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March 05, 2013

Do Surgeons Swear When Operating?

Surgeons, whether deserved or not, have a reputation of being mean-spirited and foul-mouthed as a group overall. It does not help that TV shows and movies perpetuate this reputation.

Well, a study was actually carried out to see if surgeons are truly foul-mouthed or not and published their findings in the British Medical Journal in 1999.

Using a grading system based on how bad the swearing is, researchers secretly tallied how often surgeons used profanity in the operating room.

The observation was carried out over 100 operations totaling 80 hours and 30 minutes of operating time.

What they found was that orthopedic surgeons were found to be the most foul-mouthed with an overall score of 41 (zero being no swearing at all).

ENT surgeons had the best score of 2 when one surgeon exclaimed "bugger" during one case.


Here's the chart...

Taken from BMJ

Reference:
Surgeons swear when operating: fact or myth? BMJ 1999; 319 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7225.1611 (Published 18 December 1999)

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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