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Skills suffer for hungover surgeons, study finds



A group of researchers conducted an unusual experiment. They gathered up six surgeons with extensive experience in laparoscopic procedures and treated them to dinner and unlimited amounts of alcohol and instructed to drink until they felt they were intoxicated. The researchers drove the doctors home that night and picked them up again the next morning, delivering them to a laboratory equipped with a simulator that uses virtual reality to let users practice their laparoscopic surgery techniques. The study focused on laparoscopic procedures because they place "intense demands" on "cognitive, perceptual, and visuospatial abilities," all of which can be derailed by drink. The surgeons were tested on the simulator at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Each time, their surgical skills were worse than they had been in a baseline test,
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