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Invited Critique
March 2001

A Prospective Randomized Trial on Heart Rate Variability of the Surgical Team During Laparoscopic and Conventional Sigmoid Resection—Invited Critique

Arch Surg. 2001;136(3):310. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.3.310

The authors of this study conclude that although laparoscopic colorectal surgery may be good for the patient, it may, in fact, be bad for the operating surgeon(s)! What a provocative, refreshing, unique, but perhaps not new, idea.

It is a well-known fact that individual physicians have vastly different reactions to stress, with "emergency" catecholamine release being much more prevalent in surgical vs nonsurgical personnel. This global difference between specialties was emphasized by the British surgeon Sir Ian Aird more than 50 years ago in an analysis of the hobbies of doctors—surgeons competed in the Olympics, whereas psychiatrists collected butterflies. Who is to quibble as to who is the wiser?

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