – you, your doctor, their scalpel, and Aerosmith in the background.
As weird as it sounds to you, the most popular songs listened in the O.R. are rock songs. These include: “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” which is a 1984 track by the German band Scorpions, and then Guns N’ Roses classic “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” The next ones include Ted Nugent’s “Just What the Doctor Ordered,” The Doors’ “Break On Through (To the Other Side) and the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” as a conclusion to the list of the top five songs.
According to one vascular and transplant surgeon from New York, nostalgic hits from his youth have a calming effect in the theater.
“People’s lives are in my hands and listening to rock puts me in a comfortable place so my full attention is on my patient. I listen to bands from my youth and the feeling of nostalgia brings me to a calm, focused place,” said Dr. Alan I. Benvenisty of the Mount Sinai Health System.
Respondents who took the survey through Figure 1 explained that music in the operating room “calms the nerves and improves staff morale.”
“At times it keeps the room mellow and coordinated, and at other times it keeps the pace up,” claimed another surgeon.
This would, of course, happen, if the patient is under anesthetic and therefore unconscious during their procedure. But if the patient happens to be awake, say, for, a caesarian section, some doctors may even take requests for special songs.
“We do C-sections where the patients are awake. If they have a preference we go with what they want. If not, we have fun with it and play name that tune from old TV shows, old songs,” said one of the surgeons who took the survey.
It’s not only rock songs, though. After rock, the most popular surgery soundtrack genres are pop and classical music.
Here are the 10 most-played rock songs by surgeons, according to Spotify:
“Rock You Like a Hurricane”—Scorpions
“Sweet Child O’ Mine”—Guns N’ Roses
“Just What The Doctor Ordered”—Ted Nugent
“Break On Through (To the Other Side)”—The Doors
“Paint It Black”—The Rolling Stones
“Whole Lotta Love”—Led Zeppelin
“We Will Rock You”—Queen
“Back in Black”—AC/DC
“The Wind Cries Mary”—Jimi Hendrix